Tag Archives: business coaching

3 Reasons Why I Prefer Personal Brand vs.Business Branding

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Often I am asked by entrepreneurs whether they should focus on branding their business or branding themselves. A personal brand is typically a business that is built around a person and their name. A business brand is an identity (fictitious or not) that is created for a business. It promotes the brand name of the business as opposed the the specific talents/expertise of the owner of the brand.

Many think that personal branding is only for actors, artists and those that want to be famous. Guess what? It’s not! Personal branding  is for those who wish to improve their career, climb the social ladder and improve the brand equity along the way. Personal branding is also critically important for leadership.

Business branding may be preferred by some. There are many companies that do very well without their founder having a strong personal brand. It is definitely not a requirement.  Many purchase products simply because they like them and what the company is all about without knowing anything about the face behind the business.

However, I see so much earning potential behind creating a personal brand. It is a method that has worked for me and countless clients. It is a method that helps entrepreneurs create multiple streams of income through product endorsements, their own products, services, public speaking, personal seminars, books and more.

Here are three reasons why I prefer creating a personal brand over a business brand:

1. Never Run Out of Customers: Yes, the customers know that you exist. They know that SOMEONE created this business. They know that someone is behind that logo. If people are raging fans of your product/services they can also become raving fans of YOU as an individual. That allows you to build an audience that will support your new endeavors such as writing a book, public speaking, a clothing line, a new enterprise you want to start, etc.

2. Your Business May Change: As you learn more in your business and expound you may change your mind about some things. You may decide that you no longer want to offer a particular service, product, etc. One of the things I like about your using own name & creating a personal brand is just that: you can evolve with it.  You’ll learn new things, start new companies or websites. And when you do, why would you want to leave all the amazing work ,followers, readership behind? Creating a business brand makes it difficult for a business owner to evolve into doing new things under the business brand.

3. Builds Loyalty: When you work on creating a personal brand you are choosing to show others parts of your life and/or your personality. Building a personal brand encourages you to become transparent about some things in your life and/or your business. This transparency and the sharing allows people to personally connect with you. More and more people want to do business with people..with PERSONALITIES not large businesses. Once a consumer feels that connection with you, your journey and your story they will feel that you are the only person in your particular industry that can solve their problem. Allow people to know you and to like you. That will eventually build the trust. The trust will lead to them referring others and much more loyalty to your business.

In conclusion personal branding has its pros and cons. One “con” you may have to face through personal branding is criticism. When you brand yourself as opposed to your business you will be looked at with much more scrutiny. People watch your every move very closely and your privacy may take a hit. In addition, if you make a mistake you will have to answer tough questions and bail yourself out. I think we all learned this through Tiger Woods.

Business brands are less likely to fall under the microscope and can rebound more easily from negative publicity because the relationship with their followers is less personal.

I’d love to help you with building a personal brand. Check out my new book. It can help you on your journey! Click here  to order your copy. To learn more about me and what I offer visit www.LeniseWilliams.com

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Business On A Budget

 

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10 Legitimate Businesses You Can Start for Under $20

I found this article a great read! #1 and #2 are my favorite! I help people build a very lucrative career in those areas. For more info on how I can help check out these services here. Enjoy this great article!

 

Whether you’re starting a business on the side while still employed elsewhere, a student or homemaker looking for extra income, or unemployed and trying to figure out what to do, there are plenty of opportunities for you to start up a side business inexpensively. It’s unlikely any of these will make you a living in the first few months, but they all have the potential to grow into full-time businesses.

We’ll take a look at 10 such opportunities and, most importantly, tell you what to do with the $20!

1. Webpreneur

It’s what everyone who’s ever surfed the Web dreams of-just stick a web site up there and watch the cash roll in! Well, that just doesn’t happen overnight, but the fact of the matter is it’s really not very hard to do.

To do it right, start by picking a subject matter you know a lot about. Then get a domain and create a web site. It doesn’t even matter what technology you use-just be totally anal-retentive about it looking good and provide plenty of original content. Now find some appropriate affiliate programs-that’s where your revenues are going to come from. Next, learn everything you can about search engine marketing and promote the heck out of your site. Last of all, set aside time every week to put new content on the site, delete dead links, and other maintenance. Now do this three or four times, and you’ve chosen your topics well, you might actually have some decent income from it.

Spend the $20 on: $8 or less for a domain (see our Online Business Guide’s list of cheap domain name registrars) and $12 for a year of hosting (search for “$1 hosting”).

2. Consultant

Getting into consulting is relatively simple. All you have to do is know how to do something better than most people do, and be able to either teach people how to do it or be willing to do it for them. Networking is the key to success in this business, so start by making a list of everyone you know and giving them all a call.

Spend the $20 on: $14 on a box of clean-edge laser or inkjet business cards and $6 buying your first prospect a cup of coffee one morning.

3. Housesitter / Petsitter

Particularly since 9/11, people feel an increased need for security, and housesitting gives them some reassurance while they’re out of town. This one’s great because it basically requires no particular skills, just trustworthiness and reliability. Be sure to have personal references available, and you’ll also need reliable transportation. If you’re an animal lover, petsitting is an easy add-on.

Spend the $20 on: $2 on flyers to put up on bulletin boards, and the rest on classified ads in your local neighborhood paper (not a big city-wide one).

4. Professional Organizer

People these days are simply overwhelmed by their “stuff”. While there is an ever-growing trend of people wanting to simplify their lives, most of us haven’t done it yet. It’s not that people really have no clue how to get organized, it just keeps moving to the bottom of the stack, both figuratively and literally. There’s a prime opportunity for people to come in at a reasonable rate and get houses organized. And while there is a National Association of Professional Organizers that you can join when you’re ready, mostly it takes common sense, organizational skills, and a familiarity with what can be had at your local office supply and The Container Store.

Spend the $20 on: Classified ads.

5. Avon Independent Sales Representative

Cosmetics is a virtually recession-proof business, because it’s an inexpensive way for people to feel good about themselves. Avon is the largest consumer direct sales company in the world, with annual sales of nearly $6 billion. In business for well over 100 years, they have both a highly reputable product line and one of the few highly reputable multi-level marketing structures (in fact, they invented it). They also offer fashion and wellness products in addition to their beauty products. And while they bill themselves as “The Company for Women”, a fairly substantial number of men have actually been very successful as Avon reps. The secret to making a living at it rather than just a little extra spending money? Build your downline-just like with any other network marketing or direct selling business.

Spend the $20 on: $10 signup fee, and $10 on brochures and a few samples.

6. Personal Services – Shopping & Errands

This is a great one going into the holiday season. Believe it or not, there are people who wouldn’t be caught dead going anywhere near a mall, but they’re not comfortable with buying certain items online, either. Again, trustworthiness and dependability are the key traits for this. If your car’s not reliable, pick something else. Also, you won’t need cash, but you’ll need available credit on your credit cards, since you really can’t use theirs.

Consider an American Express or a Diner’s Club that don’t have preset spending limits. Or use a card that gives cash back reward or frequent flyer miles, and you’ll make a nice little bonus for yourself.

Spend the $20 on: $1 on flyers and the rest on classified ads.

7. Desktop Publishing

It’s amazing how many people have a computer and still don’t know how to make a decent flyer! If you’ve got a good design sense, are extremely familiar with your word processor, and already have a laser or high-quality inkjet printer, you can get into desktop publishing. Create a really great-looking portfolio for yourself and go door-to-door.

Spend the $20 on: Some high-quality paper to create your samples on.

8. Tutoring

With the growing dissatisfaction with our education system and the huge growth in homeschooling, there’s an unprecedented need for tutors these days for kids of all ages-even adults! If you’ve got a topic you can tutor in, contact the local schools, particularly private ones, and local homeschool groups, and offer your services. Don’t be concerned if your topic is highly specialized-even those are in demand.

Spend the $20 on: $14 on a box of clean-edge laser or inkjet business cards and $6 on flyers.

9. eBay Seller

Yes, there really are people who make a decent living buying things at garage sales and flea markets and selling them on eBay.

The big secrets? Stick to products you know (or learn before you start) extremely well, package your goods carefully, and provide impeccable customer service. It helps to have a digital camera or a scanner, but it’s not required.

Spend the $20 on: Your first inventory at a garage sale.

10. Secretarial Service – Typing / Transcription / Proofreading

Many small businesses and individuals have a need for these services, but not enough need to hire a temp through an agency.

Assuming you’ve got a computer, a printer, and e-mail (and the necessary skills), you’re all set. Be prepared to charge by the job, not by the hour.

Spend the $20 on: $14 on a box of clean-edge laser or inkjet business cards and $6 on flyers.

One last thing-beware of home-based business scams that require a substantial buy-in, such as envelope-stuffing or craft item assembly. You may not lose money on it if you stick with it long enough to get really fast at it, but you’ll probably never make the kind of money you’re expecting to. Better to do something on your own.

 

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SPEAK UP only if you want to earn more MONEY!

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Public speaking. Does the thought of it make you cringe or does it excite you? The thought of speaking in front of more than 2 people that I know made me break out in hives. Well, maybe not that extreme but it did make me pretty nauseous! Throughout high school, college and even law school I was scared of speaking publicly. I was forced to get over it once I retained my first client in my law practice. The day of the trial I was petrified. It was either sink or swim! I am happy to report that I swam and haven’t looked back. Since “swimming” I have realized the importance of public speaking. Public speaking can help take your business to the next level even if you never have to step foot in a courtroom.

Here are four reasons why entrepreneurs must master public speaking:

1. You made need money Will your business need capital? Have you considered trying to obtain a loan or investors? If so you will need to clearly articulate many things about your business. You may have to pitch your business  in front of a crowd of people. If you are scared to speak publicly you may miss out on a loan or a big fat investment check!

2. Increase sales: Public speaking helps you to establish yourself as an expert. Think about it….when someone invites a person to speak to a group of people the audience will recognize that person as an expert before that person even steps foot on the stage. The more you speak the more of an expert you become. The more of an expert you become the more people will become interested in your products or services. The more interested they become, the more money they spend. BAM! It is just that easy.

3. Think Big! You may be operating your business from your kitchen table today. However that can all change at any time. If you go to a one member business to a business with 10, 20 or even 50 employees will you be prepared to address them? Yes, they will want to hear from the leader at some point! Employees expect to hear and see their executives.

4. It Can Make or Break Your Company: There are 5 key business skills that can make or break your company.

  1. product development
  2. writing
  3. time management
  4. sales/marketing
  5. public speaking

Four of these key skills can easily be outsourced. Which one cannot be outsourced? Yep! You guessed it… Public Speaking. The good news is that this skill can be learned. With practice you can become a great public speaker. Once you learn exactly where your fears stem you can tackle them and overcome. Try hoping on the live streaming app, Periscope. This allows you to get comfortable with speaking to a group without having to physically see the group in front of you Also check out groups like Toastmasters International where you can get real experience & feedback with a group of people also trying to improve their skills.

Here is a great article on overcoming your fear of public speaking.

Whether you are in the early stages of entrepreneurship or if you are a seasoned entrepreneur you will be a better entrepreneur by mastering public speaking.

If you want to learn more about obtaining public speaking gigs,creating public speaking topics, the proper contracts for public speakers and more you will want to check out Girl Biz Academy. The “Senior Program” in Girl Biz Academy offers a comprehensive guide and step by step tutorial on how you can emerge and/or grow as a public speaker. Don’t forget REGISTRATION CLOSES NOVEMBER 15!

4 Traits That Are Vital To Your Success

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So many are on the quest to find success in their business and ultimately in life. They study the big brands, they go to every seminar and know more about branding than they know about their proclaimed area of personal expertise. However, they aren’t reaching the level of success they’d like. The problem may not lie in their branding or in their marketing. The problem may lie in the individual. I have determined that it is not so much about the things that you do, but it is about who you are. Your habits may be preventing you from reaching the level of success you desire.

There are so many traits that I know are vital for success in any industry. Here are 4 traits essential for lasting success:

VISION: A vision is your goals and your aspirations. It defines the optimal desired future state. The problem is that many people in business do not have a vision. Without a vision you have no idea of where you are going. If you do not know where you are going you definitely don’t have a clue of how to get there. Without a vision you will find yourself on a mission to achieve something, but you won’t even know what that “something” really is. Lack of vision causes lack of direction. Lack of direction causes confusion and frustration. Confusion and frustration typically causes a person to give up. Giving up does not yield success. Get a vision and make it clear!

ACTION:So you have a vision..GOOD FOR YOU! You know what you want to do and have clearly defined how you are going to accomplish it. The question that many entrepreneurs face is to actually get started. Having a great vision, strategy , a phenomenal team in place, etc is all great. However if the plan just sits and collects dust and there isn’t any action coupled with the plan it all becomes a waste of time. Wasting time does not yield success! Couple your vision with action!

COURAGE: All great entrepreneurs have courage.. Most people will tolerate just about anything—a bad marriage, a job they hate, a horrible boss only because it makes them feel secure. Not enough people are comfortable with feeling uncomfortable. True entrepreneurs are not like that. It takes courage to forego the comfort of a steady paycheck from a 9-5. It takes courage to take the risk of failure. It takes true courage to work to make your dreams a reality. It takes courage to step into the unknown and pursue something despite the possibility of obstacles. Courage is standing up and not crawling into a hole when things get rough. Crawling in a hole and hiding does not yield success. Act in the face of fear!

CONFIDENCE Confidence is a key ingredient to success. Truly confident people keep their heads high, give straight answers and use a firm tone of voice. Truly successful people don’t just act confident; they are confident. They know that they are good at what they do, they know that their product/ service can make a difference. That confidence and the delivery of good work/products leads the entrepreneur to success. Get out of that muddy puddle of doubt and acquire the kind of confidence that comes from being a master at what you do. Self- doubt and insecurities will not lead to success. Believe in yourself and what you offer.

3 Ways Authenticity Puts Money in the Bank

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Think about successful entrepreneurs that you know or follow. One thing you may find that they all have in common is that they are authentic. They open up about their lives, they share their passions, they give you an invitation to get close to them although you never really meet them.

That authenticity comes from confidence. You see, when you are confident in yourself and what you believe you really don’t care about what anyone may think about you. Therefore you don’t really hesitate to share your thoughts, feelings, beliefs, etc with others. There is no hesitation even if  it requires going against the grain in order to stay true to yourself.

I am going to share 6 reasons why being authentic PAYS. For the sake of time (and not losing your attention) lol I am going to share three of them today.

1. It’s Super Easy To Make Great Decisions For Your Life & Business:
If you remain true to yourself and your visions nothing will distract you.Confident and authentic people do not feel the need to be like anyone else. They do not feel pressure in making a decision or in voicing their own truths. Outside influence does not bother them.

Once your vision is clear you will begin to spend less time explaining yourself, explaining your prices and explaining how you do business. Therefore sticking to who you are, what you believe in and remaining focused on your goals makes the decision making process easier.

When you know WHO you are and WHAT you want to do it becomes easy to see what decisions will go in furtherance of your mission. The more consistently you do things in alignment of your mission, the more people understand and see that you are genuine. Once others see that they trust you more people will do business with you. Confident and being genuine is the catalyst to trust.

2. You Will Attract the Best Customers That Will Pay You:
People want to do business with HUMANS. Humans make mistakes, humans have feelings… people don’t like robots.

When you convey your feelings, admit your mistakes, share your story (even when it’s not flattering) you gain respect. Real leaders are those that are capable of gaining respect. People will pay someone that is human.

3. You Learn More:
Have you heard the saying:  The more you learn the more you earn? I have no idea who to credit with that, but I am honest enough to say it is not my quote..lol. Regardless of the author, this statement is true. If you are “perfect” you lose opportunities to learn.

Authentic people are open to admitting that they do not know everything. Therefore they are open to learning about new experiences and subjects. Authenitc people can admit when they need help. They recognize when it is time to hire an expert and when they coaching.

Avoiding the pitfall of being a stubborn entrepreneur that can do everything yourself will help you stay in business, develop new strategies and EARN MORE MONEY!
I hope this is helpful. Please share your comments/ thoughts.

Want Location Independence?

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My children spend each Summer with my ex-husband in Louisiana. I usually spend my Summers in Atlanta working and missing them. I think I am like many other mothers. We tend to live these lives that revolve around our children. Once they are gone for even a short period of time we are sometimes left trying to figure out how to live and what to do with SOOOO much free time.

When I was in college I was a free spirit. I would jump in my car and take road trips with very little money in my pocket. I would hop on a plane without a return flight. I did not know how I was going to get back, what I was going to do when I go there, but I did it! Those were the best years of my life! Of course given the responsibility of raising my boys (and being a real adult..lol) I do not have the luxury to be as carefree.

When a friend mentioned to me on Sunday a trip to Mexico that they were taking on Tuesday I decided to go. I had a million reasons why I should not. I didn’t plan it, I had things to do around the house, I had errands to run in Atlanta…the list went on and on. However I stopped making excuses to enjoy myself and I packed my bag and bought the plane ticket before I could change my mind for a third time.

The biggest part of this is the fact that I am always talking about location independence and the happiness that comes from it, but I don’t always do it. Location independence is having a business/career which allows you to work from anywhere with a wifi signal. My business is 100% location independent.

Many of you know my story. You know that I built a multi 6 figure law practice from nothing in Louisiana and that I walked away from it all to focus on the entrepreneurship portion of my business as opposed to the court appearances and legal practice. I relocated and starting buying businesses. What I don’t like to talk about is the $100,000 plus of my own personal savings that I lost in a business. It hurt like hell. I was depressed and devastated. After walking away from that venture I really did not have much money left. After a few months I did not know how I was going to pay my bills and take care of my boys.To put is bluntly- I was scared shitless! I could have moved back to Louisiana and started defending criminals and helping clients in custody battles, but the thought of going back to that made me want to cry. That path made me miserable; I did not want to go back to it. Besides my boys were settled, thriving and so happy in Georgia. On top of that there would still be a high expense associated with moving. Ughhh..I was in such a pickle!

I had to figure it out quickly. Shortly after that venture I started business consulting. I knew what I was good at, I knew why many of my ventures were successful and I knew why my most recent one was not. People wanted to know what I knew that came naturally to me. That info coupled with my personal experiences in business was actually something people would pay for. I honestly did not see my worth outside of a courtroom or managing a business. I shared my info and I started charging for it. I built a website and started putting myself out there just for fun really. Within a few months I built an entirely new business on the internet. CRAZY! I have built my business from social media, google and word of mouth. People from multiple states and countries have all been able to find me and actually hire me for my services as well as purchase my products.

I do not need to be at a desk in a high-rise building. I do not need some pricey phone system and a big staff! I could not use work as my excuse not to go to Mexico. I rescheduled a couple of calls and ensured that the resort had wifi and was ready to go. the one consulting call that I could not miss was done via FaceTime on my laptop. The projects I am working on can all be typed and emailed from my laptop. I have created a business that I love and that I can do from this beautiful beach in Mexico..HA! It can all happen when you put yourself out there, provide good services and work on branding yourself as an expert in your industry. It is really that simple. I can help you do it too.

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Have you grown tired of feeling stuck? Are you ready to work on your own schedule from a beach, from any Starbucks, from your sofa??? I would love to help you. I just started taking new clients again. I have a few slots that are still open for 3 month or 6 month consulting. If you have an interest in working with me in your industry on doing exactly what I have done we need to chat..ASAP. Click here to see available consulting packages. If you are SERIOUS about success just reply to this email. I would be happy to set up a call once I return from Mexico next week.

Looking forward to working with you!

XOXO,

Lenise

What Home Depot Taught Me About Vision Boards

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Earlier in the year I sent several messages out about goal setting, visions boards and having a 2015 mission. For the most part I try my hardest to practice what I preach. This year I decided that I wanted to speak in a different capacity. I speak at events that I plan and at conferences, but I wanted to speak at corporations, at international conferences… I wanted to take it up a notch! Although I often speak on business and legal topics I wanted to add more. My question to myself was how I would transition and merge into a market of this nature when I ordinarily speak on entrepreneurship. What company would want me to talk to their employees about opening a business, right?! I sure they would be itching for someone to come in and tell their staff how to quit …. that was not going to work LOL

“Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it.” -Habakkuk 2:2

Well it happened! I put it out there that I was a corporate speaker. Although I had not done corporate speaking before I just declared it! Well within a few weeks of putting myself out there I got a call from Home Depot Corporate office. They invited me to tell me story and speak to their female leaders at their annual Women in Leadership Conference on the importance of women in leadership. WOW!!! I was blown away! I of course said YES 🙂

The conference was yesterday and I enjoyed it. I spoke to the female leaders from three divisions in Georgia. I shared my story of how I was a recent law school graduate that had to seek food stamps. I told them I pushed through that period of my life followed by a heartbreaking divorce to build a multiple 6 figure law practice. I then told them how I walked away from it all! Eyes always get really big when I tell that story..lol I then shared statistics with them on how women make up 52% of the population, but only hold 18% of leadership positions. I gave them my reasons of why I think this exists as well as offered my personal suggestions of how we as female leaders can change that.
The most profound moment was when I asked the ladies that would rate themselves as a 9 or a 10 as a leader to raise their hands. No one raised their hand. I asked those that would rate themselves as a 5, 6,7 or 8 to raise their hands. At that point all of the hands went up high. My point: had I asked a room full of males that same question the majority of the hands would have been raised the first time.

As women we need to give ourselves more credit. Malcolm Forbe said it best, “Too many people overvalue what they are not and undervalue what they are.”

My point in sharing this with you is to stop doubting what you can do. If you want to do it just make it part of your vision and make it happen. If I doubted whether I could speak in a corporate setting I would not have put myself out there. Had I not put myself out there I would not have spoken at not just any company, but a Fortune 50 company. That still blows me away!

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Promise me that if you did not already make your vision clear you will do it today. Promise me that you will start to celebrate all that is great about you and continue to make a difference. The world needs you; they are waiting. Home Depot taught me that vision boards can work. Just remember to couple it with action! What are your thoughts on this? Comment below; I’d love to her from you.

Business Blessings,
Lenise