Monday, December 23, 2013

Time For Some Self Care

Activities are starting to wind up for That Time Of Year. The end of the year sets the signal for shopping, and  thoughts of holidays and presents and eating too much, sitting too much, and indulging in activities that may take the rest of the next year from which to recover.  Too much money spent on stuff that has little value, too much food and drink. Too much added to the credit card.

Of course not everyone has the same need to do the social thing. Many are alone at this time of year and that family that was so big just a few years ago can be shrinking in ways that you never imagined might happen. Parents die, family members move - or we do. Relationships finish. Children leave home and move away. And suddenly that large circle of relatives and people you don't see any other time of the year, has contracted and become quite small, or evaporated completely.

So what do you do when you're not surrounded by hordes of family and friends during these times? Consider how you might use this time to reflect on the year that's gone and review how that's been for you.

Where have you been successful at what you set out to achieve?
Where did your results not get where you wanted them to be?
Map out where a change in methods might have made the difference.

Self Care - Nurturing. 

We often think in terms of how to help others. How to do something nice for others. Now is the time to think about doing something nice for you.

Go easy on the alcohol. An alcohol induced fog doesn't improve anything. Make the holidays a time of conscious relaxation. Spend the time practicing mindfulness.

Review your appearance.  

Try a new 'look'!  Is it time for a change from that haircut that you've had for so long? What do you need to improve your appearance and feel more confident? Is it time to lift your game when it comes to personal grooming?  This can be a time to attend to those personal appearance issues that you have been too busy to get to through the year. Book in for a good cut, or a wax and polish. Get rid of those stray hairs that have sprouted in places no hair should grow. Have a day at the spa or book in for a massage and some pampering that you've never done before.

Book an appointment with a stylist and have your colours done so that you are buying the shades that work best for you. Learn how to dress to be noticed for your classic look that makes the most of your style. This can increase your feeling of confidence and be good for your career too! And definitely will help with dating.

Clean out your closet and pitch out those clothes you are keeping for 'just one more wear'. Ditch everything that doesn't fit, whether it is too small or too big, if it doesn't fit you now, get rid of it. Donate it if it is in good repair, or just toss it out. Those things that have been hanging in your wardrobe since 1990 - it's time to go.  Old shoes that you never wear because they pinch your feet, those belts that are in shocking colours or don't fit any more get rid of those too. Old handbags or briefcases that have seen better days, out.

Look classy! Now you have made some room, think about some basic classic pieces that will improve your wardrobe and  help you look your best. Pick pieces that will stay in fashion long after the latest fad is over.  Replace old underwear, odd socks and stock up on new socks or hosiery so you're not running out at the wrong time.  Take any shoes that need mending or polishing and have them put in order.


Review your goals. What do you want to happen in the year ahead? Start writing them down and exploring some wishes that you've had but never committed to achieving. You can find more here to help with beliefs and goals.

Watch some movies you've missed. This is your time to pamper yourself so settle back and catch up on some movies you wanted to see but didn't get around to, or revisit some old favourites.

Read something you love. If you have that pile of books in your home that you've been meaning to read sometime, now is your chance. Find something to suit your mood and just waste as much time as you like doing nothing more than reading or playing at a hobby you've let go.

Make some phone calls. Yes the telephone still works for talking and this is a good time for you to make some calls and reconnect with people you have not spoken to for a long time. Let them know you are still alive and are interested in their life.

Learn to cook. Too many people fall into relationships because they don't know how to look after themselves.  This is especially true for men. That's a terrible reason to be in a relationship so make it your business to start cooking for yourself. If the thought of that scares you because you don't know how, then make a list of the things you would like to eat and then you can track down the way to do it. There are many great tutorial videos and websites now to learn just about anything you could imagine, so there is no excuse for being limited in this way.  Good eating is at the heart of your good health and self-nurturing means looking after your body.

Start a physical exercise program. This might be just to start walking, or riding your bicycle or going to the gym. Pick something that you can do easily and without a bunch of equipment to buy or other obstacles that can become excuses for not doing it, and pick an activity that you will be able to continue for the whole year. Make that a priority and dedicate some time each day for this activity, even if it is just 20 minutes a day.

Go for a hike. Take the camera and do a photo-walk of where you go. Be that a hiking trail, or a trip to a city that you see every day but have never looked at with a tourist's eye. Discover new sights in old places. Or visit a new place and photograph the images that makes it unique.

Here's The Sneaky Bit

You don't even have to wait until the holiday season. You can do this any time. Pick a weekend. Pick  two weekends a year  to mark on your calendar and make it your special time for you.

Related Life Coaching Articles 

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Why You Need To Build Your Mailing List And How To Do It

How To Get Your Local Business Found Online

Are you lousy at self promotion too? 

Like to discuss your business?
 Lindy Asimus 
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Thursday, December 19, 2013

Unconscious Strategies You Didn't Know You Had And How To Make Them Work For You

"I don't use a strategy in my personal life. I don't have any plans."

That's what most of us probably see as a true statement.

In fact it is probably not true at all. We are creatures of habit and that habitual behaviour, if you were to study it would reveal patterns that repeat over and over.

How we buy things, is a great example of our unconscious patterns of strategy at work. What is really interesting is that companies are now using technology and neuromarketing techniques to track our spending patterns across the web and use this to sell us more junk. Yet we are largely unaware still, of our own patterns. There is something that strikes me as wrong with that arrangement.

An unconscious strategy is an internal process around an action that we take. It may start with an action to be taken, incorporate a feeling that we have about that and the action that we take next will pass through a series of filters that will affect when we do it (now or procrastinate), what we feel about doing it, what other actions we need to take on the way to doing it and the order in which we do these things. For example if you are leaving the house, it makes sense to check that you have your keys in your hand before you pull the door shut - and not after.

An example of an unconscious strategy might be the one we use for buying things. Buying strategy for a big item like a car might look something like this:

For others, they have a different set of conditions as their criterion that must be met before they will buy.

Sometimes the strategy that we use already for certain things works perfectly. Other times we may be using strategies that are not helping us and may be causing us problems and getting us results that are not working for us very well at all and giving us results that we don't want.

Knowing that these strategies exist mean that we have options now, to review and revise and even borrow strategies from others who are really good at doing those things that we are not so good at.

And that's a fantastic strategy!

Related articles on Goals

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Wednesday, December 18, 2013

How Your Business Just Became An Online Publisher And Why It Is A Productivity Issue

Like It Or Not - Your Business Is Now In Publishing.  

The channel you create to engage with people who can be your customer is the new face of what circulation numbers once were for the newspapers.

Content is King on search engines and now you can add to that Context. Well, it should always have been part of the equation, but now it is official.

 “Without relevant content, how will our customers trust that we know how to solve their issues?  They won’t and we know that.  As marketers, we must facilitate discussions that add value and build trust over time.”  Dominic Pontrelli, Sr. VP of Marketing at Ricoh America

Kevin Jorgensen describes Context in marketing in this way -

“Context marketing is a set of best practices designed to amplify the value of your content to your prospects and customers. More specifically it’s about using known qualities of your prospect to either present your content in a frame of reference so that its presence makes it natural, noteworthy and useful or to juxtapose your content so that it creates dissonance." 

Cognitive dissonance is that feeling you get when you see something that is 'just not right' with the picture in front of you.

So what does this mean to you in your business? Well it means that you cannot think that your advertising and pushing promotions is the way to use social media and promote your business to customers any more.

It means you need some things you may have but never used before. Here are just some of the new jobs that need to be happening in your business...

Identifying and understanding of your ideal customer demographic and psychographic profile.  It might seem that we know all we need to know about customers but the reality is there is rarely a business that has objectively analyzed their customers to determine their characteristics in detail.

Stories. You need stories and a way to tell your stories in a way that prospective customers will find valuable.

Honesty. Your customers don’t want to be lied to and they can find out very fast if you have misled them and treated them like mugs.  Don’t be That Guy.

A Publishing Space.  You want to get your message out then you need to build a following of people who are prepared to receive information from you and your business.  Search can help people find your products but your publishing will help them to find you.  Those who find you, you want to be able to continue to engage with and have them return to you and be open to your information over time. Building your following is a new job to be done.

Content. Creating packages of your stories and information means getting the stories out in different formats and different ways to gain attention and retention of your message.

Context. Tying your stories to real situations that your target prospects can easily relate to in their lives and that helps them join the dots from their problem to your solution.

Think of this as building your own personal channel to present to people who are or will be able to be your customer.  

This can become your business’s media hub and interface to engage and communicate with customers. So important is this that it could be the only interaction that you have with some customers who may choose to buy from you without ever meeting you in person.  It may be your source of new employees, new joint venture partners, new suppliers and new business partners, or even a buyer for your business as well as new customers. This could be your major source of new business in the years to come.

This can look like a lot of work that doesn’t relate to what your core business is about. 

If you are thinking that, you’re wrong. 

This is directly related to your core business and your ability to generate sales. Your ability to create your own channel through which you can be visible, credible and accessible as you engage with your customer segment is what will show your business to be relevant and important to those who will become your customers, and give confirmation to your existing customers that they made a good choice and your business is worth buying from. 

This is a business productivity issue. Your business needs to get this right. So you have to make it happen.

And there is no more time to waste.

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Thursday, December 12, 2013

Your Keywords Vs What Customers Look For Online

"Everyone says keywords on Google don't count any more, but I think they do." Said someone on a group I'm in this week.

They went on to give an explanation of how they had been comparing their site to that of others in their industry.

What was useful to me in this encounter was to see unfold the process that this person was gong through to work out how to make these key words work for him on his website but missing some basic understanding of how online search works in a practical way.

That is to say - what we think are our keywords to be using on our website, need to also match with the key words and phrases that someone searching for what we do in the location that we service, would use when they search.

Now it may be that the words that we think are so important and good - are not understood by others or don't connect with them in any way that might matter.

For example. Say you are an artist with a particular style of work. You are looking for work doing this commercially and want people to find you.

Now you might think that the name of your style of work is the critical factor. In reality, this is only the case if the person searching the internet knows that this is a style and already know that this is what they want.

In many cases, we start searching on the internet with only a vague idea what we are looking for and we are hoping to find ideas that will be a fit for what we want to do but we may not know exactly what it is that will be just the thing that we want. This is especially so in cases where your product is a small niche.  If it is small, you will be doubly challenged to get in front of your target audience and you will need to go where they are in some numbers.

Fine targeting of key category is fine - but what else can you do?

Get helpful.

Many people who could use what you do don't know.
If you want to make your products or service available to more people, help them identify themselves as a potential customer for you.

Give them a clue to finding you.


If your art specialty is related to custom images of people for example, think - where might this be fun for people to have you there?

I can think of a few off the top of my head.

Corporate clients and events
Retirement parties
Christmas parties
Birthday parties
Weddings, Showers and Engagement Parties
Fetes and markets

Now it may be that your art is just the thing that would make the event something special and allow for some great keepsakes for those attending. It's up to you to plant that seed or you will wait forever for them to think of it themselves.

I use the example of the artist but this applies no matter what niche you are working.

Do some research. Get some help from someone who is not in love with your favourite keywords and phrases.  Understand that making online work for you is not just about technical issues and what Google is doing. It is developing your insight into how your prospective customers think. If they think of what you do as being something other than you do - they are still right. And our real challenge is the same online or offline - that is -  learning to think like a customer.

Related articles on Goals

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