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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 with her Virtual Project Partner Program.  For questions or to schedule and appointment – Contact Fran Asaro

 

 

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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

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How a fun-loving, social, woman entrepreneur found out that she’d rather be alone

Watch the video below to learn about introversion

In a MILLION YEARS –

I would never have guessed that me, the outgoing, fun-loving, party giving, free-spirited me, was in fact an introvert! It will probably surprise the heck out of my family and friends to learn about this as well. Yes, I am coming out of the introverts closet right here and now.

I’ve been an ‘out there’ kind of person since I was about 19 years old. I was the one my ex-husband would push forward into any party situation proudly encouraging the words ‘Go get ’em Fran’. I was the one who was a successful sales person and entrepreneur. I have a mouth for goodness sake. One that has gotten me into a boat-load of trouble and one that has helped me find great success. I can’t be shy!  Oh, but wait! Being and introvert doesn’t necessarily mean that you are shy! Even though it says that you are in the dictionary. It also means that you are a person whose attention and interests are directed toward your own thoughts and feelings rather than external things. And you can be considered or perceived as reserved or shy.

The introvert who opened my eyes!

My weekly workshop for women entrepreneurs was a very interactive group (to say the least) There was  a lot of sharing, fun and self-expression. We had over 200 women who were members of the group with a weekly turn out of about 15 – 20 women.  We had our regulars who became the pillars of the group welcoming the new and supporting each other passionately. There were the one-timers who might not have felt a connection and they never returned. Hey, we weren’t for everyone. Then there were those who came more than once. Enough so that I would learn more about them. They would participate a bit and their faces started to become familiar. If  I noticed that those women weren’t coming, I would occasionally give them a call to encourage them to return. There was this one woman who I really liked. She was very quiet  and sat in the background mostly. She spoke with a level of gentleness and wisdom coupled with confidence and intentionality. She didn’t say much unless we addressed her, but when she did, she had no problem sharing something poignant. I started noticing that she was coming to group less and less. A  call here and there would bring her in for another time. On the last time she didn’t show, I sent her an email telling her that I missed her being in group. She responded with a few well thought out words along with the video below. ‘The Power of Introverts’ By Susan Cain.

I stopped everything I was doing and watched the video. My body started vibrating all over. I watched it again. And again. Not only did I now realize why this woman wasn’t coming to group (I so appreciated her poetic way of sharing it with me) but I was now sitting with information that would change the rest of my life. I saw myself in so many of the scenarios of her talk. Working alone, loving my own company, being more creative and happy in my own quiet space. The things that my extrovert friends would tease me about. ‘Come out and play Fran’. ‘Come to dinner with us Fran’. ‘Come away with us Fran’. No, No and NO! I was almost always a No. But it was often a painful No. As I began enjoying my own company more and more, I began wondering if something was wrong with me. Was I a workaholic, anti-social, agoraphobic? Even though I knew I wasn’t any of those (OK, maybe I work too much) I could never explain why I didn’t want to schedule anything. After all, I love people. I want them in my life. But apparently only as a spice. Not a main course.

BALANCE, BALANCE, BALANCE 

Another thing I learned in the video is that most people have a little bit of introvert and a little bit of extrovert in them. Apparently that’s called Ambivert. Some of us might lean towards one or the other but if they share traits of both, that’s supposedly ‘healthy’. I am apparently leaning towards introversion right now but who knows, I may be on the upside of a sine wave and round back to the wild and crazy social version of myself. Or not!

What I will continue to do is proudly nurture this realization not only for myself but for my clients who up until now may not have understood why they didn’t quite fit in the world of entrepreneurship. I have already begun helping them find quiet businesses that suit the introvert in them. It’s a rewarding experience for sure to help them find their purposeful place.

I have to tell you, it feels really good now that I have words to describe why I am the way I am. Hopefully people will not take it personally when I don’t show up for all their invitations. I might even send them this video to help them understand. Maybe a few of them will see an introvert in themselves and my hope is that they don’t resist it but start honoring that. You never know!

 

Thank you for reading!

Read Why I ran away from home and my business for 2 1/2 years – A story for women entrepreneurs who are  lost and disillusioned

Fran Asaro is a Life and Business Coach helping Women Entrepreneurs create a Freedom-Based Lifestyle. Visit her Thrive Any Way site.

Want to find out more about becoming an entrepreneur? Schedule a complimentary Session with Fran!

Follow her Thrive Any Way page on Facebook

Please consider sharing, following and commenting on this blog. Thank you.

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A Story to help Women Entrepreneurs who are lost and disillusioned. Before reading, I would like to invite you to listen from a particular place. A place where you can either see yourself and gain strength from it or a place where you think of someone who is struggling and will pass it along to support them. It’s a bit lengthy. So, take your time – you deserve it.

2 1/2 years ago I ran away from home. Just for the record, I am a grown woman – and I lived alone at the time. What could possibly have caused me to pack up and walk away from a wonderful life filled with great friends and family. Why would I run away from a prolific community of women that I created and adored. What could have been so confronting that I nearly abandoned the career that touched my soul and help me touch others? Maybe things weren’t as great at I thought…

I am a life-long entrepreneur. I started an auto body repair shop with my ex-husband at 21 years old. We borrowed $2000 to open it and years later when I left it was generating almost $1 million per year. I loved creating that business from scratch and honoring our dream. We achieved a level of success that was rare for kids our age. Following my divorce I became a Realtor. After years of struggling to build something worth while, I found myself in the top 6% of my company in the world. Who knew? I loved building my business to a success, making my own rules as I went along. I took incredible pride in creating 2 successful businesses while following my own path.

I was not romanced by the money these businesses produced as much as I was haunted by the need to do something that felt deeply purposeful to me. The intense pull to become a life coach had been in my consciousness for many years. Even before I knew there was a name for it. Somewhat jokingly, my sister says I had been a coach since I was 3. People of all ages would come to me for inspiration and wise words. Sometimes I thought ‘Why me’? But to be honest, I fully embraced my gift of soothing others. It fit like a glove.

I threw my hat over the proverbial wall

After years of staying in a less than rewarding real estate career, I semi-courageously threw my hat over the wall and dove head first into the unknown. I became a Coach. I named my company Thrive Any Way because similar to my own life lessons, I wanted to help others Thrive beyond their limiting situations and thoughts.

I was on cloud 9 if you could imagine.  Here I was, doing what I had longed to do for so many years. I was getting paid to do what I passionately loved and was quite effective at. I was successful very quickly. I created women’s groups and I volunteered my time teaching self-esteem to domestic violence victims. I was so in my groove that I would cry from joy and content. Somehow I magnetically attracted all the clients I needed with minimal effort and I was on my way to a very comfortable lifestyle. I decided since I now had a mobile business that could live anywhere so I moved from my home of 36 years in South Florida and relocated to Stuart, Florida, where I knew no one (for a short time).  I sunk my teeth into my new town and met so many incredible people. I redesigned my business to be more face to face so that I could work with local groups and individuals. I had this vision for a few years and it was finally manifested.  I couldn’t be happier!

From Perfection to a disheartening realization

I chose to focus my coaching career on Women Entrepreneurs. After all, I was one, and had a load of experience to share. I began a weekly women’s group to teach entrepreneurship. I charged $5 to attend, but really, anyone could come. The group grew organically and flourished with the most amazingly talented women. I couldn’t have dreamed up something this big!  I can’t tell you how much fun it was, and how I was in my element just sharing my failures and successes in order to shorten the path of others. I loved helping women get through the challenges that come with being in business. The fears, the emotional ride, the keeping it all together and of course, the balance. I also taught the standards like marketing, communication and how to structure a business that suited their desired lifestyle. It was such a pleasant and rewarding experience for all of us.

However, eventually the ‘business’ of helping women entrepreneurs thrive caught on and the industry became saturated with opportunity to have more. Books, programs and mega coaching became the trend. The days of personalized, private coaching became a secondary option to mass training.

I began to observe a pattern that became troubling for me. As I watched women enthusiastically jump into entrepreneurship, somewhere along the line they didn’t look satisfied. I observed these women running around (literally and figuratively) chasing success. Off they went to seminar after seminar, networking groups, masterminds, luncheons and purchasing product after product. All in hopes of ‘making it’. Now these are all good things in and of themselves and even quite fun to a point. I’ve purchased products and even created some of my own. But eventually it becomes overkill. These women were exhausting to watch and be around. They didn’t come across as successful, just needy. They spent more time distracted by something outside themselves then in their business. Suddenly, ‘there’ seemed better than ‘here’ and the conversations always lead to another ‘thing’ that was going to save them, make them, help them. I stood back and watched and was completely saddened. I knew only too well the vicious cycle they were on and am so grateful that when I got caught up in a similar circle, someone dear to me pointed it out and I have been mindful of what I choose to expose myself to ever since.

Disillusionment kills the spirit

I’m sure many people face the evolution of their chosen career and have to make a choice of whether to conform or not. I can change with the times like it’s nobody’s business, but I became disillusioned by what was happening to my beautiful industry. The  very one that took my breath away just a few years earlier. I became so confused. Did I now hate coaching or did I hate what happened to it? It suddenly became a numbers game and who were the losers? Those that needed heartfelt partnership and got generalized support.

I tried to go with it. I tried to do it the new way. The more I did, the less joy I felt and the less I wanted to be here. I went through so many internal thoughts. ‘Maybe I’m not really a coach, maybe what I am is something else and I am in the wrong career’. ‘Have I become a dinosaur? Like the one I talk to my clients about; where I am not up to the times?’ These and many other thoughts began to kill my spirit and love for my work. All I wanted to do was help women pace themselves so that they could have a more balanced life. Women NEED a balanced life with family, friends, me-time and partner time. I wanted to help them do business like a woman. And for those who started a business late in life, I wanted to help them do age appropriate business and not like a 20 year old.

The Conscious Capitalist leaves home

I love to make lots of  money. I love stuff. I was trained at a very young age to make lots of money. When I was 18 I worked in phone sales. I made $1000 per week in the late 70’s. That was about 5 times a normal income at the time. Sales training became part of my education throughout my life and I was very successful because of it. I don’t know if it’s my age talking or the line or work that I am in, but one day I realized I needed to throw all my sales training out the window and begin to connect with people on a different level. Breaking old patterns of sales techniques became one of the toughest things I have ever had to do. To this day even though I connect to my clients on a very deep level, I feel like my marketing comes across like a used car salesmen. (no offense, just a visual)

With my disillusionment about my career and my inability to convey myself effectively to those who would genuinely benefit from my gifts, I stepped away from my life and business. I didn’t know that at the time exactly, but in retrospect, I was.

An indefinite Good-Bye 

There were a series of events leading up to my running away. I stopped magnetically drawing clients to me while in my state of unknowing. I didn’t quite understand what was happening but at some level I didn’t want to keep up a lie, pretending I belonged in this same space that I created. Ironically, the beautiful home I rented for 3 years was no longer available. I now look at that as a blessing since money became scarce. I felt like a woman without a purpose. I wasn’t unhappy, just lost in a passion without a home. Since it was the heart of the tourist season and difficult to find a home, I decided to go stay with a friend for a while who lived a few hours away. I didn’t know it would turn out to be a long while.

Before I left, my women’s group gave me an emotional sendoff. A party that still touches my heart with testimonials and loads of love. I walked away with such inner conflict. I loved them but I didn’t love who I was for them. I knew deep in my heart I had more to give. I resented the amount of hours I put into creating a group that didn’t light me up any more or speak to the new version of me that I had to offer. I didn’t know how to make that transition right there in front of them. So, leaving helped. But it also scared the daylights out of me. Was I ever going to come home? Would I reconnect with my group? What would my new version of life look like?

Opposition thwarts Growth

How many of us try to honor our path to healing or growth but others don’t support us in that?  We take so much longer to get there while trying to dodge the opposition, right? There I was in Ocala, Florida, staying with a dear friend and his father. I thought it was going to be for a few weeks, a month at the most, before I went back home. I had no idea how lost I really was. I would sit in front of my computer day in and day out doing what I normally do. Working. Working. Learning. Creating. For what? I couldn’t tap into my groove. Did I lose it? All I know is that I kept my coaching business to a minimum with a few select clients while I immersed myself in meditation, self inquiry and a lot of rest to try to figure it all out.

For many years I felt a pull to spend time in a monastery to clear myself for a new beginning. I could never make that commitment because I have pets and didn’t want to leave them for a long period of time. I decided to look at this experience as a quasi monastery. I was in a beautiful home on a lake. I had very little distraction and I had a lot of time to rethink my life. This could really work.

Then the opposition began trickling in. I didn’t have to let it in, but I did. ‘What’s wrong?’ , ‘When are you coming home’? ‘What are you working on?’ ‘How could someone so smart be having such a tough time’, ‘What’s taking so long?’

I was in a very cushy environment. I could have just focused on what I was there to do and nothing else. But no! I allowed my own ‘make wrong’ thoughts and those of others to steer me towards putting out less than authentic versions of me. Who was I to have the luxury of not working, dammit. ‘Fran, put something out there so people know you are alive’. So I did. and it felt uncomfortable. It wasn’t necessarily the wrong material. It was the wrong timing. I was in healing and recreating mode. I needed to honor whatever time required. The problem was that I couldn’t soothe those who were concerned about me. I couldn’t convey that this was a ‘good’ time. I couldn’t convey it to myself either.

Part Two of my Journey – My Teacher appears

This story would be a book if I shared every detail of my experience. I will eventually share between the lines, but not today. After a year and a half in Ocala, where I felt I was complete with the experience of being there but still had no idea what that meant for my future, I got a phone call from friends of 30 years. They invited me to come stay with them in Raleigh, NC for a priceless exchange of energy. One of them being that I was going to be living with my most influential teacher ever. How perfect can things get?

Living with a teacher you absolutely adore is not always comfortable. I found out that I am not always coachable! Go figure! But after staying for a year, so much was absorbed and I hope retained. While I am still processing an enormous amount, I realize that the path I was on and bucking was not the issue but the resistance towards it was. I have resisted who I am for my community. I have resisted the magnitude of my gifts and the amount of women who truly need what I have to offer. I resisted that the pace and the way I want to do business does not make me a dinosaur and that I AM in fact a coach. Not only did all of this shift my life, but it makes me excited to share it with other women looking to find themselves in their life and business. While I still love to teach the facets of entrepreneurship, my passion is to clear the space for it to happen with ease and joy. That truly lights me up!

The Gentler Me Emerges

One of the areas of focus with my teacher was to develop the left side of my brain. I lived in a self-created bubble – as a Pollyanna. I was quite proud of the life where I avoided all negativity and adversity. But apparently great leaders don’t live in bubbles. They manage adversity.  So I was intensely exposed to so much male energy that I thought I would die! I watched the news, politics, sci-fi and technology shows. I signed up for computer programming, math classes and purchased an electronics starter kit. I even went to a ham radio festival! Most importantly, I became a successful gamer who shoots and uses a sword (yes there were tears when I killed my first alien). With gaming I learned to buck up in challenging situations. I learned to defend myself instead of run away. I learned I am so much stronger than I allowed myself to be because I thought it would take away the gentle part of me that I loved and put forward.

At first I was so upset with the initial invasion of my male side. However, I was comforted from the very beginning that building my left brain would not create a more masculine Fran.  So, while I plan to continue stimulating my left side, I am proud to say that I feel more gentle and loving than ever. I will now be bringing both sides of me to a situation and I feel more prepared to support a balanced life. I am eternally grateful to the man who brought me to tears because of my resistance to being WHOLE!

As I approach the end of this part of my journey I am not clear as to what’s next. Apparently I still have a few more miles to go. What I do know is that I will embrace the unknown much better and I will pass along what I know to those who see themselves in this experience.

My message for you today is this:  You don’t have to run away to connect to your inner home. 

OMG! I’m an Introvert! Read how a fun-loving social woman found out that she’d rather be alone

Fran Asaro is a Life and Business Coach helping Women Entrepreneurs create a Freedom-Based Lifestyle. Visit her Thrive Any Way site.

Want to find out more about becoming an entrepreneur? Schedule a complimentary Session with Fran!

Follow her Thrive Any Way page on Facebook

Please consider sharing, following and commenting on this blog. Thank you.

My 17 year old run away partner Johnnie cat

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dinosaur-to-dynamo-2Are you a dinosaur?

A dinosaur is a term used for those who are behind the times in technology and business. Maybe there was a time when you were ON YOUR GAME and well paid for it. Or maybe there was a time you were a whiz at something but that something has become ‘nothing’ and you don’t know what the NEW thing is all about. What happened? Well, life happens, and just like when you purchase electronics and they become outdated the moment you walk out the door with them, the same goes for any of us who may have ‘left’ our industry. Did we become extinct?

Well, what happened is that things really changed and all of a sudden you don’t know how to use Microsoft office anymore and what the heck happened to just mailing out your marketing pieces? When did life start going so fast and how did I miss it?

Whether you stepped out to be a stay at home parent, decided to do something different or maybe you just re-entered the work world after a long time away for personal reasons, things change and if you didn’t stay on top of them, I’m sorry to say, you are now considered a dinosaur.

So what do you do? Do you have to go back to school? Start all over? Give up? They are all options of course, but as a life and business coach who works with many baby boomers who are starting over for many reasons including transitioning from corporate America to Entrepreneurship or living out a life’s passion to make a difference in the world, I know only too well how challenging it can be to delve into the world of the new and different.

While I always encourage my clients to get educated in some way about what’s new in business, I want to speak to those who are repulsed by the thought of learning something they don’t care about or can’t comprehend.

I’m here to tell you that being successful even though you are a dinosaur is very doable. Many people are doing it right now. You may not even recognize a fellow dinosaur because they are implementing some of the following tips and to be honest, they look like they know what they are doing!

Take a look below and before you throw in the towel on your vision, give your new adventure another try. Even if the items below still scare the daylights out of you, keep reading and do those things that you are willing. Who knows, the rest may fall into place. Dinosaurs typically move slowly…. But they move just the same.

Here are my top 7 Tips to go from Dinosaur to Dynamo. You can do this!!!

  1. List of your strengths and weaknesses – Right now you may feel like a dinosaur in ALL areas of business. Chances are you are only falling short in a few. Make a list of those things you feel confident in. Then make a list of the areas where you need support or training. Now that you have more clarity, you will be able to fill in the gaps more easily.  Example: You many be excellent in your trade or with Networking but you are computer challenged and don’t even know what Social Media is and why it’s important.
  2. Subscribe to your industry related magazine – Most industries have a magazine that will keep you up to date on the changes being made and how to keep up. Find yours and read it religiously. Even if the wording is foreign, absorb what you can. Read the rest of these tips to help with the vague areas.
  3. Research industry related software programs – I have had 3 separate industry related software programs in my career and I will tell you that it was a life saver and a business creator. When you invest in a program specifically for your business, the creators of the software KNOW your world and usually provide what you need to look like a pro instantly. These features often include a contact management system, a ready built website, a blog, a predesigned autoresponder program, invoicing and so much more. They often offer a free trial for 30 days. Try it by adding a few sample clients to it and test it out. Warning, once again, if you are a true dinosaur, this will be very confronting – your job is NOT to learn it completely, but to know your options for future action.
  4. Seek out Freelancers – If you are really great at what you do and yet you aren’t great with marketing or social media, I hope you realize that your talents mean something. I always say, ‘you don’t have to do everything; you just need to get it done’. Learn who is out there serving people just like you – those who need help in marketing and technology. There are many sites where you can hire a freelancer, two of my favorites are fiverr.com (where most items are only $5) and Upwork.com (where you can hire a professional from all over the world at very affordable prices) You are NOT alone as a dinosaur and there are people who cater to you… REALLY
  5. Build your Team – Invest in outsourcing – You may be thinking, “I don’t have the funds to build a team”. I certainly understand that. I too have been in that predicament. I have been known to hire someone for just 2 hours a week until I could do more. Most of my trial people moved on to full time employees or outsourced professionals. Once you choose your team of desired business vendors, start outsourcing slowly. Choose a budget and find the largest need. Start with one freelancer at first and build as you get steadier.
  6. Join an existing team – As a former Realtor, I am often approached to coach new Realtors. Many of them are full-fledged self-starters and I am able to help them be autonomous in the business. However, there are those who are neither able to nor interested in doing all the facets of their industry. Or maybe they are not willing to put in all the hours that are necessary to build themselves. To those people I suggest they join a team of people who strategically work together where each provides a piece of the business puzzle. One may get leads, one may do leg work or review contracts and others may do administrative work. If you don’t want to build your own team, then join one. If you are a coach, join a coaching group. Chances are there is a co-op or group in your industry either locally or on-line.
  7. Hire a Coach – Speaking of Coach – Hiring a coach who can help you with resources, structure and motivation is always to your advantage. Look at how many successful people out there have their own coach. Why shouldn’t you? I will strongly suggest this however, many coaches go at their own pace and if you join a program of theirs and you are a dinosaur, chances are you will fall behind. Find a coach who will give you personal service and go at YOUR pace, not theirs.

These are just a few of the ways a ‘dinosaur’ can thrive in business. It’s possible and it’s done all the time. What you want to do is trust yourself if you feel inclined to build a business and trust that there is a way to get there in spite of your limitations. Just so you know; we ALL have limitations. A good business person typically does not do it ALL anyway. We don’t call them a dinosaur, we call them SMART!  So get smart and let someone else help you shine.

 

Fran Asaro is the founder of Thrive Any Way Personal and Business Coaching. Helping entrepreneurs thrive in all areas of their lives. Contact Fran at Fran@thriveanyway.com or go to www.thriveanyway.com

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Tips for the Thrivingpreneur-

lead page graphic2Sales and Optin Pages that make you look like a PRO!

How do you market your business? If you like to market on social media and have been challenged by how good your competitions ads looks over your material, don’t fret. there is a solution.

I have been struggling for years to put out professional pages for products and services. I either created something less than perfect or hired someone to do it for me and it became costly. Now you can Create Professional Optins and Sales Pages with hundreds of templates to choose from and look like a PRO. Take a look at the simplicity of LeadPages. It’s affordable and a trade secret to many who are creating hundreds of pages to draw traffic to them.  They have analytics, training webinars, and other features to help you boost your leads. You will not be disappointed.

Go To LeadPages

Look for more Tips of the Trade for Thrivingpreneurs from Thrive Any Way coming soon

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[tweetmeme]As a life and business coach I must say that feeling of being unorganized and overwhelmed tops the charts with why my clients initially contact me. They are so confronted with the fact that they can’t get it all together. They feel stress and frustration. Often they feel like failures because they see others appearing to have it all together and they can’t see beyond the proverbial TO DO list.

I often hear, ‘how can I have a successful business when I can’t even clean off my desk?” In my personal experience – and I deal with both overwhelm and being unorganized myself – there are several tools to use when it comes to conquering this dilemma.

I learned the value of creating systems several years ago. There were years when I was a Realtor that my business ran haphazardly. I made some money but I wasn’t in charge of how it came in. Then the day came that I made an appointment with myself and took the time to create a system that worked for me, my budget and my personality. That was the most important appointment I ever kept. I got to see what creating a system provided for me. My business began to run like clockwork and soon it grew financially as well. Eventually, I was no longer a victim to whether business came in; I just managed what did as my income doubled then tripled. Other professionals began asking me what I was doing to have this success. I took great pleasure in sharing this secret with them.

If you are ready to get eliminate overwhelm in your life, follow some of the suggestions below to get the ball rolling. Sure this first part may look too simplistic, but have you done them? Take your time, make your own schedule but keep the appointment you make with yourself to get things done.

1. Make a full and complete list of all you need to accomplish
2. Choose 5 or less items from your list to accomplish
3. Set a time and date you would like to work on each one – and keep the date with yourself
4. Ask for help. You may need to delegate or just have someone to be accountable to
5. Keep a mental or written note of all that you accomplished. You will want to measure your results.

These are just a few tips to get you started. When it comes to creating a system for your life and/or your business, it’s important that you first begin with being clear of where you are and where you want to go.

Next life by Design message: Systems: How can they make a difference?

Happy Monday

Enthusiastically,
Fran

For more information about setting up systems and mind mapping, contact Fran Asaro 954 370 8001 or go to www.thriveanyway.com

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