Making Dreams Come True

Darren Rowse, ProBlogger

Darren Rowse, ProBlogger

Today’s post is a great video to help you get your dreams happening. It is a presentation by Darren Rowse from ProBlogger, delivered at the World Domination Summit held in Portland, Oregon in July this year.

First of all, how great is it that there is actually an event called the World Domination Summit? Looks and sounds like a terrific forum full of inspiration and ideas that I’ve placed on my wish list to attend some day.

I saw Darren Rowse speak at Clare Bowditch‘s Big Hearted Business Conference earlier this year and I’ve followed him on Twitter for some time (@problogger). As a new blogger, I’ve found Darren’s advice to be incredibly honest, practical and generous. His successful blogs and the communities he has fostered are amazing examples of what is possible. Darren proves that what goes around comes around – if you put great energy out into the world, the opportunities and positivity come right back to you.

So check out Darren’s thoughts on making dreams come true.

Please note: This video is almost 50 minutes long, so get yourself a cuppa and take some time out to imagine what is possible for you. And make sure you watch right to the end as Darren invites a very special guest on stage.

Thanks to Big Hearted Business for providing this link.

What can you do today to make your dreams come true?

Power Stories By Valerie Khoo

Valerie Khoo's book. Got to get a copy.

Valerie Khoo’s book. Got to get a copy.

This morning I was part of a webinar where writer, businesswoman and all round inspiration Valerie Khoo, challenged us to think about the way we use storytelling in our businesses.

I loved Valerie’s presentation because I am also a big fan of using stories as the basis of any marketing strategy. In fact, the work we do at Straight Shooter is based on our theory that ‘Marketing is telling – and selling – a compelling story to the right people, at the right time and for the right reasons.’

If you are interested in learning more about the types of stories you can develop for yourself and your business, check out Valerie’s book Power Stories: The 8 stories you MUST tell to build an epic business.

The webinar was run by the Australian Businesswomen’s Network. This organisation has terrific resources for businesses of all stages and sizes, with more webinars coming up soon.

Finally, Victoria’s Small Business Festival is underway with hundreds of events, exhibitions, competitions and ideas to choose from. Check out the program and book yourself in for some time to focus on you and your business.

Do you use storytelling in your business?

Handling Work Conversations With Family and Friends

lamb roastImagine this scenario:  Jenny and Bill had 15 people for dinner at their place recently to celebrate Christmas in July. Jenny was busy with preparations for weeks leading up to the event and Bill was determined to get the house and yard looking great – as well as cooking his famous roast lamb.

The guests began to arrive and Bill was pouring champagne. It had been a busy start to the year for him and Jenny had started a new job, so it was great to have time to stop and catch up with everyone.

‘How’s the business going Bill?’ each guest would ask in turn.

‘Pretty good – busy,’ Bill would respond.

‘What about you Jenny? How’s the new job?’ they asked.

‘Fine,’ said Jenny. ‘I hit the ground running.’

And on they would move to the next topic.

Both Bill and Jenny missed a great marketing opportunity here.

Bill could have elaborated, ‘Our numbers were down after Christmas and New Year, so we launched a new software product that is particularly helpful for services providers like doctors, accountants, lawyers. Our new clients are really loving it. I’ll flick you an email next week in case you have any contacts that might be interested.’

Jenny might have said, ‘Yes I started as office manager for a local group of health practitioners. It’s a great bunch of really experienced and energetic physios, sports medicine specialists, a podiatrist and a nutritionist. The business is growing fast so my job is challenging, but in a good way. We’re looking for new premises soon because we’re running out of space.’

In just ten seconds, Bill and Jenny might have told their guests a lot more about their work which may even had generated some business, advice or assistance. You see among their guests were:

Harry – a real estate agent with back issues
Bella – returning to work at a law firm and wearing heels again was agony
Simone – an architect who recently ran her first marathon and is looking to do more
Stuart – a struggling artist from a family of medical specialists
Peter – an accountant who is looking to lose 25 kilos, starting tomorrow
Kate – has 1,200 friends on Facebook and 1,480 Linkedin connections.

Many people are reluctant or even embarrassed to tell their family and friends about work. They think no one will really understand what their do so they don’t bother explaining. They might not want to be seen to be ‘talking themselves up’ or ‘getting a big head’.  They might be concerned about conflicts of interest or jealousy. Maybe things are not going so well and they don’t want to worry people? Or perhaps they don’t want to think or talk about work in their down time?

But you just never know where and when you might come across mutually beneficial opportunities or a way to help each other out – professionally as well as personally.

Tell them your story in a quick, informative manner – you don’t want to be a bore. Then ask them about themselves until you have a clear picture of what they do and who they do it for.  It would feel great to be in a position to send some business to a mate or put a family member in contact with someone great.

Think about your recent gatherings with family or friends. Did anyone ask you about work? If not, why? If they did, how did you respond? Do you think your mother, or brother, or best friend could describe what you do for a living? If not, have a conversation soon so you can help share each other’s stories.

Follow Seth Godin

Seth Godin is described as America’s Greatest Marketer and his blog is one of the most popular in the world. I recommend you follow him and consider how his ideas can be applied in your own business. His writing is straight forward and inspiring – just how we like it.

Here is one of his recent posts: Fearlessness is not the same as the absence of fear

Click through to read more of Seth’s writing and to subscribe to his blog.

Let me know what you think.

Does Your Marketing Plan Support Your Business Goals For The New Financial Year?

Leah Taylor is an accomplished marketing professional who helps people frame stories – about themselves, their careers and their companies – to set a marketing direction that makes sense and has a great chance of success.

Professional Services Marketing Experience

Leah has almost 20 years of experience advising and educating professionals to define and market their expertise. She has worked across industries including professional services, finance, not-for-profits and government.

Leah Taylor - Director Straight Shooter Marketing
Leah Taylor – Director
Straight Shooter Marketing

Leah has held senior marketing positions in these leading international and Australian organisations:

  •       Ernst & Young
  •       Baker & McKenzie
  •       Victorian Department of Justice
  •       Godfrey Pembroke Financial Planning
  •       McLean Delmo Accountants & Business Advisers

Services

Straight Shooter Marketing will help you assess your marketing and communication activity and set you on track to reach your goals.

  • Marketing Coaching is available for individuals or organisations that need a cost-effective plan and some ongoing guidance, but are happy to take responsibility for the implementation of marketing activities.
  • Marketing Consulting is offered to businesses that need campaigns and programs developed and project managed from beginning to end.

All of the services are delivered with specific and practical advice for maximising the return on your investment. In other words, the aim is to have you using all that you have learned so that your investment pays for itself many times over.

Contact

Leah can be contacted on 0403 576 925 or leah.taylor@straightshooter.com.au.

Article: The Brand Called You

In this post I am sharing an important article written by Tom Peters about brand. Whenever I am working with clients or running a seminar about branding, I give participants a copy of this article as food for thought.

Now I warn you, this is a long article and there is a lot to take in and think about. You will need some time – so stop, make yourself a cuppa, sit, read and highlight or make notes as you go through. If you get stuck, keep going or come back to it later. You might find something that resonates towards the end?

‘The Brand Called You’ by Tom Peters

What did you think? Are you suprised to learn that this article was written over 15 years ago?

Being Comfortable With Downtime

tea and tissues

Tea and tissues have replaced writing lately for Straight Shooter.

The Straight Shooter blog has been a bit quiet lately as I have been required to bring my Work/Life Balance Action Plan into play.

I have spent the past two weeks nursing sick kids – and feeling pretty ordinary myself – due to an annoyingly persistent cold virus that has passed from one family member to the next.

I haven’t written anything in over a week, communication with business contacts has ground to a halt and my energy is still lacking.

In the past I might have let this predicament get me down. But now I know I just need a plan – and a small attitude adjustment – to get things back on track.

You see this year I have specifically made changes in my life so that I can be with my kids when they are sick. In the past a sick child was all it took to topple our delicately balanced and seriously overloaded weekly schedule. On finding a child that was just too sick to send to school, my husband and I would quickly discuss which of us had fewer meetings and/or more personal leave owing to determine who would begrudgingly stay home that day.

Now that I have started Straight Shooter and I am working from a home office, I am available and happy to step up and be nurse whenever the need arises. I feel very fortunate to be in this position. It is a relief to all of us.

So these days, stopping work to deal with a sick family feels like a manageable part of the bigger plan. This is a good thing – comforting in all senses of the word.

How do you deal with unexpected downtime in your work? Let me know what works for you by leaving a comment below. 

Now that I am back at the computer, stay tuned for more posts later this week.