Archive for the ‘entrepreneurs’ Tag

Guest Blogging on Social Media with Parent Click Ventura

I was recently invited to write an article for this cool site, ParentClick.com, an online publisher with its finger on the pulse of local community events for families.  I love this site, which was started by a woman who saw a need.  A new mom who wanted to know what was going on in her community, Rachael Ross Steidl first launched sbparent.com, then went national with ParentClick.com two years later.  I love a good mompreneur success story, don’t you?

One of the editors asked me to write an article about guidelines for using social media in business and with kids.  Well, I tried and tried to make a reasonable, clever and seamless connection between the two, but after a few attempts (and far too many words for one article), I suggested I write two separate posts instead.

Here are links to the articles:

1.  Social Media:  More Than Fun and Games provides a look at how building relationships on social media channels is key to engage with your audience and promote your business. These are some basic tips aimed mainly at social media newbies, but always good reminders for the regular user.

2.  Social Media for Kids discusses general internet safety, as well as specific ideas about keeping your child safe on social media.including some situations I’ve encountered with my own daughter and her friends who is the first generation of kids to adopt social media as a regular part of their social scene..

One area I did not touch on in this article was the issue of cyberbullying, which is a serious problem deserving more than a point in a blog post.  I do emphasize in the article how essential it is to monitor your kid’s social media activity, which would make it possible to detect and hopefully intervene if cyberbullying occurs.

Monitoring and education are so important to keep everyone safe and enjoying the fun of social media.

I’d love to hear your thoughts about either article.  You can register at parentclick and comment there, or comment below.  Enjoy!

 

Gloria M. Miele, Ph.D. is a Business Development and Leadership Coach and Victory Circles facilitator in Southern California.  She is passionate about helping others discover and develop their strengths to achieve greater business success through coaching programs, workshops, staff training, executive coaching and keynote speaking.  Visit her website at www.optimaldevelopmentcoaching.com to sign up to receive helpful business development resources, including a free Business Plan Template. You can also connect with us at www.facebook.com/optimaldevelopmentcoaching.

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3 Quick Tips for Focus and Clarity

Did you catch me on Victory Circles Radio last week? Cheri and I celebrated the launch of her new book, Victory One Moment at a Time (see book review in last blog post).  What fun to be part of such a great accomplishment.  The book is a wonderful application of the Master Mind principles to business success.  

We also talked about “Priming Your Pump,” or increasing your focus.  I covered a few key points based in what we understand about the way the brain works.  Listen to the recording for the nuances and details.  In the meantime, here are three quick tips to help increase your focus right away.

1.  Minimize multitasking.  With all of our portable devices and demands on our attention, we have become masters at multitasking.  At least we think so.  Studies show that multitasking can decrease our mental efficiency from the IQ of a Harvard MBA to that of an 8-year-old!   Unless you’re doing something a little more automatic, like driving or knitting or cleaning house (ok, that may be automatic for someone), you are at your best when you do one thing at a time.

2.  Limit distractions (both outside and in).   You can turn off the ringer on the phone, shut down your email program, close the web browser and put a do not disturb sign on your door.  Those are the external distractions that you can control, which will help you concentrate more.  Just do it!

But sometimes those internal distractions can be just as disruptive.  Thoughts about weekend plans, your daughter’s recital, the dry cleaning, your bank account balance, or self-doubt about the quality of your next blog post can distract us from within.  Our thoughts come and go, but you can gain greater control and clarity through practices like mindfulness and meditation.  Don’t be scared – it just takes practice.

3.  Remember to Recharge.  Your energy is not limitless.  You have to take breaks, eat nutritious foods and get some exercise.  Switching up the types of activities you do – writing, planning, reading and analyzing, paperwork – will use different parts of your brain and give the other parts time to cool off.

How do you gain greater focus?  Keith Pillow of Caddy Marketing and Communications weighed in on our Facebook page, “Minimizing distractions, and operating in an environment that offers peace and serenity!”  Nice one, Keith.

Share your ideas below, and your approach may be featured in our next newsletter or blog post.

Gloria M. Miele, Ph.D. is a Business Development and Leadership Coach and Victory Circles facilitator in Southern California.  She is passionate about helping others discover and develop their strengths to achieve greater business success through coaching programs, workshops, staff training, executive coaching and keynote speaking.  Visit her website at www.optimaldevelopmentcoaching.com to sign up to receive helpful business development resources, including a free Business Plan Template. You can also connect with us at www.facebook.com/optimaldevelopmentcoaching.

Double Book Launch For Entrepreneurs

It’s a banner week when two of your go-to business resources launch their books within a few days of each other.  I’m so excited for these ladies and for you readers who can benefit from their expertise as well!  Both of these books are engaging, extremely helpful reads written for any entrepreneur.  Tea Silvestre (aka The Word Chef) wrote Attract and Feed a Hungry Crowd, a marketing book that doesn’t just give you the recipes but teaches you how to cook. Cheri Ruskus, business coach and founder of the Victory Circles, has published her inspirational guidebook for entrepreneurs, Victory One Moment at a Time.

Note:  These authors are two of my favorite people, both of them mentors, teachers and friends.  While the reviews below are accurate, I freely admit I am a little biased.

Tasty Tidbits from The Word Chef

I devoured Tea Silvestre’s new book, “Attract and Feed a Hungry Crowd: How Thinking Like a Chef Can Help You Build a Solid Business,” (available for Kindle and paperback) and savored all the tasty marketing tidbits she serves up in this satisfying read. Tea is a friend, mentor, teacher and constant source of inspiration and outstanding marketing resources, so I was not surprised that she delivered in her new book.

The Word Chef, Tea Silvestre, author of "Attract and Feed a Hungry Crowd."

Tea opens the book with a quote by Seth Godin: “The future belongs to chefs, not to cooks or bottle washers.” and you can see the influence, with clear, concise marketing advice founded in concepts like standing out from the crowd, differentiating yourself and building relationships (i.e., your tribe) . Cleverly framed in the cooking metaphor, Silvestre, also known as The Word Chef, is generous with tips and strategies for small business owners trying to stand out in a crowded marketplace. The icing on the cake is the sweet list of readings and resources at the end.

I highly recommend this book for entrepreneurs who need to work on their marketing and are trying to find and share the “secret sauce” that makes them and their product or service unique.  Do not miss the other delicacies at www.thewordchef.com.  You’ll come back for seconds.  Or thirds.

Business Moment by Moment

My last blog post was about Master Mind groups and the principles coined by Napoleon Hill nearly a century ago.  Cheri Ruskus’ new book, Victory One Moment at a Time, goes further in applying the Master Mind principles to business success and serves as a wonderful resource for entrepreneurs to tap into their passion and be fueled by inspiration. She gives the  Master Mind principles a modern refresh, applying them to the current challenges of entrepreneurship.

Cheri Ruskus, author of Victory One Moment at a Time.

Cheri describes each principle, then shares her Victory Letters, writings she’s been doing weekly for over 10 years. Cheri creates beautiful metaphors, relating concepts from life to business and back again. Thought provoking questions focus on the spirit, attitude and mindset that bring about success.  Eleven of the original Master Mind principles are included, like leadership, self-confidence, concentration and cooperation in building a business.

Cheri has worked long enough with entrepreneurs to know that one principle needed to be added:  that of Honoring Time.  As business owners, we know that time is money, and managing our time becomes a huge issue in managing our businesses.  She has great insights on this topic and more.

The book’s format, with a chapter for each principle, allows you to pick up the book and focus on the topic of greatest need or interest at this moment in time. Taking the time to master your business is essential, and this book can help you do just that.  You can learn more about the Victory Circles program and philosophy at www.victorycircles.com.

Happy reading!  And don’t forget to subscribe to the blog, as more on these books is forthcoming, including book giveaways for our readers.

 

Gloria M. Miele, Ph.D. is a Business Development and Leadership Coach and Victory Circles facilitator in Southern California.  She works with entrepreneurs and other business leaders to discover, develop and optimize their strengths to achieve greater business success. Visit her website at www.optimaldevelopmentcoaching.com to receive helpful business development resources, including a free Business Plan Template. You can also connect with her at www.facebook.com/optimaldevelopmentcoaching.

Two Heads (or 6 or 8) Are Better Than One for Your Business

You know that two heads are better than one, so imagine what it would be like if you had 6 or 8 other minds where you could draw wisdom, knowledge and experience.  I’m talking about the power that like-minded yet diverse people can have in helping you build your business.  As entrepreneurs, we can put our heads down and think we can do it all ourselves, sitting behind our desks and trying to work it out.  But the input of others can be so important to move ahead with an idea.

Napoleon Hill circa 1937

One way to get this input is through a Master Mind group.  It all started with Napoleon Hill in the early 20th century.  He was inspired by Andrew Carnegie, who built his successful steel business through strategic collaborations with others.  Hill’s books, Think and Grow Rich and The Law of Success outlined the mindset for being successful as well as the process of the Master Mind.  Hill interviewed the likes of Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, Charles Schwab and other business leaders of his day and found that they all had cooperative alliances with fellow business people (ok, they were all men at the time) that helped increase their energy, power and fortune.

Nearly 100 years later, the model stands the test of time.  Think of a Master Mind group as your personal board of directors – people with diverse backgrounds, strengths, and areas of expertise all focused on helping your business grow.

I became involved with Master Minding through Victory Circles, first as a participant, then a facilitator.  The program started as a stand-alone monthly group, based on Hill’s principles, such as self-confidence, leadership, concentration and establishing your definite chief aim.  We apply these to business development and provide accountability to each other with check ins and celebrations of our success.  

The program has now evolved into customized business development programs that incorporate business planning tools, templates, Master Mind groups and individual coaching to meet each entrepreneur’s needs.  Just last week, I held my first ever full day Quarterly Master Mind Intensive.  Part of the Victory Circles Acceleration Coaching program, the purpose of the intensive is to come up with an action plan for the different aspects of our businesses for the coming quarter.  People came in with questions and a lot of blank spots on the action calendars we provided ahead of time, but each of them left with a clear focus and concrete plans for marketing, sales, customer touch points, financial literacy and more for the next three months.  I was inspired by the quick cohesion of the group, the free sharing of information and resources, and how much we accomplished in a day.

If you’re thinking about joining or starting a Master Mind group, here are 6 things to consider:

  1. The Master Mind Principles.  Hill outlined 16 principles of success, some listed above.  Victory Circles focuses on 12 – 11 of Hill’s and one of our own: Honoring Time (so essential for entrepreneurs).  Decide if you want your Master Mind group to use them as a guide.
  2. Industry.   Some groups are industry-specific (e.g., realtors, coaches) and others intentionally comprised of diverse business owners.  Do you want greater focus on what you do or a more general approach that benefits from input of people outside your industry?
  3. Location.  Master Mind groups can take place in person or by phone.  In person groups are great for cohesion and that face to face contact, but many professionals are busy and prefer the benefits of phone, Skype, or a G+ hangout.
  4. Frequency.  I’ve always been involved in monthly Master Mind groups and now have started the quarterly group described above.  I’ve heard of people meeting weekly.  Perhaps a combination is best, and I’m experimenting with that now.
  5. Length. When my Master Mind group included lunch, we met for 2 hours.  The full-day Master Mind last week was incredibly powerful, and we ran for the full 6 hours!  If you’re meeting on a more regular basis, especially by phone, 60-90 minutes could be perfect. 
  6. How Many Heads??  We’ve had as many as 12 people in a Master Mind group and as few as 3, but I think 6-8 is perfect, allowing for individual sharing and a variety of perspectives to learn from.

Have you ever been in a Master Mind group?  What was your experience?  Please share your comments below.

Gloria M. Miele, Ph.D. is a Business Development and Leadership Coach and Victory Circles facilitator in Southern California.  She is passionate about helping others discover and develop their strengths to achieve greater business success. Visit her website at www.optimaldevelopmentcoaching.com to learn more about Master Mind groups and sign up to receive helpful business development resources, including a free Business Plan Template. You can also connect with us at www.facebook.com/optimaldevelopmentcoaching.

Leaping into 2011

Port Hueneme Beach with Channel Islands in the distance

Happy New Year!  For the second year in a row, our family has visited the beach on New Year’s Day.  We take a walk on the sand, appreciate the beauty around us on a 65-70 degree day in Southern California and ponder how fortunate we are and the possibilities that lie ahead as we start a new year in such a gorgeous place.

This year, I found two perfect sand dollars on the beach.  Since I was a child, I’ve always been delighted to find these rarities, especially when they are fully intact, as these were.  I interpreted this as a sure indicator of prosperity in 2011.

New Year's Sand Dollars

While signs and omens like that really get me going, I started thinking beyond the symbolic.  I am feeling optimistic about 2011, and it’s not because of sand dollars (not totally, anyway).   It’s really because of the work I’ve been doing to prepare for the year ahead. 

Toward the end of 2010, I took Laurie Taylor’s Destination Greatness program, which really got me focused on my budget, cash flow management, revenue groups and overall profit plan for my business.  It’s already made a difference in my bottom line.  I’ll meet Laurie in Colorado at the end of the month to be trained as a Destination Greatness facilitator and profitability coach through the Victory Circles program, so I can help others become more profitable in their businesses as well. 

Also, I was a speaker and a participant in the Victory Telesummit – Resource 2010 at the beginning of December.   The other speakers contributed so much with each valuable teleseminar, as well as the resource guide that I’ve been using as a planning tool for 2011.  I’m specifically focusing on sales, marketing and profitability, areas where I need to put a little more effort to make my business even more successful.  The resource guide and recordings are still available for purchase – could be a great way to make an early 2011 investment in your business development.   

Finally, as part of the plan, I decided to launch a new Victory Circle – this one by phone and for men and women entrepreneurs who want to build their businesses.  The launch will be on 1-11-11 – an auspicious day to start a new project.  I’m excited to bring the mastermind process to others in a convenient, interactive monthly teleseminar.  You can get more info here or register here

What are you doing to leap into 2011?  Would love to hear from you. 

Our daughter, leaping into the New Year!

 

 

 

 

 

Gloria M. Miele, Ph.D. is a business development and leadership coach, author, speaker and trainer who uses a strengths-based approach to help individuals, groups and organizations achieve their goals and realize their greatest success.  She also facilitates Victory Circles, mastermind groups for entrepreneurs.  To learn more and receive a free tool to optimize your strengths, visit her website and sign up for the newsletter at  www.optimaldevelopmentcoaching.com.

Cooperation at Work

For those who know me, you know I’m an extrovert (my Meyers-Briggs profile starts with an unambiguous E).  I love being with other people, I’m highly social and get energized by the company and input of others.  In the last 7 years or so, I’ve been working out of my comfort zone, telecommuting and working solo quite a bit.  While I’ve made adjustments and accomodations, it often takes more effort and is not my preferred working style.

So, this month’s Victory Circle Master Mind principle of Cooperation is near and dear to my heart.  I love working in teams, figuring out how everyone can work at his or her best and getting things done.  Being part of the Victory Circles is one way that I’ve met my needs for affiliation.  My Victory Circle is a wonderful, cooperative group of like-minded women who  meet monthly.  I also work closely with Cheri Ruskus, founder of the Victory Circles, and others who are also facilitators or collaborators.  It’s a real joy to be part of that cooperative team. 

But this morning, in the pre-dawn hours, I had a fantastic collaborative experience I must share.  I received a reminder this week about a 2-hour webinar that I am to develop and conduct for 50-60 people in the first week of November.  I knew it was approaching quickly (it’s been on the calendar since the spring) but felt confident that I had the materials at my disposal to put it together in short order.  Truthfully, a part of me was hoping it might get rescheduled or fall under the radar, but, I knew that would not really happen.  I was beginning to get a little concerned but wasn’t ready to devote the time to the project.

I’ve done a few of these webinars and work with Liz Buttrey, Training Coordinator at the EMMES Corporation in Rockville, MD.  We’ve been working together on various training projects for over five years, and she is helpful, skilled and fun.  With her reminder about the webinar, she also sent me a template she prepared for the slides with the outline already embedded. 

Well, that was just the kick-start I needed to get going.   I set about adding relevant slides to the outline and sent the updated presentation to her so we could review it this morning.  In 90 minutes working together, I went from  having no slides and good intentions yesterday afternoon to having 35 slides and a presentation that was about 80% complete by 8:30 this morning.  Thank you, Liz, for being a great cooperative partner!

For one reason or another, many of us hesitate to ask for help or reach out to our team.  Entrepreneurs, especially women entrepreneurs, can fall into a “I can do it all” frame of mind and may not have the supports they need to be most effective.  As you go about the tasks at hand, think about who your cooperative partners are and how to reach out to them.  Even if you’re not an extrovert like I am, you can achieve great things with the right team.

Featured Networker: Jodi Womack of Women’s Business Social

Do you know Jodi Womack?  If you’re a woman business owner who lives in Ojai or other parts of Ventura County, you very well might.  But her reach goes far beyond the county.  Not only is she an international speaker on networking and business development, she has created a women’s networking group, The Women’s Business Social (WBS), that has grown quickly in the last 18 months.  I spoke to Jodi in August, when she and her husband and business partner, Jason Womack (www.womackcompany.com), were  spending the month in Lake Tahoe, catching up on writing, business planning and some R&R. 

I asked why she started WBS in February 2009.  “I kept hearing doom and gloom about the economy and decided to bring women together to help figure it out.”  The momentum has been powerful.  The first meeting was 13 women; the second 45.  And the numbers continue to grow, as word has traveled, especially through social media, with over 100 women in attendance each month from Ventura County and beyond.  “Women have a hunger and desire to come together.”  The Women’s Business Social Facebook page has nearly 1100 “likes,” so there are many women who are interested.

When I attended the WBS in May, I was delighted to meet such a diverse and friendly group at the lovely Lavender Inn in Ojai, the location of the next WBS on Wednesday, September 15.  Women are invited to display and share promotional materials while mingling and networking in a relaxed, low-key environment.  Aside from a few words of welcome, there are no awkward introductions or speeches – just a fun, comfortable couple of hours to connect.

Earlier this year Jodi applied to be a speaker at the Women’s International Networking conference in Paris.  Over 50 WBS devotees wrote recommendations and letters of support, touting the benefits of WBS.  Her proposal was accepted, and she’ll be speaking at W.I.N. next month.  She’ll be discussing the WBS model and the impact of face-to-face networking for women’s business development.  “Networking is a skill we can practice and master,” she said.  “We’re smarter together.  It’s important to share what we’re doing so we all get better.” 

If you follow Jodi on social media, you know she spends a lot of time in coffee shops and typically finds a favorite that she’ll frequent wherever she goes (when she’s home, you can find her most mornings at the Ojai Coffee Roasting Company).  “I love the connections that happen in coffee shops.  It’s a way to build relationships that’s informal and authentic – coming together family style.”

Jodi continues to create quite a community – family style – by reaching out not only through social media but also at these in person events.  She’s done a great job bringing women together to support each other and their businesses when we need it the most.  Stay in the loop about future socials and Jodi’s other activities at www.facebook.com/nomorenylons.  You can also learn more about other women’s networking events in Ventura County by checking the VC Women’s Networking Connection calendar.

Gloria M. Miele, Ph.D. (www.OptimalDevelopmentCoaching.com), is a business development and leadership coach, speaker and trainer who uses a strengths-based approach to help individuals, groups and organizations achieve their goals and realize their greatest success.  She also runs mastermind groups for women entrepreneurs in Ventura County.  You can sign up for business building tips and updates on Ventura County women’s networking events at her web site, or connect with her on Facebook www.facebook.com/optimaldevelopmentcoaching.

Girl Power!!

Sorry guys, but I’ve got girl power on my mind.  Not only did I recently spend the weekend with 2,000 Girl Scouts at a huge camping outing (now THAT’s girl power!), earlier this year, I decided to focus part of my coaching practice on women’s business development and became a Victory Circles facilitator.  I started these mastermind groups in March, and it has been wonderful to work with a number of like-minded women entrepreneurs who are putting the time and effort into growing their businesses. 

In the process, I’ve been researching and attending women’s networking events to meet women who are most likely to benefit from the Victory Circles program.  I continue to be amazed, impressed and delighted by all the incredible resources and netowrking opportunities there are for women entrepreneurs and business owners who want to grow their businesses or just connect with others.   

What I love about meeting and working with women business owners is that we are so driven by our passions.  Whether it’s the environment or parenting, conventional or alternative healing practices, real estate or art or bringing out the best in others, women are making a living at what truly excites them, and that truly excites me! 

The groups I’ve attended range from small, intimate gatherings at a private home (e.g., Women Helping Women) to banquet-style events hosted by networking organizations (e.g., Ventura County Professional Women’s Network).  Below is a list of women’s networking groups in and around Ventura County that I’ve attended and enjoyed.   The key is to visit and find the ones you like best.  Also, our busy schedules cannot accommodate all events, so it’s nice to have choices – something for everyone.  Meetings are typically monthly unless otherwise indicated.   Check web sites for more information.  I’m also aware of Association of Women Entrepreneurs, The Heart Link Network and In the Know Resources, but have yet to attend these groups.  I have not forgotten Women’s Economic Ventures, an invaluable resource for women business owners, but calling it a networking group barely scratches the surface. I’ve also included information on Victory Circles, the business development mastermind groups for women that I am facilitating.   

If you have information to share on other women’s networking opportunities in Ventura County, please post those or other comments below. 

Hope to see you at an event soon. 

Victory Circles  2nd Wednesday, lunch Camarillo http://www.optimaldevelopmentcoaching.com/victorycircles.html
Ventura County Professional Women’s Network (VCPWN) 2nd Thursday, dinner Ventura http://www.vcpwn.org
Women’s Business Social Varies Ojai www.nomorenylons.com
National Association of Women’s Business Owners (NAWBO) 4th Thursday, dinner Thousand Oaks www.nawbovc.org
  4th Wednesday, breakfast Santa Barbara http://www.nawbo-sb.com/
Celebrating Women Varies Conejo Valley www.celebratingwomenevents.com
Women Helping Women Quarterly, 4th Thursday, dinner Thousand Oaks http://bit.ly/bLavO7
Women in Business 2nd Wednesday morning Westlake  www.kva4u.com
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