Posted in Humor, Inspiration, motivation, Online Business Building, Thrive

Bringing Crazy Back –  7 Ways to Lighten up You and Your Business


This message is for anyone, any age who can use a refreshing new way to do business by bringing Crazy Back!

My father used to call me Elsa Maxwell. Apparently, she was huge party giver back in the day. He said I would throw a party at the drop of a hat. Work would come second to fun. ALWAYS. Having fun has never been an issue for me. Taking life seriously well, that’s another story. When my sister observes me during my workday she often comments ‘You’re not working, Fran, you’re playing’. My response is almost always the same. Thank You, that’s my goal and to help others do the same. Since this seems to be a gift, it’s my duty to help others tap into their fun selves. I’m not talking about being a goofball necessarily, but a genuine ball of light.

Somewhere it was taught to us to ‘behave’ in business. If you are naturally a serious person then this may be the way for you. But how many of you out there were crazy at one time or another and have ‘straightened up’ for the sake of being professional or worst yet, ‘appropriate’?

I know I will get some comments from those who do believe in being serious when it comes to business and I guess a Funeral Director should. But hey, didn’t you used to laugh more? Play more? Sing more? Why can’t you implement more play into your workday? Could that change the way you feel? Think? Perform?

When I was a Realtor, I perceived the Realtors in my area as straight-laced and serious. I was often intimidated by them and thought I would never succeed because I wasn’t like them. Then one day my broker turned the music up in her office, came back to our work area and began dancing with all of us. I was so relieved that she was being human and playful. I changed that very day and was no longer cautious or quiet. I began to play while I worked. It was a life-saver.

Don’t get me wrong, I know when it’s time to be serious. I know there are certain times to ‘behave’. But the other times, well, that’s MY time to let go.

I have to tell you, just writing about this topic has me feel more bouncy and authentic. I write blogs all the time, and some convey my sense of humor. Those seem to be the ones that get the most attention.

I think this world, especially during these times, could use more joy and laughter. Are you someone who can raise the bar in that area?

Some of you are already tapped into your ‘crazy’. Congratulations! It sets you apart and certainly lightens up the room. Others, well, not so much. So, I put together a few suggestions to help you when you think you are being too somber.

  1. Decide – Yes, deciding that you want to bring crazy back is probably a good first step. Once you make that connection, you will begin to find ways to do this. Maybe you can create a mantra or declaration that would help – ‘Today is the day I bring my crazy back!’
  2. Honor Your Own Level of Crazy – Yes, crazy may be a hard word to swallow, maybe you don’t really WANT to be crazy. Maybe I should have called this ‘tapping into your full self-expression’, but then I think you would have held back a little. I want you to BURST. With that said, on a scale from 1-10 where are you now and where would you like to be? That will give you a good idea of where to begin.
  3. Dress or move differently – Do your best to shift completely into the new fun-loving you. That would include possibly dressing with a lighter touch or walking with a little more bounce in your step. Sometimes doing this first will allow for the ideas to flow and the changes happen more easily.
  4. Create your list – It doesn’t have to be a real list, but, begin taking mental notes of what bringing crazy back into your life would look and feel like. Do you see someone who enjoys their day more than most? What do they do that you can do. Would you like to play more music, sing, dance, have contests, parties, create fun things for you and your clients? If you notice something that appeals to you and you feel a bit scared, take a look at it, that may very well be the thing that will take you over the bridge.
  5. Start slow – Don’t scare those around you by making drastic changes – they may not recognize you. Don’t force yourself to do anything that feels too uncomfortable. A little discomfort is OK though. Start out with a few moments a day where you make yourself laugh a little. Then build upon that.
  6. Tap into your past – We all have those memories where we were a bit wild, playful and daring. Often we say ‘those were the days’. You know, those don’t have to be the days, today can be the day – The day you create something better. Try this, bring some of your past craziness forward to meet the present you and design how you want them to blend. Marry the two and recreate your future.
  7. Help others do the same – You must know other people who may be too business-like. Check in with them and see if they could use a little lightening up as well. It’s possible they’ve been hoping for a break in seriousness and you may have a partner in crime! You may even consider starting a group of contemporaries, where you can do fun, non-business events together.

The old cliché, life is too short comes into ‘play’ here. How do you want to spend your days or years in business? Don’t wait for retirement, until business is better or something else. Crack yourself open today and see what’s inside! Then call me. I’d love to meet the new you!

If this message resonated with you, I’m glad. If you feel stimulated by it, even better. If it motivates you to take action, then I applaud you for being daring.

 

Fran Asaro is a Virtual Partner supporting entrepreneurs who don’t want to do it all alone

Posted in Online Business Building

Are you an Entrepreneur Because You Want to Be, or You Have to Be?


Entrepreneurship is as old as time. People seem to love making their own decisions, structures, and infinite income goals. The reasons people choose to be a business owner vary. That’s why I ask the question:

Are you an Entrepreneur because you want to be,

or because you have to be?

I admire anyone who explores the entrepreneur within for whatever reason. Whether it’s because they had to become one or chose to, it’s something to be very proud of and hopefully something that built character and wisdom along the way. Let’s take a look at a few of the entrepreneur models below as we can appreciate what drove them, prompted them or demanded them to do so.

The Survivor: I became a coach right when the crash came. People were losing their homes and their jobs left and right. It was an honor to be there for those who couldn’t find employment and desperately needed to survive. I, being a lifelong entrepreneur and advocate for entrepreneurism, absolutely loved launching new talent into the world. Even though they were scared and inexperienced, they had drive and determination. I know most of those businesses are still thriving today. According to the statistics, the number of small businesses started during that time skyrocketed.  So, if that was the time you started your business journey, I applaud you for taking those daring steps.

The Creative Expressive – Conversely, there are those wanna-be entrepreneurs who had very secure and lucrative jobs who also had an incredibly strong pull to express themselves and their talents independent of a corporate dynamic. They not necessarily like The Survivor, have a magnetic pull to make a difference in the world and will not feel fulfilled until they do. They have known success and it’s worth nothing without personal fulfillment and leaving a legacy.

The Recluse: For whatever reason, the person who cannot or does not want to leave their home to work, still needs to earn money. Contrary to many beliefs, they are very passionate and motivated, yet stopped due to circumstances. These individuals range from stay at home moms to those with phobias, disabilities, and legal issues, all limiting their ability to work in the mainstream. In many cases The Recluse is a combination of The Survivor and The Creative Expressive since they must find a way to survive from home and yet, they often find their unique niche in the world and become fully expressed.

The Adventurer – Ahhh, this is a wide range of individuals. The adventurer can be anyone from a millennial who is out to conquer every thrill-seeking opportunity and needs to make money while on the road to the Baby Boomer RV’er who is retired and leisurely earning to support their ride. They typically are more committed to having fun than making money.  Ironically, this is often the formula for success, because people don’t feel your desperation as much as basking in your joy. One of the secrets to successful entrepreneurship is to make it look effortless and fun while people become magnetically drawn to you.

The Senior-preneur – The Senior-preneur also has range. They could include The Adventurer, and The Creative Expressive. Those who are world travelers and living out their life’s work while enjoying every moment.

There is also The Senior-preneur who becomes more like The Survivor. They are misplaced or displaced. Some because of divorce or death of a loved one. Some because they don’t or can’t make it after retirement. To those individuals, I would like to say:

  • No matter what, find your passion in what you do
  • Stay on top of your industry
  • Create balance and enjoy your senior years
  • Run your business at an age-appropriate pace
  • Keep your dignity, this is admirable, not shameful
  • Know that you are not alone, find a community that supports other senior-preneurs

I too have seen the ups and downs of being an entrepreneur. With only a short amount of time under my belt as an ‘employee’, I still advocate taking the risk and tapping into something completely unpredictable, unknown and not guaranteed. Since I don’t jump out of planes, entrepreneurship is my thrill-seeking opportunity.

Where do you stand in these models? Please share.

 

Fran Asaro is a Virtual Partner helping entrepreneurs start and grow their business

Posted in Online Business Building, Virtual Partner, Women Entrepreneurs

The Joys and Pitfalls of Being an Over 50 Woman Entrepreneur


 

Being a life-long woman entrepreneur who is over 50 had me long to do business differently. I’ve always been a go-getter. I have always succeeded at what I did. (eventually)

Suddenly, my pace and way of doing things didn’t fit. I could no longer perform like a 20-year-old and I no longer wanted to. I had to come to terms with the fact that I was a different woman now. I am seasoned, passionate about my career and I am great at what I do. I am in a new class of individuals and while I should feel proud, I was feeling the discomfort of an internal shift. Things needed to change but I couldn’t put my finger on it.

As time passed I stepped back from my full throttle lifestyle and began to observe what was now REAL for me. Much of it came with resistance. Slowing down was really TOUGH for me. Changing my way of doing things was way out of my comfort zone. But eventually, I got a better hold on who I am as a 50 something woman. Each hurdle I ‘survived’ became a sign of relief … one where I look back and say ‘why the heck did I resist THAT?’

Just a few of the areas I was bumping up against were:

  • I was building my business while my friends were winding down – Some entrepreneurs HAVE to work and some are finally getting to do their LiFE’S work. Either way, you may feel a pull when your friends are getting ready to retire and you are still growing. I finally had to admit to myself that even if I had all the money I need to retire, I would still be working and creating. Maybe on a different level, but I do love my work. I recommend that if you feel anything like this that you find a way to feel proud of what you are doing and show it. Confidence is a beauty secret. Own your choice and fully embrace it.
  • I realized that I wanted to do age appropriate business – I was trained as a Salesperson in Real Estate. Before that, I was selling for my Auto Body Repair Shop. I was used to being more aggressive than I am now. It took a while to find my new groove in how I danced with my business. If you are finding that ‘thing’ you used to do but no longer want to do (or shouldn’t LOL) it’s normal. Take time to allow your past you to meet up with your present you and create the future you. I had a lot of great tools from my sales career. All I had to do was blend them with the current me and I was a new and improved person!
  • Connected NOT attached – I must admit, I am still a work in progress in this area. Being from a strong sales background and having a New York accent (no matter how much I try to hide it), it takes a lot for me not to sound like a boiler room salesperson. I could feel so warm and fuzzy on the inside but when my mouth opens I sound like a truck driver. Trying to get both sides of me to sound the same remains a goal for me.

Also, while building relationships first is crucial, the phrase has been so overused that it sounds like such a cliché to me and has lost its power. Do I want to be friends with EVERYONE I do business with? That’s scary. I love people, but I don’t have time to be in a relationship with them all. So, I am now finding my own way to connect authentically and choose well when it comes to who I want to do business with. I am also letting go of being attached to the outcome. It’s the tough part but I love the way it feels. Feeling attached to your outcome? Maybe it’s because you are competitive or just because you must pay bills.  It requires a lot of trust to let that go. Trust in your abilities, trust your worthiness, trust the timing and of course, trust your intention.

  • It’s OK to love and want money – I can’t tell you how many of my clients say ‘I don’t need a lot, I just want to be comfortable’ as if having money is a sin. I personally LOVE money. However, my perspective has changed. I no longer choose money first. I consider myself a Conscious Capitalist. One who doesn’t sell out on their values in order to make a buck. It’s important to find your OWN philosophy on money. There’s a wide range of people telling us how to feel about wealth. Take a look at your own foundational beliefs. Honor the ones that suit you.
  • Can I make it at this age? – My question is not necessarily whether I can MAKE it per se, but can accomplish everything I am passionate about in a reasonable amount of time? Many of my clients question whether they have what it takes to make it in business when they compete with younger competitors. Remember, there are MANY women entrepreneurs who began their successful careers after the age of 50. One of my favorites is Louise Hay. I have included a few great articles below that would support the over 50 Women Entrepreneur. Take a look.

After I began resolving what was holding me back, I began feeling more a part of a rapidly growing industry. Women entrepreneurs over 50 hold a great weight in our economy. We are a HUGE community. People are seeking us out. They respect us and want to do business with us. They TRUST us and the journey we’ve been on to get to where we are. What a wonderful place to be.

I didn’t have to work hard at becoming 50, but I did have to work hard at accepting my new me. I’ve never resisting aging. I love becoming wiser. What I resisted was the pull beyond my control to transform. With acceptance and now willingness to roll with it and enjoy the new ride, I am enjoying it so much more.

I’m writing this today because I can’t imagine that I am the only woman over 50 who feels this way. I have supported women entrepreneurs officially for 11 years. However, I have been coaching them personally for my entire adult life. Whether you are new to entrepreneurship or have been one for years, you have a community to tap into to get support. Joining Facebook pages for women over 50 and LinkedIn Groups are both wonderful way to connect and even network.

Want More?

If you would like to see more articles direct towards supporting Women Entrepreneurs over 50, please sign up to receive this blog and like this post to show your support. Thank you.

One More Thing:

 

 

 

Until next time,

Fran Asaro

Here are a couple of great articles that share about the power of the 50 and over Women Entrepreneur.

Forbes – Why Women entrepreneurs over 50 Hold the Aces

Huffington Post – Why Women Over 50 Make Better Entrepreneurs

Posted in Online Business Building

Conscious Gaming – How a Woman Over 50 receives 9 Life-changing strengths by playing games


If you’re looking for life-changing inspiration in 2 paragraphs or less, this isn’t it, but you can scroll down to the 9 life-changing strengths below. 

I can sum up the ‘old’ me in just a few words. Passivist, Pollyanna, Gentle, VERY right brained. So, the thought of gaming was so far out of my reality that the moon seemed closer.

Xbox? What the hell am I going to do with an Xbox? I don’t even have kids, I’ll never use it. Let me just use yours. I can’t use yours? Why do I have to own my own? You want me to kill things? Me? The person who will isolate a bug for days until someone comes by to remove it alive? Shoot a gun? Well, ugh, let’s not even go there!

That was me about 2 years ago. Today I am learning to master Destiny2 after achieving my goals in Destiny1. How did this all happen and why would I want to share this with anyone? Well, because learning to game was a life-changing challenge that I took on because I was struggling and my mentor thought it would help me attain the goals that were kicking my butt to achieve.

Why did I want to change my life? – My goals were to have more balance – from the inside. When I was married, I was always in a male-dominated environment. Being single for a while, I could feel that the lack of male energy was taking a toll on me. I was losing some of the attributes I had always admired in myself. I used to be more daring, assertive and deliberate. Now that I was working with and associating with mostly women, and being very attentive to my spiritual development, I went completely female!  More peaceful and sheltering myself from anything negative and undesirable. Now to most, that seems like a good thing, but to someone like me who is committed to making a difference in the world as a leader with her eyes wide open, I needed to be more of a Yin/Yang personality.  My mentor told me that for what I wanted to accomplish, a Pollyanna would never survive. So, I decided to put her on the shelf (way in the back, in a box, covered with books and a plant) and take on the excruciating task of building my left brain.

A Side note – My mentor, by the way, shall remain nameless except that, depending on what stage I was in with gaming I vacillated from calling him the meanest person alive to the man who saved my life. If you saw the Karate Kid, then you know what I am talking about. I was being groomed when I thought I was being tortured. In retrospect, I could never have shifted without the tools I was given and continue to receive.

Back to the story – After months of resistance, I broke down to purchase my Xbox One and ONE game – Destiny. My first attempts to play this were similar to the visual of someone who is ice skating for the very first time. Only it was beyond flailing and awkwardness. I was in actual emotional pain trying to rationalize the tasks I was undertaking. I was learning to be aggressive and to win and to think more differently than I had ever thought before. There were many nights of tears and upset over my resistance to change. OVER A FREAKING GAME, FRAN?????  Yes, because I was gaming consciously. I had a purpose and it was to transform every fiber of my being. I wanted it so badly yet fought is so equally that I felt like a crazy woman.

Then one day, BAM. My reality changed. I could see the progress I was making both in the game itself as well as my real life. In the game I went from someone who used to run from an alien and hide behind a hill to avoid being ‘killed’ and who would squirm and close her eyes with every gunshot while fumbling over a ‘complicated’ controller to a more than adequate player achieving honorable milestones. In life, well, that’s listed below.  My list below is incomplete and still maturing. These are just a few of the mind-blowing benefits I received and continue to strengthen because of gaming.

  1. Coordination – It’s not that I was uncoordinated when I started gaming. But I also wasn’t taking on new challenges in that area so in that respect, I didn’t allow myself to be. When it came down to the simplest thing as learning to use my controller and all its features, something a seasoned gamer takes for granted, I had to learn how to synchronize all the features. I drew diagrams, took notes and finally GOT the darned thing to do what it was made to do. In and out of gaming, this paved a way for me to accept awkwardness as the precursor for mastery.
  2. Focus – Over 50 and learning to game? Well, my ability to focus and be attentive to my surroundings was definitely missing. If you don’t focus while gaming you will DIE! No longer could I be numb to my surroundings. I had to learn to shift into being attentive, coachable and committed. I’m a goof off as most of you know. I like to have fun. I had to learn that there was a time and place for that in gaming as well as in life. It has surely helped me get things accomplished. THEN, I goof around!
  3. Giving up resistance – How much resistance do you think you live with? I had NO IDEA how much I was resisting in my life until I started breaking down my resistance in gaming. If you are experiencing discomfort or not completely satisfied with life, chances are that you are resisting something big time. I went from resisting change to welcoming it. I went from resisting my current circumstances to embracing them. I will tell you this, there is an incredible amount of time wasted, money lost and pain endured all because of it. This is by far one of my greatest lessons learned and I continue to be a student in this area.
  4. Patience – Well, that didn’t come easily for sure. I’m someone who has had a reasonably successful life; one where I got by with little effort. Then one day when that seemed to change, I had to become more patient with my goals. Things didn’t happen as quickly as they used to. Gaming requires a LOT of patience. There’s a learning curve, the actual challenges the game presents to you and if you game with others, you will need patience playing with them.  Gaming, taught me to be patient with myself, outcomes and my pace of learning, But learning to be patient with others at a newer and deeper level? This was a true gift.
  5. Failure – Do you have any clue how much you fail when you game? You embark on missions that you can’t figure out. You work for hours, sometimes days or weeks until you overcome the obstacles before you. If you don’t give up fear of failure, you won’t make it. If you don’t see failure as the path to success, you won’t make it. If you beat yourself up every time you fail, you are sabotaging the result. Having a better attitude about failure has lightened me up tremendously. I realized that there are people out there who fail much more than I ever did, and they achieve great things. Scientists, Inventors, Visionaries and of course GAMERS! So, I fail a lot, so what. I am proud to be in the company of those who position themselves to do the same.
  6. Unstoppable – A second cousin to patience, I had to remember my training from Landmark Education on being unstoppable. A distinction that moves beyond failure and patience and demands that you find your muscle while staying perseverant and ultimately evolving into mastery. If you are a quitter, you will surely miss out on what the other side provides. Every time I stayed on a mission when I wanted to quit, I reaped great reward and satisfaction. I could actually feel myself changing deeply. I have been unstoppable in my life, but gaming has helped me accelerate that.
  7. Trust – I felt such a strong pull to change myself. When introduced to the idea of gaming, it felt like a way to go. Even though there was resistance I could tell there was something there for me but had no clue what it was. Consistently showing up for that which has no bankable outcome and feels uncomfortable, takes a lot. Including trust in yourself, your vision and the end result. Often, we have a goal or dream in mind that becomes the victim of slander. Sometimes from outsiders but most times from ourselves. Even though we feel drawn to what we want, we tend to negate it because of what it will take to achieve it. However, if you have been inspired by a thought, commitment or challenge, it behooves you to honor it and trust what is to follow. Even if it involves failure, there is a reason for it. Don’t stop the flow of your creativity by ignoring your inspirations. I’m grateful that I trusted the benefits I would get from gaming. It surely delivered.
  8. Courage – Some would say that I am courageous because I am an entrepreneur since I am 21. Taking chances, going on personal adventures and launching new passions. I would say that’s true. My courage was missing in many other areas. In my younger years, I had a lot of fears. Afraid of flying, thunderstorms and being home alone were just a few. Many of those fears are gone. However, I remember, pregaming, having mildly fearful thoughts of someone approaching me at or in my home. Here I was a pacifist whose only defense would probably be to try to talk someone out of hurting me. (stop laughing). Fast forward to several months into gaming and I find myself emptying garbage at 3am in the silence of the dark night. Something I would never have done before. My thoughts had evolved from fear of what I would do to ‘I will do whatever it takes to defend myself and they will be sorry they ever messed with me.’ This was a huge shift for me.

My courage graduated in gaming. I fell in love with using a sword when I game. From someone who hid behind that hill to having to be close enough to slice my alien, was beyond a miracle. Something changes in me when I have my sword. I feel like Michonne in the Walking Dead – Oh yes, since gaming, I have exchanged sitcoms for zombies. Go figure.

  1. Balance – Since this was my original goal, I want to make sure I showcased that balance is definitely showing up in my life. In the beginning, I was so afraid that I would lose the feminine qualities that I cherished and become too masculine as a gamer. That didn’t happen at all. I can actually feel an inner peace as I have better control of my emotions and can switch from male to female as I see fit or when the appropriate situation arises. I no longer need to go outside of myself to create this balance which is a very empowering and comforting gift to own.

Now, I know there is a lot controversy about children gaming. I’m not here to opinionate about that. My story is a metaphor for how one can change their life by stepping outside their comfort zone.  Whether you game or take a rumba class, this is about taking on something bigger than yourself. I always say that if you want to change your life, you have to CHANGE your life. Most people I say that to don’t seem to receive it as profoundly as I did. So, let’s say it this way. Big shifts take big Guts, so find a way, a mentor, a path that kicks your butt! I’m still a gentle person, only one who stands more securely in her own power. Find yours, own it ~ Chik Mystik

Chik Mystik, aka Fran Asaro is an online marketing and business coach. As a lifelong entrepreneur, she provides motivation, inspiration, and resources to help other entrepreneurs THRIVE in business. Learn more about Thrive Any Way and Fran’s Virtual Project Partner Program

Contact Fran fran@thriveanyway.com

 

Posted in Business Building, marketing, Online Business, Online Business Building, Organization

Pro Bono doesn’t have to be a NO-NO – 9 Ways to benefit when giving your services away


Give my services away for Free? Hell NO!

Whether you are new to being a business owner or a seasoned professional, you will undoubtedly bump up against those who need or request your services for Free. We all have our philosophy about how to manage Pro Bono clients but sometimes what we want to do and what we actually do are two different actions. Possibly because we are influenced by what others are doing, saying and judging on.

 

I’ve known and been very grateful for those who have contributed to me in my life when I couldn’t afford them. One of the main reasons I became a business coach was to help people who love what they do SO MUCH that they give their services away to anyone who needs it. That sounds so honorable and yet, many of them were living in lack because of it. How do you tell someone to stop giving stuff away when they love contributing to others? Better yet, how do you suggest to others that the should give their services away and reap personal and professional rewards?

This is why I am writing Pro Bono doesn’t have to be a NO-NO – 9 Ways to benefit when giving your services away.  There seems to be a stigma about giving away services. Coaches will often discourage their clients from doing so, possibly because they were doing incorrectly. Building a Pro Bono program into your business can benefit you in many ways. It could actually BUILD your business! Take a look at some of those ways below and choose what feels right for you; but do choose something to avoid the weight of a Pro Bono so that you can enjoy its benefits instead.

1. Set your limits in advance

Whether you feel as though you can give an hour a week or 10, this is up to you. Know your limits and stick to them. If one more request comes in beyond that, put them on a waiting list. This will save you the feeling of overwhelm. You can’t give away all of your business or you won’t make money. If you choose a certain amount of time per week or month, you will feel good about contributing and you will feel in control.

2. Consider it Volunteering

As a busy professional, some of us can’t give back to the community as much as we’d like to. I myself used to volunteer for a minimum of 4 hours every week for years. I don’t get to do that much anymore. However, I certainly feel as though I am giving back by being there for those in need inside my own trade.

3. Document your Pro Bono time 

Depending on your business, this could come in handy at tax time. If you put in 100 hours or a certain about of dollars towards free service, having it in writing will help your tax preparer get all the benefits you qualify for. My software program has an option to check that a session is pro bono, so I can just pull a report at the end of the year. It gives me pleasure to look at the year in review besides being a deduction.

4. Barter 

This is certainly not a new concept, but some don’t think to ask for a trade of service. If the person requesting your services for free can help you in some way, then by all means, ask them if they are willing. Bartering can cover a wide variety of areas in which to reciprocate. Where have you been looking for support? Do you need someone to help with your business needs, run errands, babysit, cook a meal, make phone calls, or create marketing material? Maybe this person can write a blog for you or post your social media. Take a look at areas where you can use some help. Make a list and keep it handy for when you speak with someone who you may want to trade with.  It’s very important to think ahead on how you will measure this trade. Will it be dollar for dollar of services rendered or hour for hour? For instance, if your hourly rate is $100 and the services you are requesting would cost you $20 hr., then you might agree to their 5 hours to your 1 hour of work. The choice is yours, but you will need to agree on it beforehand.

5. Tweak your terms

The terms you decide on will vary from person to person, also, you will become aware of what works for you and what doesn’t. These are your services you are giving away for FREE, make sure it serves you as well (in your heart or logistically). Review your Pro Bono terms occasionally and tweak them as you go.

6. Create a referral opportunity 

If you would like to offer a way for your Pro Bono client to pay you, you can ask them to refer you. This can be a generic request that they refer you as they see fit or you can offer them something more concrete such as one hour of your service for every referral. I, myself had one client who I worked with for years and never paid a dime. I am reaping thousands of dollars per year on her referrals alone.

7. Donate or Pay what you can 

If you have a PayPal business account you can create a donate button and place it on your website. Ask your Pro Bono Client to donate money when they have it or ask them to pay what they can when they can. Many people don’t want to ask for free service. They really need or want it but simply can’t afford it. This can help them feel better about the arrangement. I met a chiropractor in Fort Lauderdale who had an open-door policy. No insurance, no appointments. Just come in and get adjusted. There was a black box at the doorway for those who had money to pay what they can. There were many times I had to ignore the black box on my way out because I simply did not have the funds. Later, I would send him a check for a few hundred dollars when I did have it. I was so grateful for his services.

8. Marketing Blast 

This is where the gold lies in Pro Bono work. In exchange for your services, request that your client does one or more of the following.

Write a testimonial – There is nothing like a good testimonial from a satisfied client. Post them on your website and use them in marketing material. Make sure they permit you to share it.

Video Testimonial – Extra credit for this one. Have them record themselves giving a testimonial for you. You can then gather your video testimonials and use them to help prospect for other clients.

Social Media Blast – Ask your Pro Bono client to blast about you on social media. Make sure to help them with what to post. You may want to give them material or suggest what you prefer gets posted. If this is an official agreement, determine beforehand how many times and what social media platform they will be sharing on. Most will be happy to oblige.

Become a fan – Ask your client if they could become a fan of your online marketing. What this means is, have them ‘like’ and comment on your posts, ‘like’ your blog, subscribe to your blog, re-blog it and share it. If they are really eager to support you, they can write an article about you and send it to local or online news.

9. Make it official

Lastly, create a written agreement of what terms and conditions this arrangement will have. Outline each item. You will both feel better about the exchange especially when there are no mix-ups during your time together.

Most people are willing to contribute to you if you just ask. It will take something on your part to know when to ‘benefit’ from your Pro Bono work and when not to.  Remember this, there will be those situations where just giving and not looking for anything in return is rewarding enough. This list is not for those moments. Use the information above to help create balance when it’s not there. There is nothing wrong with an exchange of energy between two parties. Allow yourself to be contributed to as well.

Conversely, if you are someone looking for services that you simply cannot afford, consider taking the information above and find a way to present a request to your professional. One that creates a win/win situation. Allow them the right to say no for whatever reason and keep looking.

Did you enjoy this article? I would love to know your thoughts. Did it help you? Do you have other ideas that you’d like to share? Please comment below and share this with others. Let’s help one another and still benefit.


Fran Asaro is a Life and Business Coach and founder of Thrive Any Way. Helping people systematize and automate their business and create an online presence. Find out more about how she helps entrepreneurs as a Virtual Partner  For questions Contact Fran Asaro  or to schedule an appointment

 

 

 

Posted in Business Building, motivation, Online Business Building

I’ll Get to it LATER! 8 Massively Important Entrepreneurial Projects that get Ignored


 

What makes an entrepreneur successful?

I get to see and hear it all. ‘Oh, if I could just get organized, I would be dangerous!’. ‘I’m going to do it this year, I promise!’. I spent $5000 on this course learning how to do it, so I will now DO IT!’ But really all I eventually hear is: I’ll get to it later. That’s why I am listing the 8 Massively Important Entrepreneurial projects that get ignored. Because below are some of the heavyweights in your business that often get treated as unimportant right now and get swept under the rug until ‘someday’.

Truth is, most projects never get completed. By the time some entrepreneurs get ready to tackle a long-desired project, things change, trends change and they have to start back at square one to be up to date.

What have you been keeping on the shelf while you do the less significant and potent tasks like reading emails? How much time and money are you spending on learning how to do the stuff you never, ever make time to do?

I don’t mean to sound harsh here but when are you going to focus on the heavyweight projects that make you money, make your life easier and grow your business?

It’s the New Year. You’ve probably made many resolutions about health, business and relationships. Right? Well, let’s

Do the heavyweight projects first!

spend this time together focusing on the business side of your resolutions.

First of all, you are not alone in this vicious cycle of not doing or I wouldn’t be writing about it. And to be honest, I suffer from ‘Too Many Projects on the Shelf Syndrome’ myself. Chances are, those who have it together in this area are not even reading this. It’s just us!

Below are what I as a business coach consider some of the top projects that get ignored or at the very least, put on the back burner for way too long! Many of them are foundational and instrumental in building a solid business base. Most of these projects take thought and time to build, set up or create. They are typically Leadership type projects that can be passed along to a Virtual Assistant once they are created. But FIRST they must be created. Take baby steps and just start making steady headway. Before you resist any of these, consider that many if not all of these will simplify your business, which is what we all want, don’t we? For those of you who can’t bear to think about tackling these projects alone, don’t worry, I offer my services below!

CONTACT MANAGEMENT

– Setting up a working contact management system appears to have gone out the window. So many entrepreneurs don’t even have one. They often consider their email list their system. (if they have that!)

I am an advocate for industry related software systems that manage your contacts. I had one when I was a realtor for 25 years, which helped catapult me to one of the top realtors in my company. I have one now as a coach and I will continue to have and utilize the features because it makes my life easier and hey, it’s more professional, even when I am not!

If you don’t have or can’t get an industry related program, find one that works for you. One where you can input data about your clients, names, addresses, email addresses, phone numbers and notes. Add birthdays and names of their kids and pets and spouses. One that has autoresponder capabilities and billing if you can. When everything is integrated, it makes life so much easier. It takes time to set up, but you will be so happy you did.

My coaching software program allows me to create products and newsletters, does billing and creates lead pages. I have scheduling capabilities, reports and so much more. If you are a coach take a look.

Don’t take this one lightly. Being able to ‘touch’ your clients at any time is worth it’s weight in gold. 

SYSTEMATIZING YOUR BUSINESS

What? Many entrepreneurs are winging it at business. They just keep doing what
they do well and never stop to breathe let alone plan and structure their business to some day run itself or be sellable for that matter.

Systematizing your business sounds intense, but if we look at the way well-oiled businesses run, it’s because they have a system in place. You don’t need to have a large business to do this. As a matter of fact, starting a system while you are smaller, would help you develop it better.

Create a marketing system that you can bank on instead of marketing just when you get around to it.  Design a management system that includes planning and developing as well as admin and organizations systems. Create hours and schedules that you and your clients adhere to. Create a system for your products, suppliers and billing. As you start implementing new systems create an operation manual for others to follow for when you grow. Keep it simple. You can even create one with mini videos.

 

MARKETING

Oh my. This is a biggie. I once had a client come to me complaining that she had no business and couldn’t pay her bills. She admittedly and proudly shared that she spent most of her day learning about her trade. While it’s honorable to do so, there is such a thing called balance. When I suggested she market her business which she had not been doing, she replied that she didn’t have time for that. She was too busy learning. I told her that was why she didn’t have any money. I never saw her again.

Infinite Marketing. The rule is that you NEVER stop marketing. EVER! Not when you are too busy, not when you have little or no funds, not when you are on vacation and certainly not when you can’t come up with marketing ideas.

Times have changed and while some marketing is costly, there are literally no excuses for not marketing with all the free resources out there. Do what you can for free until you can afford to pay for someone to do it for you or for a more sophisticated marketing system.

BUILDING YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA PRESENCE

Since we are talking about free to inexpensive marketing, I thought I should remind you about growing your online presence with social media. Whether you are an extrovert, introvert, internet savvy or all thumbs, social media is doable. If you can’t get started, find someone who can help you. The upkeep is minimal once you do. The idea is to be visible in the eyes of your target audience, so they know you are in business. It takes a lot more to make a sale these days then it did before social media, but it’s still the best way to get yourself out there with a tight budget.

SCHEDULING YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING

– Being smart about what you spend your time on can make or break your success. Some people spend all day posting on Social Media and have little time to do what they do for a living! If you are a small business, consider outsourcing some of these tasks. It may look like a cost, but in the long run, you will save money. A few inexpensive avenues for outsourcing are fiverr.com and Upwork.com

FOLLOW UP

– Did you ever hear the term ‘sitting on a goldmine’? Well, often, entrepreneurs keep chasing the new and unknown when they are sitting on a warm and ready client in their repertoire of names and numbers. Some are just too darn scared to make a call while others don’t even know where the heck they put that number from that person who was very interested. Your contact management system will help to a certain point with follow-up, such as emails and reminders, but guess what? You have to communicate with them to close the sale. If you don’t have the skills to properly convey your products or services, then that should be a priority. Get trained in communicating to your target audience. Learn how to create a nurturing campaign and sales funnel and ultimately to ask for the sale. People will not always throw themselves at you to buy. Sometimes you have to romance them.

TIME MANAGEMENT

Well, that doesn’t sound like a project, does it? Oh, but it IS! There is an art to Time Management or as I teach, Time Freedom. It’s actually the glue that holds everything else together. Without proper time management you won’t be able to accomplish anything, so much as the big projects. Learn to compartmentalize your time and you will be able to complete EVERYTHING. Contact me if you want a private lesson on creating a time management system for yourself. Look for my upcoming Time Freedom digital mini course.

AFFILIATE PROGRAM

– Affiliate programs are like a sophisticated referral program. You can have one for your business. When someone recommends you or posts about you online, they would be given a personalized link that would credit them with the sale. It’s a great way to grow your business and reap the rewards of other people’s connections.

 

There are also affiliate programs where you get rewarded for passing along other people’s products. If you love sharing about your favorite finds, then you might as well get paid for them right? Every time I fall in love with a product or service, I ask to join their affiliate program. They are usually thrilled to have me and I am twice as likely to share about them now that I get paid. I share about those I support whether they have an affiliate program or not. Some of the links in this article are affiliate links. I will tell you that it’s nice to get unexpected checks or deposits just for sharing.

BONUS * BONUS * BONUS

This is One of my all time favorite things to help my clients with

because they typically won’t initiate it themselves

CREATING PRODUCTS

One of the best ways to leverage your income is to create products for your business. Whether it’s a digital product or a class that you teach or a package that you put together. Taking what you know and selling it a 1000 times will surely help financially. Most entrepreneurs would love to productize their business. They either don’t know what to create, don’t know how to create it or don’t make the time. It does take some learning to productize your business, but worth every bit of it in the long run. Take classes or become self-taught. If you want to productize your businesses try my Virtual Project Partner Program 

So here are my top projects that get ignored by entrepreneurs. If you can think of more or have something to comment on, please do so below. Please Like and/or share this article if you found it beneficial.

Don’t forget to check out my Virtual Project Partner Program and contact me for a complimentary conversation and let’s get your Project list complete so you can grow your business and make more money!!!

 

 

 

When a Baby Step is Too Tough, Try a Pinky Toe T-Shirt

 

Check with Fiverr for your business needs!

 

Posted in Business Building, Coach, Inspiration, marketing, Online Business, Online Business Building, Services, Thrive, unstoppable, Virtual Project Partnering

Virtual Project Partnering, How Savvy Professionals Get Things Done


 

 

From Stuck to Unstoppable

Many people are stuck when it comes to their To Do List, and could become immediately UNSTUCK if they only had a partner to accomplish their goals with. Let’s face it, something magical happens when you have support from someone who genuinely cares that you succeed. Don’t you agree? If you think this is you, then stop beating yourself up and start honoring the need to have a partner in accomplishing your goals. Contact Fran for more information. 

 

Think about all of your amazing projects and ideas just sitting there stagnant on your mental shelf …. you know, that digital product you want to create or those social media ads you want to put together. Maybe you want to organize and systematize your business or home but never get started. What do you think it’s costing you to have those tasks just SIT?

Now, imagine if you started completing them one by one…. comfortably, with a partner who will stay with you until they are DONE! How would that feel? You’d probably feel a huge relief from guilt and stress, right? You may also feel a long needed sense of pride of accomplishment. Yes, you can take a deep breath and feel it! Contact Fran for more information. 

Just know that you are not alone in needing support, or this program would not exist. When people find out that they are not procrastinators, but in fact they just do better with a partner, they feel as though they honored a real need and took affirmative action. The results of finally having completed projects are the proof! It’s similar to when someone finds out they have dyslexia and instead of beating themselves up, they realize that they just need to do things a little different.

It’s About Having a Brainstorming and Motivational Confidant, Even if you Have an Admin or Virtual Assistant.  

If you are looking to relax into the wisdom of another, where you can feel the ease of sharing the burden, then Project Partnering may be a good fit for you. It’s a wonderful experience to know there is another leader to fall back on. Someone you can call ‘partner, without devoting 50% of your profits to.  Choose well; someone who will do it WITH you and not FOR you.  Savvy, successful people know when to hire a professional to accomplish what they need.

As a life and business coach for many years, I find that my clients often do much better with ‘hand holding’ while tackling projects. I really love it when we get on an interactive screen-sharing call as we make progress completing their website or even creating an online store together.  The real-time conversation has us both on the same page, getting the job done much faster and with more ease. Most times I take the wheel as you direct, interact or just oversee the project, but we could always reverse the role if you want me to support you being the driver.

There are limitless projects we can do together from programming phones, setting up electronics, minor computer tweaking, launching  a social media contest to creating marketing plans. Heck, I’ve even been on a call where I supported a client while he cleaned out his storage unit. (you know who you are!). Contact Fran for more information. 

 

That’s why we should talk, to see what your project list looks like and start accomplishing it. Contact Fran for more information. 

So what are you looking to accomplish? What’s been gnawing at you for way too long?

  • Do you need someone to sit with you while you complete a project?
  • Would you like me to create graphics while you supervise?
  • Are you interested in opening an online store and it’s just too overwhelming to do alone?
  • How about learning  to schedule all your social media so you do it once and let it run itself?
  • Does the idea of having someone to brainstorm with about the future of your business or life sound appealing?

Get creative if you want to. We can get your contact management system started, design a logo  or write a blog. The point is, you just don’t have to do it alone any more!

It’s interactive, fun and productive as we collaborate on accomplishing your goals. Since you get to participate in the experience, you reap the reward of a completed task.

 

Oh, by the way, these interactive calls are casual, light and even fun! Come as you are to your computer. We sign in together, share a screen and start working on the project at hand.  At the end of each call, plan to feel a sense of accomplishment, partnership and motivation to keep going!  Contact Fran for more information. 

To get started all you need to do is Contact Fran for more information and download your access to Zoom – a free screen sharing program. We can record our sessions for your future reference.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Purchase your Project Partner call today!

  

Let’s start out with a complimentary conversation to discuss your needs. OK?

 To set up your complimentary conversation, here are your options:

  • Call Fran directly: 772-777-1122
  • Text: 954-494-1940
  • Email Fran: fran@thriveanyway.com
  • Schedule it yourself, right here and let’s get this ball rolling!

 

Getting things done never felt so good!

 

I can’t wait to hear from you

 

** Printable gift certificates emailed upon request

*** Conventional Coaching Sessions are also available via phone or video call (all discounts apply).

 

Are you avoiding the most common Projects? Read my blog

I’ll Get to it Later! 8 Massively Important Entrepreneurial Projects the get Ignored