Archives for September 2012

Personal Blogging: How much sharing is too much?

I am experiencing pain around the fact that I am not currently blogging about my life experiences in real time.

It feels as if I don't have time to share all of it, so I don't make time to share any of it.

I have this blog, but I've agreed to stay on topic here about business management. If I am going to sit down and write, I feel like I should write something for the new Law Business Mentors brand and site we just launched, and I'm contractually obligated not to write about personal stuff there.

I took down my personal blog after a friend I greatly respect gave me some critical feedback that suggested my unedited outpourings of truth weren't supporting the work I believe I am here to offer the world.

So, I'm not writing about the really juicy parts of my life. The things that might make your jaw drop with a little bit of shock, the places where the transformation is really happening.

And while I claim that I'm not writing because of my friend's critical feedback, I can admit now that it's my own fear of your judgment (projected out onto him and reflected back to me) that has kept me from baring it all the way I used to.

I believe I have something powerful to offer the world around a new economy model of personal finance and I'm holding a deeply ingrained belief that if I share all the “private” parts of my life — money, conflict, relationship, sex — that I won't be taken seriously or respected.

Yet there is another part of me — the one that is not afraid — that says I've got it all wrong. It says that I will be far more successful at sparking a sea change in consciousness around personal finance decisions if I let it all hang out.

Read the rest and join the powerful conversation happening on Ali's original Facebook Post


Attunement – Evolving Teams in Evolving Businesses

In an evolving business, with evolving team members, there is a constant need for attunement.

It's like tuning a guitar: The first string gets tuned, then the next, and by the time the 6th string is tuned, the neck (overarching structure) has been pulled just enough so that the first string is no longer in tune, and the cycle repeats.

This happens about monthly for our team members – they cycle through a need for attunement. Weekly would probably be better as we continue to evolve our business infrastructure, campaign models, project management systems, and hire new team members.

But attunement isn’t a permanent thing – neither for teams, nor  guitars.

The weather warps the neck and pulls on the strings, or loosens them. Playing on the strings stretches their molecular structure and tugs on the anchor points at the ends. Adding or replacing strings obviously has an impact. As does the newness or seasoned-ness of the the material they are made of.

What I’ve been noticing  is that when a team member is feeling out of tune, the layer of judgment or stories held in their minds or the minds of other team members creates additional stress and fear.  There is a subtle withdrawal and the need for attunement becomes a fear of rejection or a perceived failure. The fear that arises which takes us out of the productive flow and adds even more strain to the team.

Eventually, the team member either gets called out or comes out, and we have a conversation that gets that person back into tune. Suddenly they see the evolutionary shift in their self  and feel a deep relief, joy, and appreciation for being held through the transformation. It's one of the most gratifying aspects of my role – holding space for those conversations and those attunements, and generally witnessing the flux of the dynamics in our team as we evolve together.

Bottom line: everyone on the team can expect to get an attunement. At some point or another, we all feel ‘off.’ It's a natural part of evolving in a team environment with a multitude of dynamics at play.


Two Smart Strategies to Sell More of Your Awesome Information Products at a Live Event

I'm writing this from the airport after the eWomenNetwork big conference in Dallas.

What a great event! Kym and Sandra Yancey know how to bring together a great group. I have a lot I could say about what I learned at the event, not the least of which is a totally life-altering dinner with Patrick Combs.

But today I have a specific focus, speaking to sell.  What do you do when you are invited to speak at an event to of sell a product?

First, I should mention that if you want hands-on learning and help with this, take Lisa Sasevich's Speak to Sell Training. It's the bomb-diggity on this topic.

Second, this message is specifically for a situation where you are invited to sell your product/program at an event and not where you are getting paid to keynote.

That's a TOTALLY different model. Make sure all expectations are clear up front so you don’t get embarrassed.

You should have signed a written agreement specifying the type of talk you are giving, the commission split details, and length of your talk, among other things.


Okay, so you know you are speaking to sell, now what?

1. Consider creating promotional materials to encourage people to come to your talk at the event.

If you are speaking at the same time as other speakers (instead of on the main stage) pass out flyers or other materials at the event.

Or better yet, have an assistant do that for you.

At a recent ABA event I event, where attendees had up to ten breakout sessions to choose from, I handed out promotional material and my room was packed.

2. Use an Interactive Order Form

Whether you are speaking to sell, or to generate leads, you want a worksheet your attendees can complete during your talk. They can order your product or request your free thing. This helps you build relationships with your future client.

Here are images of the best non-order form order form I've seen in a loonnngggg time.

What makes it so good?

What are 10 specific things that makes this non-order order form rock? Describe each one, and what makes it awesome, and I'll enter you to win 3 months in our Eyes Wide Open Coaching Program or a private check in session with me.

Describe all 10 in the comments now.

Blog Pic


Your Biggest Business Challenge — Solved

If you're having trouble with your business, we want to help you solve your most pressing problem.

Comment below to share your biggest business challenge, and read what our other members are saying about theirs.

Don't be afraid, let us know! We’re here to support your success.

We’ll respond to your challenges with advice from our mistakes, shortcuts, experiences and in the moment learnings… because we know that when it really comes down to it, your business success is impacted by your ability to get things done:

— getting projects off the ground and completed
— implementing marketing campaigns
— managing team members
— tracking and managing your financials and metrics
— getting legal agreements in place
— managing all the resources you have, both big and small

So whatever your question or challenge is, ask and ye shall receive…

How To Escape Project Management Overwhelm

When it comes to effective project management, ‘thrashing’ is the new black.

Thrashing has radically empowered our team to transform creative idea flows into finished products with much greater efficiency. You want this. Trust me.

For Your Projects To Ship On Time, On Budget, Without Surprises You Need To Thrash Like A Pro

So, what exactly is ‘thrashing’ and how will it change your business, your life and your Great Work?

It’s a must-know project management technique we learned from Giovanni – which he borrowed from the software development industry.

You invest an hour, afternoon, day or week on a new project idea (depending on its size) and thrash it out completely.

He recently shared a Seth Godin talk with me about calming the lizard brain, and why people don't Ship — it’s because they're constantly adding stuff on at the end of their projects.

So I’m learning how to secure the perimeter on this one.

You get your projects thrashed out ahead of time: come up with your must-haves, nice-to-haves, ship dates, and a little bit of recoil time at the end.

Then after you've shipped and taken the time to high-five with the team and learn from the experience, you have a breather where you incubate the next project you want to ship. This is the time to relax deep into your parasympathetic nervous system (where the best ideas come from). Go on vacation, get massages, meditate, don't do a lot, just let the ideas come… then pick the next project, prioritize it, spend time thrashing it all out, and then BOOM go into implementation mode and just plow until you ship, and that's it.

So that's what we're doing now.

Use The Thrashing Technique To Get Your Projects Done Right The First Time Around

We have people that capture Ali’s creative downloads, and translate them into templates and punchlists designed to make sure they're getting all the right details THE FIRST TIME so Ali doesn't have to repeat herself. (“And then what happens? What tags need to be placed on them in Infusionsoft? What's the title of the next email? What's the call to action at the end of that email? What page does it drive to? …”)

We ask ALL these questions up front, think a project through completely in one sitting (thrashing), and then send the finished project plan to the implementation team. At that point, they can just sit down, put their nose to the grindstone and crank — 'cause that's what technicians love to do (according to Michael Gerber). They love to produce and get the work DONE.

It's not fair to technicians to ask them to constantly be switching gears into project manager mode, trying to figure out emails, trying to figure out what the deadlines are — they need to be able to sit down, have everything prioritized and systematized in advance and just crank and get it done, boom, and move on to the next thing.

The upshot of all this is that we don't need position descriptions with all these levels of detail and operating manuals in the way that E-Myth describes. That's old-paradigm, McDonaldized, Henry Ford assembly-line management.

For the creative team, where things are not rote, we need a new paradigm of project management. Once we've chosen our next campaign or creative project, we thrash it out, everybody understands their role on the team, and then we just go to work and everybody does what they've got to do, and more than they've got to do, because they're so passionate about it and they just want to be successful. They love being trusted and empowered, and that's what the new paradigm way affords us. All of us!

It's a radically different way of going about it than the mechanistic way that Michael Gerber describes. I feel totally relaxed around it.

How does this land for you? Do you see where you can apply this in your business? What don't you get? Let me know by sharing your comments, insights and challenges below!

Craig Filek