Have you ever had one of those I don’t want to “do people today” days?

 

Have you ever had one of those days when you just don’t want to “do people”

A day where you would be happy just curling up with a book or the remote control

Where you would be thrilled if you didn’t have to talk to anyone outside of possibly the food delivery person.

I was having one of those mornings last Saturday.

I had an event to go to where a lot of my friends would be

An event where I could relax and have fun doing activities that I enjoy

But I had to leave my house and “shudder” be around people.

After many small internal arguments…I managed to get in my car to drive to the event at 10:00am.

While I was there I kept saying I might be leaving soon

But I finally I realized I was having fun.

I realized I was having great conversations with old friends and new friends

And before I knew it I was having a such a good time that I lost track of time and ended up finally leaving around 11:00pm at night after having a great time

What does this have to do with business?

I was getting to that.

I’ve had similar experiences when it comes to projects that I needed to do.

You see I love what I do. I love helping people grow their businesses

I love seeing my lead generation clients getting successes like Tom whose business has grown almost 10 fold since we started working together

I love seeing my coaching clients have that “aha moment” where they finally understand why I’ve asked them to do something

Like when I showed Rebecca how to use a full launch sequence instead of simply sending one email and how it almost tripled her response and her profits

I love doing it,

But some days I have to have that same internal argument as I had last weekend.

I need to push myself to get stuff done…

But then I remember I love doing what I do and I wouldn’t do anything else.

Do you love doing what you do?

 

 

7 Quick Tips for Social Media Automation

7 Quick Tips for Social Media Automation

Using social automation wisely means saving time, increasing your visibility and reach, promoting your products—and having people think you are present more than you’ve ever actually been before.

It feels personal, and is well-timed.

Here are seven tips for making the most out of social automation …

  1. Don’t Sound Like a Robot

Our first tip is our most important: Just because you are automating a post, or sharing a link to your latest blog post, you don’t have to sound like an impersonal robot. Add a “you”-based sentence that speaks directly to your ideal audience member. Be warm. Use your authentic voice!

(They shouldn’t be able to tell your post is automated!)

  1. Customize Your Automated Posts for Each Social Network

Don’t send the exact same message, worded the exact same way, to every network. For one thing, most networks have different requirements. You have to condense your message to fewer than 140 characters on Twitter, whereas a Facebook post can be longer.

Make the most of each network’s unique sharing guidelines! Take the time to customize for each network … then automate!

  1. Schedule Your Posts Before You Go on Vacation

Just as you prepare in many otherwise, you also need to prepare your social sharing before you go on vacation. Yes, mobiles make it easy to keep up with social media no matter where you are … but ten to one that consistent schedule you’ve built up will go out the window (or prove to be a pain) if you rely on keeping it while taking a vacation from your daily routine.

Pre-scheduling regular social posts will ensure that you keep your visibility prominent. And you won’t be left in the lurch in case you encounter disasters like no mobile coverage in your vacation spot … or dropping your laptop in the ocean!

  1. Pre-Post About Your Vacation

If you’re planning a vacation, be sure share images and posts about your preparation, if you think your audience would enjoy it. Doing this makes your followers feel included in your plans (disasters as well as triumphs). Including them makes it feel as if you are taking them along (not leaving them behind).

And you can create a whole bunch of posts as you shop and pack—and pre-schedule them at designated intervals for maximum engagement.

  1. Automate Post Content Creation—but Don’t Automate Interaction

The fact is … you can’t automate interaction. Better to have someone write posts for you—but ALWAYS go over them to add your personal “voice”. And monitor responses, and respond!

  1. Use Content Creation Wisely

It’s a great idea to find and curate highly useful, interesting content for your audience: But even if you pre-schedule pieces, do go into your schedule and add a sentence introducing the curated content, or putting your own twist on why you are sharing it.

  1. Fill the Gaps!

Use social media apps and tools to automate posts and fill the gaps between your posts—and make sure you anticipate all the “lows” in the month when you won’t be available in person to post. (E.g. you’re busy at a three-day conference or in hospital for a minor operation or off the grid at your parents’ cottage.)

Automating your social media should be seen as an aide, rather than a substitute, when it comes to social interaction and growing your reach. (Think of social automation as leading a party of schoolchildren to the zoo … and having three extra teachers along to make sure each child is properly monitored and cared for.) You’re still present … but you’re making sure you’re everywhere, even when you’re not.

Social media is the fastest way to connect with your audience. Be sure to make the most of it, every opportunity you get.

Psst...want 14 more tips-Click here to download them

 

 

RMTG the Little Company That Landed a Whale

I was the founder of a company in Billings, Mt called Rocky Mountain Technology Group (RMTG). We were doing contracting work with companies in the San Francisco Bay area from 1997 – 1999. We saw the writing on the wall with the Dot Com era so decided to build our own software product.

We chose a pharmacy management system because the family of Derek Jurovich, one of the other founders, owned a pharmacy and we knew the industry was built on old green screen DOS and Unix applications. Many of those apps weren’t Y2K compliant and the industry was ripe for a Windows based application. We partnered with a pharmacy co-op, got an investor and started development.  As things go with software development we ended up being way behind schedule and we ran out of money.

The only other project we were working on was building a Keno game platform and development on that was behind schedule as well. That client was pissed and ended up raiding our company for our employees. That included offering me a job, which I declined. In the end he managed to get the graphic design team and one developer, but the rest stayed with us even though none of us knew how we would keep the doors open and keep everyone paid.

We did what we had to do and shelved the product. I had to lay off most of the company which included my Dad and my Sister 4 weeks before she was getting married. Which ironically was easier than most of the other dozen people I had to let go.

We managed to find a couple of projects to keep the last couple of employees.  I didn’t take a paycheck for months and paid myself less than $6,000 a year for two years. I was months behind on my rent, but thankfully my roommate carried me.

That was a really dark time for me, my entire identity was built around the company and I didn’t know what to do except keep coming in to work and keep trying to find more work for our team. Lots of people thought I was nuts, but I was driven top make it work.

While we were limping along we found out that Albertsons needed to replace their current Pharmacy management system and was looking for a solution.  We reached out to talk to them. They were somewhat interested, but wanted us in their offices for a demo 5 days later. To be honest II think they thought we were complete vaporware.  We found out years later that they had asked some of our clients about us before they even met with us.

The bad thing was we were broke, really broke. We didn’t know where our rent money was coming from and all three of us founders were broke. Heck on one of our last sales trips one of our developers had put the plane tickets on his credit card because the rest of us were completely tapped out.

Luckily our investor was willing to front us $5k. That wasn’t enough for last minute tickets from Billings, MT to Chicago, IL. I managed to find tickets from Denver to Chicago for $1,700 each. So we bought them.

The day before our presentation my business partner, Lincoln and I loaded our computers, our touchscreen and our clothes into his Suburban and drove the 9 hours to Denver. I had my laptop plugged into his cigarette lighter and worked on our PowerPoint presentation on the way.

We got into Denver late that evening, ate some food before checking into our motel. Then we worked well past midnight.  I worked on our PowerPoint and Lincoln made some updates to our demo and tested to make sure everything was working correctly. Then we tried to sleep until 3:30am when we ahd to get to the airport and fly to Chicago.

As luck would have it, the tickets I bought were for Midway airport, when we got to Chicago we realized that the meeting was clear across town and ½ a mile from O’Hare…oh well off we went.

We got there 2 hours before our presentation. When the receptionist called back to let someone know her first words were, “wow you guys are early.” We just smiled and said something about our flight arrived early and just wanted to make sure everything was set up.

We got everything set up and made sure the demo was working correctly and then paced for over an hour.  We were glad to see that we were the only two people in the building wearing a suit and tie so we ditched our jackets before the presentation.

Then they slowly started to filter in there were quite a few of them.  Chris Dimos, who was the head of their Pharmacy Technology was the one I remember the most.  Then we went into the presentation. Ironically they could care less about the PowerPoint and ended up crowding around our demo and Chris even sat on the floor playing with it.

Needless to say Lincoln and I left that meeting feeling pretty good.  Then it was back the airport and back to Billings. We were elated and exhausted.

After we were back in Billings we had a conference call with Albertsons. They were impressed with what they had seen, but expressed some concern about a company of young guys being able to deliver something as mission critical as their pharmacy app. We introduced them to Harvey Stewart a business consultant we were working with who we said would become our CEO if the project went forward.

That made them feel better and they wanted to come see our office…which made us a bit nervous because it wasn’t….shall we say…that professional. So we said “of course” and got it scheduled. Because we had a meeting scheduled our investor fronted us enough cash to pay rent and our employees their salaries. Then we went to work getting the place presentable.

We borrowed art from a gallery in our building with the promise we would buy some of it if we received the contract. We had friends come in and help us clean everything up and we moved every computer we could find into our server room. Which they never entered lol.

We made all of our developers clean up their offices and we made sure everyone was presentable. For the developers that meant a shower, a shirt with a collar and clean jeans.  For us that menat dress slacks, dress shirts and ties. We did everything, but ask our friends to sit at desks to make us look bigger…not that we didn’t discuss about it.

They came out with additional people and reviewed our software again. They had reviewed dozens of options and they had come down to three options:  doing it in house; which they really knew wasn’t feasible, going with IBM Global Services or going with us.

The thing in our favor was we were close to a shipping product and IBM would be starting from scratch. They decided to go with us contingent on a code review by Microsoft. Microsoft’s team came out and gave us raving reviews. It probably helped that we had had our lead developer contracting with Microsoft on their Active Directory team and we were using Active Directory extensively in the application. Plus Lincoln had been on the SQL Server team at Microsoft.

Then negotiations started and I’ll skip those details, but the short version is an 11 person company that had no idea where their next month’s rent was coming from negotiated a $35 million deal with Albertsons, the 3rd largest pharmacy chain the United States. The first $25 million was guaranteed the additional $10 million was for version 2 and 3.

Needless to say a lot of people didn’t think we could do it and it was a crazy, insane time getting there. We ended up having the usual craziness of business lawsuits amongst the founders and we ended up writing a 6 figure check to our Keno client because he had threatened to sue us.

We were eventually screwed out of the second $10 million, but ARx, the pharmacy system, is in use today at 1,300 Super Value and Albertsons across the United States.

When it was shipped it was the largest implementation of Active Directory in the world and one of the larger SQL server databases as well. Not to mention dozens of other industry leading items like touch screen, Active Directory rights based on fingerprint scan, script digitalization among many others.

That’s the end of the story today, but next time I’ll tell you about our journey to winning and then losing a $16.6 million deal in Uganda and President’s Bush’s phone call. That’s quite a story too. But that combined with a number of other things caused the eventual demise of RMTG, the little company that landed a whale.

The Power of an Authority

The Power of an Authority

Have you ever dreamed about becoming an authority? You’re not alone. Lots of us dream about it, but few of us ever get a chance to realize their dreams. Becoming an authority is no easy feat, especially if you’re starting from scratch. However, by reading and taking the advice in this article to heart, you’ll already be ahead of most of your competitors.

You’ll learn more about what being an authority means, and you should also have a pretty good idea about the steps required to get there. While everyone’s path will be different, there are still many practices you should try to follow to maximize your chances of becoming an established authority in your field.

Let’s get started, shall we?

The power of authority

People have always looked up to experts and authorities and they always will. Since it’s impossible to know everything we sometimes have to consult the advice of others, and that’s when we look for authorities on the topic in question to help us out. We don’t listen to just about anyone – and that’s a good thing.

The definition of an authority is essentially a well-known, recognized expert in a given niche. Since expert knowledge is required it follows that becoming an authority isn’t easy, and usually involves many years of learning and building up a reputation. For someone who’s involved and interested in a niche it is definitely possible though, given some time and hard work.

It’s definitely a good goal to strive for, as there are many perks and benefits of being an authority. First of all, it will open the doors to a whole range of opportunities that would otherwise be out of reach. Being an authority means having people come to you with interesting, and often profitable, ideas and projects. It also means that most will respect your opinion, whether they agree with it or not.

Another definite upside is that making money will be easier than ever before, either by recommending other’s products as an affiliate or selling your own products and services. Just think about what happens when a TV doctor recommends a specific product – it flies off the shelves. You can do the same thing, and people will trust your recommendation and take action.

The downsides are few, but one is that it won’t just be opportunity that comes knocking on your door every day. It will also be people looking for handouts and free help, and this problem only gets worse as you gain more fame and recognition. Some established authorities in large niches get hundreds of emails like this every single day! It’s a good problem to have though, as it means that people look up to you and come to you for help.

Carrying yourself like an authority

Being an authority means living up to certain expectations. Carrying yourself like an authority is important even in the beginning stages, as it helps shape how people think of you.

One of the most important things is taking every chance you get to help people with their problems. If it’s something that requires much time or even money to solve, just pointing them in the right direction can be very helpful. The more people you help, the more you’ll be recognized as a knowledgeable authority in your field.

Take every chance you get to network and make new connections, in and out of your niche. You never know when one of those connections can help you reach the next level on your journey, so don’t be too quick to rule anyone or anything out.

It’s a given that you should try to be humble, even if you happen to know more about your niche than most people. Acting polite and respecting others are also good ideas – even if you can technically become an authority without anyone liking you, you’ll find that everything is so much easier and smoother if you avoid being rude or condescending towards others.

You don’t necessarily need to shy away from a bit of controversy though, as that can be very helpful for your reputation. Stirring something up just for the effect isn’t recommended, but don’t be afraid to go against the grain and voice an unpopular opinion if that’s really how you feel. It will only help establish you as someone who’s honest and free thinking.

Actionable steps to become an authority

As we’ve already established, becoming an authority is rarely quick, nor easy. It requires spending much time and effort on learning the ins-and-outs of the niche, and also working hard on marketing and personal branding.

Writing a Book

One thing that everyone who’s interested in becoming an authority should consider is writing and publishing a real hardcopy book. While e-books are certainly popular today, anyone can write and publish them. They don’t scream “authority” like a hardcopy book does, especially one that’s well received. It’s actually possible to publish a book without writing a single word, by simply hiring a ghostwriter (this is actually more common than you might think).

Starting a Blog

Starting a blog is practically a must, to use both for marketing and networking as well as an outlet where you can share your knowledge and inspire others. To start building traffic and establishing a reputation you can also guest blog at other websites in your niche – most guest blogging deals allow you to place a short author bio in the post, linking back to your blog. You don’t have to be a great writer to blog either, just try to be aware of your limitations and adjust your writing style accordingly.

Social Media

Of course trying to become an authority while ignoring social networks is not a good idea these days. You don’t have to be active everywhere, but you need at least one platform where you can interact with others in your niche and market yourself. Whether that should be Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or Instagram is up to you, but a good strategy is looking at what’s most popular in your particular niche and trying to focus on that. Also, don’t forget that while social media is new and exciting, regular forums still work very well to network and discuss with other people in a niche.

Teaching

Making an effort to teach others and help them learn more about your niche is also a great idea. That could mean anything from writing helpful tutorials to hosting seminars or even launching complete courses on the subject. As long as you truly help people learn this will give a huge boost to your authority status.

I’m an authority – now what?

When all the hard work is actually starting to pay off and show some results, it’s time to start thinking about what to do next and how to ensure you get to keep your authority status indefinitely. The only thing you shouldn’t do at this point is becoming completely passive and just counting on everything to last forever with no effort at all. Unfortunately, that’s not how it works.

However, you definitely can shift into a lower gear and go into maintenance mode at this point if you want. As long as you take every opportunity you can get to further cement your authority you’re not risking very much by not working as hard as before. Try focusing on high impact activities that make a big impression on people for best results.

If you’d rather stay active there are a couple of options available. There’s always a new area to try to conquer, even if you’re an established authority at this point. Maybe you’ve been blogging successfully but still haven’t written a book, or you’ve built up a massive Twitter following but you’re still somewhat unknown on the large industry forums. Now’s the time to tackle those challenges!

Another option is branching out to related niches, using your existing audience to kick start this new venture. If you try to ensure your new niche is one that the following you’ve built up might also be interested in, you’ll have a good chance at being successful almost instantly.

Conclusion

After reading this brief guide you should hopefully have a pretty good idea about what being an authority is all about, why it’s something you should strive for and how you can potentially get there.

Remember that getting there isn’t something that’s done in a month (or even a year), so it requires quite a bit of dedication and hard work. It’s definitely more of a marathon than a sprint, so don’t burn yourself out too quickly trying to do everything at once. Once you start seeing the first results from your efforts you’ll realize just how beneficial being an authority can be.

Good luck!

If you would like to learn about my 90DayAuthority Course and receive my Free Guide Gettign Started on Your Authority Path click Here

Make the Best

Thigs work our best Wooden

I’m a huge fan of John Wooden.

For those who don’t know, John Wooden was the coach of the UCLA men’s basketball team in the 70’s. He is the winningest basketball coach in history. UCLA won ten NCAA national championships in a 12-year period, including an unprecedented seven in a row and 88 games in a row. No other team has won two championships in a row since then.

He was really an amazing individual, and an amazing coach. During his coaching and in all of his books he talks a lot about focusing on fundamentals.  He would literally take the best athletes in the country and make them work on fundamentals. When I think of fundamentals I think of free throws, passing etc… No he would go further than that.

The first thing they’d learn in practice is how to roll their socks on properly and how to put on their shoes to make sure they wouldn’t get any blisters. Perfect preparation ensures a perfect game. That’s how John Wooden was.

Every minute detail on a player would be tracked and he would focus on making each player better every day. Really an amazing man. If you’re not familiar with John Wooden, look him up. You’ll love learning about him.

Now let’s talk about today’s quote.

Things work best for those who make the best of how things work out.

Seems a little obvious, doesn’t it?

That’s the thing, we forget that it’s the obvious things that change our lives.

It doesn’t have to be these huge amazing ah ha moments.

We need to just look at what is coming our way, what life is giving us, grab a hold of it, and move forward.

We can’t worry about what happened yesterday, we can’t worry about our past. We need to focus on what we can do with what we have and move forward.

Quote again, “Things work out best who make the best of how things work out.”