5 Ways to Take the High Road When Haters Attack Your Reputation

196658877_71731581f9_z

Today is the last day to get two FREE coaching sessions when you buy my Exposure class or join my coaching program. Details here.

As an entrepreneur, you work hard to build a reputation of integrity and trust. You understand that people do business with someone they know, like and trust, so you make it your goal to do business in that way. You keep your promises and you over-deliver with your products and services.

Life would be good if you could continue operating your business with no issues, but that’s not a reality. Attacks on your business and reputation are bound to happen, especially as you grow. Jealousy, envy, and other emotions can enter people’s mind and cause them to want to damage your business and attack your reputation.

Left unchecked, your customers could start believing what’s not true. I know this because I’m facing this very situation in my business. Over the last five years, I’ve openly and honestly built a successful lifestyle business. Despite my desire to serve, a few bad apples are determined to cloud the message. For a while, I thought I would stay quiet and let my reputation speak for itself. It’s taken some time to realize that’s not enough and not proactive. Here are five ways we, as entrepreneurs, can handle an attack on what we’ve built.

1. Don’t get into the mud with those attacking you.
It’s natural to want to fire right back at your attackers but it looks bad and it doesn’t solve anything. You get angrier and come off looking less professional. You don’t want to stay quiet, but you don’t want to let your emotions react for you. Ignore what they are saying and let your character and commitment to helping people do the talking for you. Actions speak louder than words.

2. Assure your loyal customers that business will continue as usual.
Customers fear a situation like this will lead to you being less productive, or worse, you closing your business. Let your customers know that you’re in business for the long haul and can weather any storm. Let them know they will still get the same or an even higher level of service from you. Difficult situations are what separate those who aren’t committed–don’t let that be you. (more…)

The Top Five Large Publications You Should Target and Why

7778603540_5d6d122f7b_z

This is one of the most asked questions that comes through my inbox. You see value in writing for large media publications, but you also want to maximize your efforts. There are a number of publications that you could choose but a handful will give you 80% of the results with 20% of your effort.

I called these publications “core” with my coaching clients and we start by targeting them. Writing for large publications is a great way, in general, to reach an untapped and always changing audience. You can grow an email list, get booked to speak, leverage your status for paid consulting at companies and far more. I picked these publications because they give you the best opportunity to do all of those things.

The Huffington Post

The Huffington Post gets 218 million unique visitors a month—that is reason enough to write for them. In addition to the traffic, they have a name that 99% of people will recognize. If want to leverage a name for speaking or consulting, the HuffPost is that name. They can help you build your lifestyle business, sell books (you get a book widget), build your email list, and much more. Targeting them will be worth your time because you can also leverage the name to get into the other publications.

Success.com 

SUCCESS is a pillar in the personal development industry. When you think of a solid publication with good content, you think of SUCCESS. The good content they consistently put out has led to a HUGE audience and they are responsive. This publication can help you build your list and build your business. It’s also a name that translates beyond the online space. SUCCESS has a paid platform that companies know and use, so when you approach them as a contributor for SUCCESS, you will get their attention. 

Entreprenuer.com

Writing for Entrepreneur has led to all of the speaking and consulting work that I’ve done over the last two years. Business owners, HR people, and entrepreneurs read this publication religiously. You will get tons of organic leads in your lifestyle business while writing for one of the most respected websites in the world.  (more…)

5 Ways to Leverage Large Publication Exposure

9969919584_d3e4624f4e_z

If you have followed me for any amount of time, you know I’m a fan of leveraging large publication exposure. In the last two years, writing for some of the largest websites in the world has allowed my business to grow faster than I can handle. It’s opened doors to new opportunities and chances to live out my dream in a bigger way.

What I like so much about this strategy is that you can do it, too. You don’t have to be some super established expert to write an article that gets you accepted as a regular contributor. If you have followed me for any amount of time, you have seen the tips I’ve given on my blog and on various podcasts. Here are five ways you can leverage large publication exposure.

1. Building your email list. 

To build a successful lifestyle business, you have to sell some of your knowledge. The people on your email list are the ones who are most likely to buy what you’re selling. Your fans or followers on social media belong to those social media platforms. If they decide to change things, you are left picking up the pieces if you have built your following there. If someone is on your email list, they will see the messages you send out more than they’ll see them on social media. Large publications give you access to literally million’s of people and some of them will click back and sign up for your email list.

2. Getting your message out to a wider audience.

As I mentioned in the previous point, you get exposure to millions on some of these websites. If the money or opportunities aren’t your primary motivator, then getting exposure for your message is possible in a bigger way. You can spread of a message of hope to people who really need it through large publications.

3. Booking paid speaking.

When it comes to paid speaking, the money is not at the events we know and probably attend every year. There is some money in conferences in the ‘online space,’ but that’s probably just for the keynoters. Most of the money in paid speaking comes from events and industries you have probably never heard of. Those kinds of conferences are looking for speakers with social proof they can leverage. Saying you are a contributor to the largest websites in the world is a draw for their audience. Leverage any exposure you have to book paid speaking gigs all over the world.  (more…)

4 Things Every Large Publication Editor is Looking for in a Pitch

6805992051_0ff592c043_z

I am a contributing writer for some of the largest websites in the world. Additionally, my words have appeared in places such as Fox News, NBC News, Yahoo, Time, and many other prestigious outlets. I also edit at the Good Men Project. When it comes to exposure in large publications, I know a little bit about this stuff.

Getting exposure in mainstream publications has made all the difference in my business over the last couple of years—I wrote about that last post. It’s exposed what I do to a completely untapped audience. I know that there are many who read my blog that would love to contribute to some of these sites. Here’s what the editors at these sites are looking for.

1. A content producer who produces content regularly.

When an editor visits your website, they want to see someone who regularly puts out good content. I can’t tell you how many websites I’ve checked out of people who were pitching me that hadn’t posted on their own site in ages. Editors don’t want to bring on one-hit wonders. They want people who would be willing to contribute content regularly to the publication—someone who doesn’t do it on their own website is a red flag to an editor. Before you pitch any publication, make sure you are actively putting out content and have been doing so for at least a few months. 

2. Someone who knows what they are talking about.

An editor wants to see you are producing content on topics you have some knowledge of. If you are writing about building an online business but haven’t built one that supports you, it doesn’t connect. An editor will look at what you’ve put out on your site, and look at what you put out in other places, to make sure you have some knowledge of your topic. Research can be your best friend in becoming knowledgeable about a topic you’re passionate about.  (more…)

The One Change That Led to Success in My Lifestyle Business

6254342252_a0bf581e3d_z

Today is the last day to register for Book Paid Consulting 101

2011 was a rough year. It was the year that I woke up and decided to chase my dream, but I had no clue what I was doing. I tried to research but all the information online just overwhelmed me. I listened to the advice and tried seven different ways to make money in my lifestyle business with limited success.

2012 and 2013 were building years. I made some progress and even enough money to leave my bread delivery job. But, the real breakthrough in my lifestyle business came in 2015. That was the year I stopped trying to chase the online audience and went after the mainstream audience.

Go Mainstream

I know a lot of people who have been building a lifestyle business for years but haven’t made the progress they’ve wanted to make. I know people who have tried everything but the money never seems to come. Almost every time, the reason can be traced to a lack of audience or the lack of a non-crossover audience.

Think about this. In the online space–the space where there are influencers, income reports and a lot of the same kinds of conferences–there is a ton of crossover. The same people listen to the same podcasts; they attend the same conferences and read the same blogs. When it’s time for this audience to spend a little money, they usually buy a program or services from someone at the top.

Going after a mainstream audience puts you in a completely different space. 218 million people read the Huffington Post every month. Spend a minute and think about that number. There isn’t mush crossover in that audience. It’s the same for all the largest websites in the world. Writing for large media publications, consulting at companies, speaking at mainstream conferences are a few ways to go after a mainstream audience.

In 2015, I stopped chasing the crossover and went after a fairly untapped audience. It made all the difference in my business. My business exploded so much it caused me to enter a funk with all the interactions. I have also gotten bigger and more interesting opportunities by focusing on a mainstream audience. (more…)

The Secret of Million-Dollar Brands Is Their Cult-Like Following

12814380_965544623530975_6361583332365559564_nIf you want to consult for one of these companies that has built loyal fans, check out my brand new class:”Booking Paid Consulting 101.” 

When you think about some of the world’s greatest brands and most successful entrepreneurs, they all have one thing in common — a cult-like following. When Apple releases a new iPhone, there are people lined up for days outside of Apple stores all over the world. When Malcolm Gladwell releases a new book, it’s all but guaranteed to be a New YorkTimes bestseller. When Warren Buffet invests or buys a company, there’s a large group of investors who follow suit.

We live in the Information Age. Today, three billion people log onto the Internet every day. We live in a time of unparalleled access to knowledge and opportunity. There’s has never been a better time to build a million dollar brand that attracts some of those three billion people.

Successful brands have a loyal and cult-like following, and it’s not an accident how they reached the position they are currently in. There were six ways they built their brand and principles they continue to use despite reaching incredible levels of success in their lives and businesses. You can use these principles to build your brand, and that, in turn, will build your business.

1. Never stop connecting personally.

One of the issues that arise when you achieve success is having enough time. You have responsibilities that need to be taken care of while having to maintain your business and its growth. Successful brands are one where the customer feels that personal connection.

Despite having grown a highly popular and cult-like brand, Gray Vaynerchuk continues to connect with his clients/followers on a personal level. That personal connection is what fuels his fans to tell others about Gary. Word of mouth marketing is still a powerful way to grow a business. Don’t lose sight of where you started and who helped you get to where you are. You can’t connect with everyone, but you can do your best to stay in touch with your community.

2. Don’t copy influencers.

One of the most common ways to create success is to model it. Modeling, however, is NOT the same as copying. There’s a temptation to look at the leaders in your industry and try to copy what they’re doing. Consumers buy from someone they know, like, and trust. They can never start the buying process in their mind if they never get to know the real you. You’ll never create a million dollar brand if it’s the clone of someone else’s.

3. Over deliver on your promises.

People recognize and respect a brand that’s real. There’s no shortage of self-proclaimed “experts” that make promises but don’t deliver. Million dollar brands start with an entrepreneur who does what they say and works hard to fulfill their obligations. Don’t make promises just to impress—make promises that you’ll do everything in your power to make a reality. (more…)

One Way to Get Paid More as a Public Speaker

3100527405_fa661d249c_z

I can clearly remember the thrill of getting my first check from speaking at a conference. The check wasn’t much, but I LOVED being paid to travel and speak. I wasn’t very good during that first talk, but it sparked a desire to travel and speak on topics that I was passionate about.

I’ve come a long way since that first check. In 2012, I spoke 36 times and all over the world. I made $22,000 (roughly) in speaking income. In 2013, I spoke 12 times but made more income. In 2014, I didn’t speak at all because we moved from Wisconsin to Maui, Hawaii. In 2015, I spoke 16 times but made more money than all the other years combined.

2015 was a breakthrough year in my business and an epiphany in my speaking career. Most of the speaking I did in 2015 is an opportunity that too many speakers either don’t know about or neglect to try. What changed in 2015, and an opportunity for you to make more money as a speaker, is paid consulting at companies.

What is Paid Consulting?

Business Insider estimates that companies paid outside consultants $39.3 billion dollars in 2014. I don’t know what the figures are for conferences, but that’s a lot of money. Paid consulting isn’t as glamorous as speaking to 1,000 people at a conference, but you can get more in-depth and make a couple of bucks.

Paid consulting is where you train at a company on a topic you have some knowledge of. You don’t have to be some kind of “established” expert to get booked at a company. You have to identify a problem within a company that you can solve. I have coaching clients that consult companies on mindset training for their employees, engineering, sales, social media, marketing, leadership and more. These companies range from being a single owner to large corporations.

The Difference

There are many conferences happening all over the world every day. Some of these conferences pay speakers—a lot of them do not (maybe the keynoters). Not every company brings in outside consultants to train, but more than you think can and will. These companies have budgets within a certain department, or as a company, to pay for training. There is more money to be made at companies versus conferences. (more…)

3 Things You Can Do Today That Will Make Your Life Better

15862497468_519e67d7fe_z

You wake up and your eyes open to what is your reality. For most, getting up will mean getting ready for some type of work situation. If it’s a job that doesn’t fulfill you, the mornings are hard. You wake up determined to have a good day and stay happy despite the challenges you know you’ll face.

Maybe it works out and you do have a good day—maybe it doesn’t. How well your day and life are isn’t determined solely by your choices each day. There’s a bigger foundation that has to be in place to live a happy life. There are three things you can start working on today to consistently live a life you love and one that makes you happy.

1. Start working on becoming the best version of yourself.

We thrive when we are the best version of ourselves physically, mentally, and emotionally. The physical can be regular exercise, yoga, or other types of ways to get your body into peak performance. The physical helps you reduce stress, focus and creates discipline in your life. The mental are things you’re probably already doing. This involves reading good books, watching videos that instruct and inspire, and listening to podcasts that nourish your mind.

The emotional involves prayer, meditation, or other ways of connecting with something greater than yourself. The point is to work on becoming strong in the major areas of your life, and that will lead to confidence, which is an important part of happiness. If you haven’t already, start working on becoming the best person you can be and only you know that means specifically in your life.

2. Get honest about the relationships in your life.

Your relationships have an effect on every area of your life. It may be romantic, friendships, family, or more. If the relationships are bad, they will sour your attitude and mindset. If they are good, they can help you grow as a person. I won’t give you all the quotes talking about how your relationships affect you—it’s something you already know. (more…)

5 Wrongheaded Attitudes Stunting Your Growth as an Entrepreneur

4982042173_01776289d0_z

There are many different components that need to come together to create a successful business. You, as an entrepreneur, are a huge part of what creates the success in your business. Your personal habits and struggles can either cause your business to flourish or have it end up becoming another statistic.

Each of us will always deal with struggles in our lives, but there are five common struggles you can overcome to become a better entrepreneur. It won’t happen overnight, but with awareness and a willingness to do the hard work; you can stop giving into the struggles that keep your business from explosive growth.

1. Constantly reacting with emotion.
It’s natural to want to react in the moment, but it’s rarely smart. There are some decisions you should make based on more than just the facts—like certain moral choices you personal want to make. But, a majority of business decisions should be based on research and facts.

When you are faced with a situation where you feel your blood rising, stop. Close your eyes and start breathing deeply. The American Institute of Stress says that breathing deeply helps reduce your blood pressure, helps you calm down, and relaxes your muscles. Successful entrepreneurs have learned to be the master of their emotions. They learn to absorb the situation and then react rationally.

2. Unwillingness to admit when you’re wrong.
None of us ever want to be wrong, but that’s impossible in life. There are many times when we make the wrong decision in our business—how we react will determine whether or not there will be a successful outcome. When you let pride come before growth, your business suffers because you’ve clouded your clarity. When you’ve picked the wrong strategy or trusted the wrong person, admit it and move forward. Don’t dwell on the mistake. Learn from it and come back stronger and smarter.

3. Dismissing sensible advice.
There is a lot of bad advice that you receive as an entrepreneur. There is also good advice that may not be right for you. However, there is some advice that could help your business grow. You could be dismissing this advice for a number of reasons. It may be pride; it may be that you have a hard time accepting help from others—you’re battling the “do-it-all” syndrome. Whatever the reason is, you are missing out on an opportunity to learn from someone who has done what you’re trying to do. It’s a bad move if the advice can help you. Kick pride to the curb and evaluate the advice. Get honest about whether it can help you. (more…)

5 Strategies That Build a Successful Lifestyle Business

6202790731_8740833c04_z

I used to hate the term “lifestyle business” because in my mind I automatically started seeing all those spammy Facebook ads talking about the “laptop style.” I’ve come to see that lifestyle business is much more than the ads. It’s a business you create around the kind of lifestyle you want to live. It’s about creating freedom to spend your time the way you to want to spend it.

I know there are many who read my blog, and many people I know in general, that want to build this kind of a business and lifestyle. We all know what it takes yet many give up before they make any real progress or money. It took me years before I made real money with this lifestyle business. I know the frustration that comes when you put in all the effort but don’t get much return. Here are five strategies that work.

1. Start by realizing what’s possible.

I hate to write about mindset because it’s one of those topics you hear about a lot. But, the reality is that if you don’t believe it’s possible in your life, you won’t do anything about it. You have to realize that you can build a lifestyle business around a topic you’re passionate about. Many have done it, but more than that, you have it takes inside of you. You are strong and powerful and can do anything that you set your mind to. Get that belief firmly ingrained in your mind if this is going to become your reality. You can’t move forward without a firm belief in what’s possible to those who take action.

2. Get your messaging crystal clear.

The reason many don’t make money with a lifestyle business is because visitors don’t understand the tangible benefit of what is offered on the site. There’s a whole movement that talks about the “need to niche.” The problem is that the niching has gone too far. When someone can’t understand what they will get when they spend money with you, they won’t spend money with you. When someone visits your website, make it crystal clear how and in what way you can help them. You have about 7 to 37 seconds to make that first impression. Don’t niche so much that people think there’s no tangible benefit in what you offer.

3. Stop letting information overload win. 

There’s a lot of information out there and it overwhelms many. You don’t know what you should do or who’s advice you should listen to. Everyone seems to have the new and must use strategy. You see six-figure monthly income reports and you’re tempted to follow that person’s advice. To build a successful lifestyle business, you need a strong filter for the advice you follow. You need to learn from those who are just a head of you. There is wisdom in the knowledge from the A-Listers, but realize you will have to pay to play on that level. Follow the advice that will help you next steps and ignore the rest until it’s time. (more…)