The Soul Train to Success

Small business owners and solo-preneurs often find themselves riding the Feast or Famine Roller Coaster. If you have been on this roller coaster yourself and would like to experience another ride in the Entrepreneurial Amusement Park, then I might suggest taking a ride on the Soul Train to Success! But first, you have to get off the Feast or Famine Roller Coaster.

I love working with entrepreneurs because (for the most part) they love what they do-their work feeds their soul. Therefore, for the sake of this article, I am going to assume that you love what you do and that you have a talent or skill for the service you provide.

If you’ve been perplexed over how to create a steady stream of happy, loyal customers, I’d like you to consider these two common mistakes and see if you recognize them in your own business.

Mistake Number One: not having a specific target market with a signature system-what you are an expert at-to serve that market.

Tip: This is NOT a niche! A niche is the “what” you do, whereas, the market is the “who” you do it with, to or for.

We can take that one step further and add the “How” to the “What” and the “Who”. How do you service those clients? I will use my own business as an example:

o Niche (what)- Business Coach (There are thousands of business coaches in the world.)

o Market or Perfect Client (who)- the heart-centered, soulful service provider or soul-o-preneur

o Signature System (how)- through equine assisted coaching and Branding with Archetypes(TM)

A viable market is a group of people who have a need or problem that they want to solve and who are willing to invest in having that need or problem solved! “Willing to invest” is the key phrase here.

I want to offer one more example of niche vs. market, based on a business other than coaching.

Let’s have a conversation with a yoga instructor (YI) and a marathon runner (MR) at a sports and fitness training convention.

First scenario: yoga instructor without a target market

MR: What do you do for a living?

YI: I’m a yoga instructor. You should try one of my classes; it will change your life.

MR: Oh, yeah, I tried yoga a couple of times but I just couldn’t get into it. It’s too slow for me. I’m a runner and blah, blah, blah…

Second scenario: yoga instructor with a target market

MR: What do you do for a living?

YI: I teach performance athletes how to beat their own records by incorporating anusara yoga into their training practice.

MR: Really? How do you do that? I’m a marathon runner and have a goal to slice 16 minutes off my next race!

o Niche (what) -anusara yoga instructor (a particular form of yoga practice)

o Market or Perfect Client (who) -performance athletes (willing to invest in having a problem solved)

o Signature System (how) -combines a specific style of yoga (anusara) with the athlete’s training to achieve a measurable result

I can just hear you saying “Yeah, but I can also teach, massage, photograph, design for, coach, bake, clean, consult-WHATEVER for anybody else who will pay me to do that thing!”

My response would be, “How is that working out for you so far?”

Take some time today to think about your own professional service and see if you can identify your own niche and perfect client.

Mistake Number Two: trying to sell what you do instead of what people want.

The first example with the yoga instructor and the marathon runner is a perfect illustration of the yoga instructor trying to sell what she does to the runner. He is not interested because he has a preconceived idea about yoga.

The second example is the yoga instructor speaking a very specific language that the runner is already listening for. He specifically hears the words, “I teach performance athletes how to beat their own records…” what comes after that is secondary. At this point in the conversation, the yoga instructor has the runner’s undivided attention.

Once you have identified your perfect clientele, you need to find out what it is that they want or need to have solved and are willing to invest in the solution with you.

Pick a specific group of people that need or want a specific service. Think about the people that you personally want to serve, think about where the people you want to serve already spend their time.

For Example: Massage Therapist

Clientele

Pregnant Mothers: baby clothing stores, Gymboree, OBGYN office, birthing class, etc…

Triathletes: events, orthopedic clinics, running stores, cycle shops, fitness centers, etc…

Active Seniors: retirement communities, dance centers, churches, 50+magazines, etc…

Take the time to discover their needs and speak to the results they are looking for in all of your literature, branding and web copy. When you thoroughly understand a specific group of people’s needs and show them a solution or offer relief, you automatically become an expert in that area. They become loyal clients and refer you to their friends who have similar needs and wants.

Ask yourself how you may be able to focus your talents on a specific group of people that need your service. Choose a group that you have an affinity for and would like to spend time with. This approach does not mean you will not ever work with other groups of people in other ways, it does mean that you will build a steady stream of loyal clients who trust that you are looking out for their best interest.

Become an Expert

Not choosing a specific area of expertise to work in waters down your talents and credibility. When you focus on a specific need that people want solved, then you also grow your own skills and knowledge base in that area.

You would not go to a heart surgeon if you had a sinus infection, even though he could surely prescribe the antibiotic you need.

All successful business owners: work in a specific area of expertise; work with a mentor or coach to keep them moving forward and in alignment with their own values and purpose; and don’t do it ALL by themselves.

When you are in alignment with what you love to do and can work with a group of people that need what you have to offer and are willing to invest in having that need solved, then you are riding the soul train to success!

Become the professional you want to be and get the professional help you need to get you there.

How to SHINE: Get Out of Your Own Way, Unleash Your Potential, and Create Soulful Success

Last May I had the opportunity to attend a weekend mastermind retreat with a high-level coach and mentor. Not only was the weekend a powerful catalyst for my personal growth and business success in the past year, but what I learned there has allowed me to help my clients step more fully into their own power and bring their own dreams into being.

One of my biggest take-aways from that weekend, and perhaps the one thing that has helped me and my clients more than anything else, was the realization that my thoughts have been too small for me.

I’ve always been pretty good about dreaming and setting my sights high. What I haven’t been good about is owning that those dreams aren’t just things I might get to someday IF I work hard enough, prove myself to others; what I haven’t owned is that those dreams are me. Right now. Not even “already”. Those dreams have never not been me. Those dreams tell me who I really am. They are clues to who I’ve always been meant to become, live into.

If I’ve done the digging and unearthed my truth, if the dreams come from the bedrock of my soul, then I am the stuff of my dreams. I have always already been there, I’ve just been waiting for my thoughts and then external reality to catch up to my inner reality, my Truth.

What this means is that I can stop worrying that I’m “not there yet.”

I can relax into who I am.

I can stop pretending that I’m not there yet.

I can stop trying to be someone who is pretending she is not yet who she really is because first she has to try harder yet to earn who she already is. (So much striving! So much exhaustion!)

I can stop pretending that I have to try to be someone who is trying to reach her dreams. (So much struggle! So little success! So little enjoyment!)

I can own who I am. (exhale)

This kind of truth-telling and owning results first in a deep mental, emotional, psychic relief. Freedom. And then what comes next is like the top of your head explodes with all the possibilities.

It hit me how often I must have been holding back, pretending, when, shortly after I came back from my trip to California (where I felt all kinds of possibility and awesomeness being unearthed and unleashed!), I walked into a room full of people at a business event and suddenly felt myself shrinking, contracting, dialing back on the shine. I wasn’t doing this because I was intimidated. I was doing this because in the two seconds it took me to scan the room, my reflex was to mirror the average posture, attitude, and energy currently being presented by the majority of the people there. My reflex was to make myself smaller in order to increase my chances of fitting in. I took a deep breath, intended that I would be me and reminded myself I can easily handle a little discomfort and awkwardness, reminded myself that if I’m not turning off some people, then I’m not doing Great Work. I put my shoulders back, raised my head, and corrected course.

I caught myself this time but I’m aware that too often in the past I’ve sold myself out. Thinking that my survival depended on conforming in order to gain acceptance when really my thriving, living really ALIVE, depends on me staying absolutely true to who I am with my sights locked onto what I really want and how I want to live.

There is so much talk about authenticity and I think most of the conversation revolves around the importance of not trying to make yourself out to be better (smarter, wealthier, more savvy, more confident, more accomplished… ) than you are. As a society I think we are more accepting of this kind of authenticity. But my conclusion in walking into that room and doing a quick read of the crowd was not that I was better than these people. It was that it was, for the most part, a room full of too many people holding way back, keeping most of their potential bottled up, most of their radiance turned down to “dim.” There were so many little signs of light being checked, enthusiasm traded in for coolness, detachment, or “professionalism.” My decision to stand up straight was not a judgment of them, but a commitment to being the person I’d decided I really am – that is the person I want to be, not some lesser, dishonest even, representation of myself.

“True discipline requires mental independence,
an ability to remain consistent in the face of herd instinct and group pressure.”

-Jim Collins
author of Great By Choice:
Uncertainty, Chaos, and Luck — Why Some Thrive Despite Them All

What about when being authentic not only involves acknowledging your “weaknesses” and “shortcomings,” but when Integrity requires who you to step up and own that you are better, bigger, more badass than the small you you are pretending to be? Playing small is just as dishonest as puffery but in the spirit of not offending anyone we often give it a virtuous name like “humility” and then put it on parade as if settling and living down to other people’s expectations is something we should all aspire to.

We act small – not as bright, not as funny, not as talented – for many reasons, but I’m willing to bet the greatest motivation is social acceptance. We’re taught conflicting things. On one hand, we praise risk-takers, those who “dare to be different” or “march to the beat of a different drum.” But we tend, hypocritically, to withhold such praise until it is safe to do so, until such people have proven themselves and their risks have “paid off.” We are told we need to stand out from the crowd, which sounds great until it comes time to do so and those that do become exposed targets for harsh judgment and scathing criticism from arm-chair quarterbacks. We are told to believe we can be or do anything, but when the time comes to really believe this and act and speak as if you do possess this kind of chutzpuh and rock-your-world self-belief, we are accused of being arrogant or egotistical.

But the truth is, if you are living from your soul, you will encounter a lot of resistance and criticism. You may even offend certain people and be rejected by others. But you don’t have to worry about being egotistical. It’s impossible. You cannot be both soulful and egotistical. Those are two separate things.

But if you are living from your soul, you’re going to unleash amazing, powerful things. It feels like living more ALIVE. Some people will be astounded. Some people will be offended. You will have to own being a thousand times bigger than you have allowed yourself to be. The soul dwarfs the ego like the sun outshines a flashlight.

John Muir said, “The sun shines not on us, but in us.”

Stop pretending you’re the flashlight.

Own your sun.

Expect that people WILL talk.

Expect that there will be people who ask, “who does she think she is?” Expect that there will be people who tell you to tone it down, that you’re too much.

But this is as foolish as saying the sun offends because it shines so brightly.

Know, too, that there will be others watching you. These will also be people who are just waiting for a brave example who inspires and gives them courage, blazes a trail, so that they, too, can unleash and

SHINE.

At-Home Business Retreat – Step-by-Step Instructions for this Soul-Inspiring Activity

HOW TO HAVE A SUCCESSFUL “SOUL” BUSINESS RETREAT AT HOME

Are you thriving in your business and having the impact you are meant to have? OR are you being run by it? It is easy to get so caught up in the day-to-day busy-ness of your business that you have little time to envision, plan and create for such things as “thriving” and “impact.” If this is your experience, then it’s time to plan a “soul” business retreat.

An at-home variety of retreat is simple! And it has the added benefits of minimal expense, planning, packing and travel. Plus you get to sleep in the comfort of your own bed each night. Read on to find out how!

What’s a “Soul” Business Retreat?

A “soul” business retreat is a sacred time in which you withdraw or pull back from the ordinary routine of your business, and reconnect with your own essence, that of your business, and what’s most significant. During this time, you focus on key business activities that are guided by passion, purpose, vision and values – it’s time to bring your heart and soul to the fore.

How Do I Prepare?

First things first! Make a decision to do it. Then energize your decision by scheduling it into your planner.

I scheduled my first business retreat as a compromise to scheduling a vacation. My coach was urging me to schedule a vacation in my planner. When I began to unleash all my considerations she stopped me with a wisdom statement: “Just do it.”

While I didn’t schedule the vacation then, in a moment of willingness, I turned
seven-eight months ahead in my planner and highlighted a five-day work retreat in the early fall. Even that took my breath.

The yellow highlighter seemed to have extraordinary powers. A few months later while checking ahead in my planner I saw those glowing neon yellow marks boldly claiming five weekdays. I began to dream.

Closer to the scheduled time, the retreat became an at-home venture. It felt right, and seemed simpler after the traveling I’d done in the previous months.

Prepare For Success!

Some simple preparations before your retreat will help insure that it flows smoothly.

During the month before, keep the days of your retreat free when scheduling business or other activities.

* Prepare your clients and business associates – schedule them and all else either before or after your retreat.

* Notice what of your work excites you as well as what drains you. Notice what you are secretly longing to do regarding your business that you haven’t seemed to have time for. And take note.

* If you live with others let them know what you will be doing and when. Share with them why this is important to you, let them know what you need from them and ask for their support. Make specific requests – they may not be able to read your mind.

In the week before, you are setting the tone and preparing your physical, mental and spiritual space.

* Clear and clean your retreat space. Better yet, hire someone to do it.

* Make sure you have plenty of newsprint and markers.

* Buy your favorite, healthy, easy to prepare foods and have plenty of fresh water on hand.

* Ask your higher self the question each day, “What is most important for me to focus on during my retreat?”

* Decide your overall intention for the retreat, what your goals are for each day (what you want to accomplish) and write them out. Allow your heart and soul to guide you.

During The Week Of Your Retreat – Keep it Simple and Keep Your Retreat Sacred

* Change your phone message and put an auto responder on your email.

* Unplug your phone and disconnect the sound from your email.

* Exercise, take quiet time, eat well, and get plenty of sleep every day.

* Take rest and refresher periods throughout the day.

* Paper your walls with large sheets of newsprint and plan, play and create on them with markers – it’s amazing how much the large format will free you.

* Take note of inspiration in the form of ideas, dreams or desires.

* Take time to stand back and look around the room to get a bigger view of what you’re accomplishing.

* During free time, read, watch or listen only to what inspires you.

* Have a friend or coach available to check in with you if you feel the need.

* Bring closure to each day and re-order your space for the next day.

* Savor every moment.

* Celebrate your accomplishments!

Oh, and one last thing before your “soul” business retreat is complete: Take out your planner and schedule the next one.

Chances are, you will return to your business refreshed, revitalized and reinspired. To stay that way, incorporate some aspects of the retreat into every day. Integrate your new ideas and expanded vision into your business. And remember the wisdom of Goethe:

“Things that matter most must never be at the mercy of things that matter least.”

3 Must Have Traits for an MLM Business Owner

There has been a lot of talk about MLM business. What does it take to be a success? The vast arrange of skills that are demanded of business owners stems deeper into the psychological makeup than the actual physical aspect. There comes a time in any given environment, a person must master the necessary skills to get ahead. The words skills and traits are interchangeable throughout this item, but the basic traits listed below are not. It is with a vital concern that an owner or a prospect learn to develop a game winning attitude with these earth shaking mental needs.

Three Powerful Traits

1. Persistence

2. Goal setting

3. Visionary thinking

Digging into the Three must have MLM Business Traits

The three traits of an MLM business owner set the foundation for physical business skills. Each of the cornerstone bricks act like gateways between the mind and the body. Persistence offers the ability for owners to overcome challenges and turn it into positive energy. They can use this energy to propel themselves forward. Persistence vital importance has been ignored throughout the ages and yet many successful people practice this one lone trait. While persistence does allow people to overcome difficult issues, the other two mental traits will help with the burden.

Goal setting is one of the most needed skills in any business. Unclear goals can trouble even the most persistent minds on the planet. Goal setting and creating are difficult to master, but should be learned early and practiced in every aspect. The right goals provide enough challenge to keep a soul busy and out of trouble. Setting goals require some kind of measurement and baseline to start from, even if the line starts at zero. Any progress throughout the month is a gain. How many goals should I start out with for my business? There should be at least one or two goals per area in your administration; this includes marketing to sales. Visionary thinking and development can mean the difference a short business life or a long one. What do you see for the future? How can you get there with your current resources? These two questions should set the stage on how you would perceive the future.

MLM Business Owners Are Leading the Way

MLM Business owners are leading the way for businesses across the world today. They are smarter, determined and focused on providing solutions to a variety of problems. They often help create new paths for technology, where the rest of the world is waiting to catch up. They have defined new methods for advertising and reaching out to their prospects in a cheaper fashion than most companies have.

The Soul Of The New Music Artist

You are the perfect picture of what it takes to be a music artist today. Did you just let out a big ol’ sigh? Did you just wonder if you have what it takes? How can you possibly do it all?

Because it’s true, there is so much now that falls heavily into the laps of the artist – gone are the days of Bob Dylan and Joni just being’ discovered in coffeehouses… but…

The good news is…

The music industry is tumbling down and because of that, the power is truly now in your hands.

Are you ready to walk through that door? Perhaps never before has the artist been so much in the driver’s seat and while that is good news on an artistic front.. the bad news is.. Now that you are out there alone and on your own – it could be your downfall and just what drives you into the ground and nails the coffin.

I talk to artists every day who are overwhelmed – and I totally relate and understand that completely. How on earth can you get it all done AND know that your efforts are going to the right places? This is the new music business, and what you do now is what is going to separate those that do and those that don’t. We all KNOW that.

So – how do you benefit from this newfound artistic freedom without having to sell out -and at the same time get a leg up without burning out and stripping yourself of your reserves? Now that you are responsible for it all – artist, manager, promoter, booker, web-designer, social media expert, and even record label – how can you possibly keep the wheels turning without burning out your reserves and consuming every freakin’ moment of your life?

Years ago when I was pursuing stardom, I read the Artist’s Way (by Julia Cameron), scribbled the morning pages religiously, scheduled my artist’s visits once a week (I always wondered if they really helped), but none-the-less was relentless in my artistry. I worked hard at my music – harder on my music than on my career – but the Artist’s Way didn’t mention career – at all.

It sent the message that all you had to do was to be a great artist and your success would surely come.

And we’re all still living on that message!!!

But the days of being discovered performing in the subway or even singing at Carnegie Hall are over.

Today, artists need a new outlook, and a seriously revised approach. There are new laws and new rules and it’s time to get on board. Business and music are now intertwined in a way that is integral to the path – one that is here to stay.

So the question I want to ask you is: What is it in you – in us – which we need – inside of us – to usher in this new frontier? What can end the divide between creativity and business (old structure) and what will give us strength and purpose in this new paradigm? I always look inside before I look outside – that’s just me – so I say to myself: What resides within me that could unify and smooth the gap between these worlds? What if I perceive these two worlds as one – instead of thinking they are separate?

My solution is best encapsulated in a word – and that word is: SOUL.

Webster’s dictionary says Soul is your spirit, essence, core, character, heart, psyche, and person. It seems to me that Soul is all of it – You. Your creativity, purpose, and your ability to manifest. What then if this Soul is the one thing that brings it all together – that unifies the separation? What if your Soul, the force behind you – a backdrop so to speak that is ever present – is your Ally – and your Best Friend – on this new journey? Sounds like a bunch of woo woo?

Not really. Here’s why..You (Soul) are the sum total of your experiences and genetics – your wisdom and desire/s. Within your Soul, you have everything you need to achieve your dreams, whether you know it or not. This Soul is an unadulterated, rich and pure resource and resonance that is You – within You. It is your inner and outer compass. It is the thing that gets you up in the morning and drives you to the stage. It’s what makes you give a sh**t and pushes you to follow your dreams no matter how unimaginable and intangible. It is what makes you look like a fool, even when there isn’t a shred of evidence you will ever make it (whatever that is for you). This is Soul – fierce and unafraid, but grounded in something beyond the reasonable. Follow me so far?

So what am I really talking about? I’m suggesting that you are capable of doing it all, on your own terms (now more than ever before) and can manage it all without losing sleep (well, not too much) by simply shifting how you look at it (and a few other things like how you set up your systems and your business.) But what if you stop resisting that you are an artist and an entrepreneur – and stop insisting that they are separate? What if they are actually integral to each other? What if you wouldn’t be as good with one without the other? Maybe this new paradigm is here to teach us something?

And I know that there are steps to this new paradigm – a system to follow. And it is an approach that meshes craft with business, from a perspective that is for the right-brain oriented mindset. Because lots of you are in the dust on this (I know because I talk to you all the time!..and it’s not your fault – things are changing so quickly). But the truth is that no more can you leave your career up to someone else – it’s you who has to get this thing on the road. In today’s new music business, it’s up to you to master the tug-of-war between art and business – learn to balance – trust your gut, set up your systems and pursue success. Because it’s just not going to pursue you.

There are 3 basic areas that your “Soul” is responsible for in the “new music business”:

1) Your Craft: Artistry, Developing Your Talent, Structure & Discipline

2) Your Career: Aligning Your Purpose – Who You Are and What You Offer That’s Different, Goal Setting, Producing a Product that will Transform your Fans & Your Career, Setting Up the Right Systems to Connect and Capture Your Audience, Branding/Website, and then – Creating a Winning Strategy &Game plan to Get your Music Out There in the Right Way, On Purpose and with Authenticity.

3) You As “Soulful” Entrepreneur: Building a Team That Supports You,Creating and Nurturing Relationships Within the Industry and With Fans, Marketing – Branding – Promoting – and Ultimately Attracting the Exposure You Need to Be Out There In a Big Way and Changing the World with Your Music.

How are you juggling both worlds? How are you Soul-ful?