The Surefire Way to Choose Your Niche and Specialty

A super-important factor in attracting more clients is to choose your niche and specialty carefully. Your niche or target audience is actually the people you want to work with; people who will pay you directly for your services, their sponsors, or people who influence those who’ll pay you. Your specialty is the specialized service or value that you promise to deliver to them. Lots of self-employed people and professionals have a difficult time choosing a niche/specialty and I’ve covered the importance of this in my previous posts. It all boils down to this simple concept: as Grant Leboff says, “Which would you rather be, a small fish in a big pond or a big fish in a small pond?” Anyway, in this post, I’d like to give you a step-by-step approach and a surefire way to choose your niche and specialty. Pinpoint Your Niche Write down your wish list. Think of all the different audiences that you wish to reach out to. Against common wisdom, don’t try to hold the brakes here. Think of … [Read more...]

The Perfect Way to Break Down Your Business Goals into a Plan

Some of my clients sometimes complain that they have clear long-term goals, but although they’re exhilarated by their vision, they’re lost as to what the necessary steps are to get there and how they should go about taking action on them. In this blog, I’m going to talk about how you can break down your goals into a plan by “reverse engineering your goals”. Just a quick note What I’ll be focusing on in this post is the skill of how to break down your goals into actionable items by reverse engineering them. However, I’d like to mention that your inaction regarding your goals might also be due to other common factors such as the following: You doubt your ability to succeed because there’s a voice in your head that says, “You’re not good enough”. To learn about your inner critic and how to deal with it, I highly recommend this video by Rick Carson. You think because you’ve failed frequently in the past, you won’t succeed this time, either. You have a limiting belief that the … [Read more...]

How Strategic Relationships Can Make or Break Your Career – Part Two

In part one of this blog series, we interviewed Dr. Kathy Kram, formerly OB Professor in the MBA program at Boston University, and well know expert on mentoring and strategic relationships. Kathy and her colleague, Dr. Wendy Murphy of Babson College, recently released their book, Strategic Relationships at Work which highlights practical insights for creating and maintaining strategic relationships. In part two of this series, we’ll look deeper into Dr. Kram’s advice on how to find these relationships and to ensure that you maintain a robust constellation of career advisors/mentors. The Top 3 Must-Haves Before we dive in, it’s important to understand the key traits needed to pursue and maintain strategic relationships for your career. Dr. Kram notes three important skills, which include: Self Awareness: Knowing what you need, what you’re seeking and what you bring to the table. Relationship Skills: Ability to initiate a conversation, ask good questions and provide positive … [Read more...]

4 Ways to Practice Your Brand Presence

1. Stand tall- No matter if you’re over 6 feet or barely 5, your posture speaks to how confident you are and can affect how others perceive you. Watch out for slumping shoulders in meetings or at the computer. 2. Project your voice- Everyone deserves to be heard. Believe in what you have to say, stand by your POV (point of view), and don’t be afraid to speak up. If you feel strongly, don’t waffle. People respect a leader who takes a stand. 3. Pitch perfect- Do you have an impactful elevator pitch? When was the last time you practiced it?  Make sure your pitch is NOT your title. YOU are the pitch, so include what you do and why! As my friend Deb Dib says – “Make me care.” Use the moment to highlight your value and brand. 4. Be in control - Do you “keep your cool” when stressful things come your way? In the eye of the storm your reactions are noticed. If the leader shows fear – others can become fearful. If others see you calm – tension lessens. So set the tone, showing  you’re a … [Read more...]

Show Executive Presence in How You Deal with Critics

We all have them—critics I mean. They can be as close as the person across the breakfast table or as distant as an unknown source of a nasty “Tweet” on your Twitter account. You can’t control what critics say, but you can control your reactions! Maintain composure by considering how the criticism may just be an opportunity for your growth. Dwelling on the negative will only cause stress and doubt. Who needs that?! Leaders are always on stage, being watched by those they are influencing. What a great responsibility it is to choose to react positively! To decide to put forth the effort to be exceptional! To select the action most appropriate! So how do you handle criticism? Here are five ways to handle your critics: Listen with an open mind to what they’re saying. Having an open mind doesn’t mean you agree. It just means you hear the possibilities. Listen and look for opportunities for personal growth. A critic’s words may at the very least help you discover a different … [Read more...]