Backup is Key

I am going to be clear and consistent on this. You must have backup in running a business.

It’s fantastic if you have a support team around you. I commend you for asking for help and getting support. But what happens when a team member needs time off? Do you have people cross trained?

You need backup for your backup.

This is the difference between building a company or working for clients with limited resources, unable to grow. What is the vision for your company? Where are you going?

Are you training your team on various skills?
Or are you totally vulnerable and leaving important tasks to one person alone?

For instance, I want everyone on my team to have some knowledge of Infusionsoft. Why? Because when Liz, who normally schedules the newsletter to go out, is traveling, she shouldn’t have to worry or feel pressure to get something done when she’s not in town and I shouldn’t have to worry about it, either.

Backup steps in. Backup steps up.

My daughter, Alex, is seeing this firsthand. She is a new manager and is leaving for a few days to travel with me to San Francisco next week where I’m speaking. She is realizing she needs people to cover her role, in her corporate job. There’s no scrambling in her absence, just business as usual.

Everyone needs time off. Everyone needs a vacation. Everyone needs days to travel, sick days, mental health days. You name it.

You should be able to take the days off you need and your team should, too.

Train your team up and watch the support grow to new levels. This is important whether you run a small business with a handful of employees or a corporation with specific departments.

Each department is a small business and there should be members that can backup any other member. When pressure is low, productivity is high. Making someone feel like they are the only person who can handle a certain task is not fair. Not for the business owner or the support member.

Just the other morning, I was submitting an application for a speaking engagement, and everything was sent in by the due date. But they came back to me, asking for additional information and a VIDEO.

I was literally in bed, after a night of celebrating with family members, (my niece got engaged!) and had no makeup on and thought, how am I going to get this all done? I can shoot the video, but I don’t have time to submit the additional answers they need in the document.

One of my team members (on a Sunday, mind you) stepped up to help me get everything sent in before day’s end.

Backup steps in. Backup steps up.

I am so thankful for my team and I want them to feel just as supported as I do. If they need a day, they get a day!

How do you train your team so no one feels added or unnecessary pressure? Share with me on the SSC Facebook page.

If you want to talk further, reach out to support@slatersuccesscoaching.com and let’s have a conversation.

First Quarter Reflections

Three months doesn’t seem like a long time, but the first quarter of 2017 for SSC marked the start of the transition to a whole new world. I’ll be sharing a lot of that transition ongoing.

Commit to action. That was the name of the game.

I tell you this all the time and I promise, I do it myself.

In the past three months, WE, because it’s been a team effort committed to:

  1. Developing the plan moving forward for SSC.

We are going C squared.

Slater Success Coaching is turning into Slater Success, our work with Corporations is growing and evolving. Incorporating what we have always done, we are acknowledging the consulting work we do along with coaching.

  1. Revamping all the marketing material that have been out there forever.

This is in process. I posted a new bio to LinkedIn just last week. We are doing a complete overhaul of our website, capabilities brochure, talk topics. You don’t realize how much there is to update until you start the process.

  1. Putting ideas and processes in the right places, with the right people, and with the right actions so nothing gets lost.

My team and I use Slack, a great team conversation app, and we’ve added new and defined channels to keep workflow organized and up-to-date. Ivy’s Brain is a channel. Honestly, I go in there and dump ideas, so I can go back when I need it or my team can take the idea and run with it. No more Post-it notes all over my desk. Yes, this traditional Post-it addict is trying to reform and go “techie.”

If I reflect on the first quarter, it’s been all about asking ourselves a lot of questions and putting actions to the answers:

How can we do this better, faster, more efficiently?

What needs improved, updated, changed?

How are we growing, moving forward?

What is the next big move?

What do we need to learn?

Who do we need to know that we do not?

It’s been an exciting quarter and I really want to hear how YOU have committed to action. Tell me your process, your steps, your ideas. Share with me on the SSC Facebook page. Or, feel free to reach out for a deeper discussion to support@slatersuccesscoaching.com

On a walk, by the pool, even at dinner…this kept happening

My husband and I were recently in Austin, Texas for a wedding. Great city and wonderful wedding! This is the time of of our lives when we find a lot of our peers’ children are getting married and it’s fantastic to travel and reconnect with long-time friends.

Some I saw in Austin I’ve known close to 35 years. It’s these times of happiness and love, and also times of sadness and loss that bring families and friends together.

People traveled from New York, Ohio, Maryland, Florida and many other destinations to celebrate young love and new beginnings.

I share often that there is no hard line between professional life and personal life and this weekend really brought that concept to light with crystal clarity. I was catching up with old friends, we were sharing stories about our families, and what we were up to in our lives and careers.

I was surprised to find out a bunch of people follow me on social media, watch my weekly videos, look for my insights on business strategy, sales, networking and fun.

On a morning walk, I learned a friend was not asking for their value in their consulting work and consistently undercharging. A small chat started from that.

By the pool, I met a friend of a friend who is all about women empowerment and started a non-profit for young women. Another wonderful discussion there.

A woman at my table at dinner shares mutual interests with me in helping women grow in their careers and businesses. Yet another great conversation.

I love learning and did a tour of the city and the hill country, where we were escorted by a wonderful tour guide from Austin Detour named Jason. He shared how the company was growing, setting yearly goals, the expansion plans and how as a musician he is creating his success in music and sharing the love of his city with others. I loved hearing his story.

I met new people and reconnected with others in almost every situation that weekend and we ended up talking business. Relationships began and relationships grew.

I ask you today to look at your old and new relationships, those based on friendships, based on business, based on mutual friends. They really are all one.

Are you embracing every relationship? Where are you finding new ones? How are you building on the ones you are finding?

Share with me on the SSC FB and LinkedIn pages!

Can you answer these questions?

I have to get that marketing strategy completed.

I have to go to that networking event in the city.

I have to call that client back about their invoice.

I have to post more on social media.

I have to…

STOP AND ASK MYSELF TWO QUESTIONS!

What? & Why?

Last week, I hosted a BSR and spent two fantastic days with business owners at all levels and stages of their careers.

Everyone felt really stuck in the work and what needed to get done. So we turned off that part of our brains for a moment and we talked about what is important to them and why it’s important. Two really simple questions.

I talked about buying a timeshare. Was I really buying a timeshare or was I buying a ski holiday with my family? You know the answer.

We buy ‘things’ but we actually buy time, experiences, happiness. My adult children love to ski with us, it’s something we really enjoy as a family and a trip we always plan.

In business, we work for ‘money’ but that’s not what we want. Money is just the energy of what we really want in our lives, what is important to us and in today’s currency model it is how we achieve it or purchase it.

What do you want and why do you want it?

I encourage you to create a list to make it really top of mind.

If you want to share your list with the SSC Community, please do so on the SSC Facebook page. And let’s support one another as we share. If you want to reach out and talk because your what and your why are not clear, I’m here. Schedule a chat right now.

A Nor’easter story today

It’s a snowy day in New York City as we deal with the latest winter storm, Stella, which got me thinking about storms in business and storms in life.

How do you react when a big storm, either professional or personal, comes into your life?

The saying that it’s not about the problem or the crisis, but how you respond to it that matters, is so very true in both scenarios.

It’s happened to me a lot in my life, an easy example is when I travel. I’ve left early, stayed an extra day, changed the original plan and didn’t let it affect my mood. Sure, I might have felt inconvenienced or even a little angry at first, but responding with a negative attitude and letting it take over, is just about as useless as it gets.

This week I’m hosting a BSR and normally I’d be spending extra time in the office to get everything ready. But I planned ahead and knew I’d be working from home, so I spent time yesterday gathering everything I needed and talking with my team to make sure we were all on the same page.

If you make things into a big deal, then they become a big deal. If you go with the flow and continuously show up 100%, you are on the right path.

Today, we were prepared for this storm. We knew it was coming. We planned on working from home, we rearranged travel plans, or maybe we got on Netflix and planned an entire snow day of watching movies!

Other storms, we don’t see coming. We can’t see coming. How do you respond to those?

A client isn’t happy, a technical problem ruins a webinar, someone in your family becomes ill, you need to repair a major issue in your home.

Do you get upset and begin to stress? Or do you break down your options and take action?

You know I always say, TODAY I CAN. Figure out what you can do to navigate through the storm.

And ask for help if you need it. We shouldn’t weather any storm alone. We are all on this journey together.

What are you doing today? How did the storm affect your plans?

Share with me on the SSC Facebook page.

Relationships & Abundance, a Win, Win

“What is called Genius is the Abundance of Life & Health”

– Henry David Thoreau

A fitting quote for how I’m feeling today. I was recently asked to join a girlfriend at a workshop with Rick Jarow, author of Creating the Work You Love, and I thought it would be a wonderful girl’s day out, which it was! It was also one of those experiences that made a huge impact on me personally.

What I found to be incredible was the talk about relationships.

Yes! Relationships was one of Rick’s core foundations in Abundance.

How relevant that is to SSC right now!

If you’ve been reading my emails, my newsletters, following me on social media, you’ve seen I’ve been writing about and sharing a lot of videos, even presenting an entire webinar, on Relationships! By the way, if you missed that webinar, you can still access the recording until midnight Wednesday, March 8th.

He talked about the alignment of relationship and community, a core value of mine, and a founding principle in Slater Success. He went on to say “I am nothing without relationships” and I couldn’t agree more.

We spend so much of our time on various devices, computers, phones, iPads, and we must not lose the value of relationships, actually talking to someone on the phone, or meeting for lunch.

Right before I sat down to write this newsletter, I had a fabulous phone call with someone I was connected to recently.

He came on the phone and said “Thanks for connecting. We have already hired marketing consultants, company culture consultants, etc., and we have more sales than we know what to do with and I need to go put out some fires.”

I told him I did not want to sell him anything and we continued to chat about the fires and problems in his organization.

We really got to know one another and started developing a relationship that I believe will last a long time. Will we eventually do business together? I would venture a guess and say yes.

Do you enjoy the process of building relationships?
Are you patient with the business development that will sustain a long-standing business?

I want to share Rick’s other points of Abundance:

Gratitude, Relationships, Compassion, Pure Awareness, Heroic Action and Peace.

I find joy in the inner work I do and I always see the results in my business by working the outer actions I take to grow, with the inner work I do to grow.

As always, if you want to reach out, I’m here. Just email me at support@slatersuccesscoaching.com

This tip is sweeter than chocolate

Happy Valentine’s Day! Sending my love and support to you and instead of a box of chocolates, I’d like to send a tip that will make your entire year sweeter.

Identify your number ONE source of income.

Think about it, right now. Write it down.

This is the part of your business making you the most money, the quickest.

You have various streams of income. You sell programs and services, you participate in speaking gigs or conferences, you receive money from book sales, etc.

Once you’ve identified number one, I want you do some work in that area. Focus on what actions you can take daily to increase that income further.

Example. If you run a sales program every March and it makes you the most money all year, break down the process and analyze why.

Are you targeting a more ideal client?
Is the program length the same, shorter or longer than your other programs?
Is the copy and message really on point?
Do you use affiliates in promotion?
Is the time of year making a difference?

Also, analyze the numbers around that program.

Are you spending the most money in advertising for this program?
Do you get a great ROI from social media ads?
Are the payment options different than what you offer elsewhere?
Is this the best breakdown of time spent versus income made?

With all the facts in place, you can form action plans to increase revenue. Maybe this program can run twice a year. Maybe you can increase the cost of this program, due to its popularity. Maybe you can collect new testimonials and create an even better sales page.

Identify your number ONE source of income. Do the work. Make more money.

If you’re ready to work on your business and you need support, feel free to reach out anytime to support@slatersuccesscoaching.com

Scared to be alone with them?

Welcome to the month of love! My life is full of things I love. My husband, my children, my family, my friends, my clients and colleagues.

And of course, my business. And along with that, the numbers in my business. When you give more love, you receive more love. And taking the time to get along with my numbers opens up the opportunity for a lot more of it to come my way. I invite you to try it.

If you aren’t in love with your numbers yet, if you’re still a little scared to be alone with them, try these icebreakers to get started on a path to love:

1) Simply, write down on a piece of paper, a financial goal at the beginning of the month. Let’s say it’s $3,000. Support that goal with your actions. Anytime you make money, write down the amount on that sheet and celebrate your way to the goal. Money becomes fun this way.

2) Look at your overhead, bills, invoices, upcoming events. Knowing your numbers is empowering and gives you the knowledge to make decisions for growth. If you have a huge tax bill due on your house in a certain month, it might not be the best time to plan a pleasure trip or invest in a new training. If three months out of the year, you don’t pay car insurance, use the extra money to invest in your business by attending a conference you know will net a great ROI or put more money into advertising. When you truly know and understand your finances, they become easier to manage.

If you’re struggling to find love surrounding your numbers, let’s chat. You can always reach out to me at support@slatersuccesscoaching.com. Or head on over to the SSC FB or LinkedIn page and send me a note there.

It’s Your Responsibility

Some things are best left to the experts…

A gourmet meal prepared by an experienced chef.

A fashion shoot styled by a professional stylist.

A living room designed by an interior decorator.

If you aren’t a chef there isn’t much worry if you never learn how to cook. Same with the other scenarios. These are specific jobs, talents and skills.

The one area you MUST understand, the one thing you NEED to know, the one responsibility you better take on, no matter what kind of business you run is your NUMBERS.

I talk a lot about money. You’ve heard me say, “It’s only money.” It’s a tool, an energy source, to get you to that ultimate desire or goal. It’s what you need to make it happen. And if you aren’t immersed in those numbers every week, you are in very, big trouble.

Every Monday is money Monday for me. I come into the office early to look at finances. And yes, I do have experts around me (accountants, etc) that help me understand and analyze, but I have made it a point to know everything that is happening in my business with respect to finances. And you should, too. I learned early on from my father to take out a piece of paper and run the numbers. Whether my business was small or whether it was well over a million dollars in sales annually, I could, and I do, take out one piece of paper and run my numbers. I understand where my business is financially.  

I’ve spoken to many women business owners who don’t handle their own money. They let their husbands, partners, professionals handle it. Because for some reason men and money seems like the right thing. I’ve heard excuses like, “he’s better at math,” or “he handles our household finances, so I figured it made sense.” There is of course also, “my bookkeeper or accountant handles it, I will check with them.”

Or, they pass it off to a VA or other support team member to handle and before they know it, they have distanced themselves from one of the major components of their business.

Listen, there is no problem asking for help. You should. But you need to be as involved in your financial processes as possible. Know your pricing, your expenses, know what you pay your team, know who owes money and who is paid in full.

If I’m on a call with someone, and they mention they are sorry they are late on this month’s payment and how much do they owe again, and I have no clue, how does that make me look? Like a very disinterested and out-of-touch owner.

You don’t need to be the one at the bank or online paying the bills, but you better know exactly what is happening with the people who are. It’s your responsibility.

Tell me on the SSC Facebook or LinkedIn page how you’ll commit to financial education this week?

We can’t accept this any longer

Women. We’ve been in the news and on the news a lot lately. There’s so much going on in the world and no matter your political views, one thing is certain…we all should be treated equally in the workplace.

Think about your own life.

Have you accepted a position at a lower pay grade than you expected because you feared confrontation?

Have you taken on a client at a lesser rate because you didn’t want to negotiate?

Have you decreased your prices because you weren’t confident in your value and worth?

We earn less and we accept it. And that has to stop. It has been said that women entrepreneurs even pay themselves less than male entrepreneurs. It is time to step up and charge our value, pay ourselves our worth and negotiate jobs at what we deserve.

Confidence is usually the factor holding us back. We have a little voice inside of us that tells us not to be dramatic or not to take things too personally. We need to tune that voice out and instead start using our real voice and be heard.

As women, we are natural nurturers, which sometimes leads to us giving more than expected and not stepping up and asking for what we are worth.

We own our responsibilities.

Our work ethic is strong.

Our dedication to what we do is fierce.

We control our own destiny.

As we stand up individually, we will be standing up together. Understand and ask for your value. You are worth it.

If you’re struggling with value or finding your way as you navigate changes in your business, reach out to me at support@slatersuccesscoaching.com. Let’s have a conversation and talk about it.

Head on over to the SSC Facebook or LinkedIn page and tell me something you commit to doing in 2017 to stand up and get paid!