#PersonalGrowth

13 Tried & Tested Unconventional Creativity Boosters for Non-Creative Business Owners Who Need New Ideas Right Now

13 Tried & Tested Unconventional Creativity Boosters for Non-Creative Business Owners Who Need New Ideas Right Now

“I am not a creative person like you.”

I get this a lot from small service business owners.  The funny thing about it is that I don’t consider myself a creative person in the way they describe.  But as a business growth strategist, providing various perspectives to my clients is my job.  Because of this, I am definitely intentional about keeping my mind open for new ideas.

There is bad news & good news associated with this story of “I’m not creative.”  So, if this is you, read on!

By the way, I call this statement a *story* because they are the ones who made a decision to label themselves as such based on…really no scientific or logical reasons.  It’s just a thought backed by nothing. More on that later.

Let’s start with bad news.

News flash: Trying to grow a business without being creative & resourceful, especially when you need to solve problems, will end up costing you in the long run.

Why? 

There are many problems that can be easily solved by using what you already have.  But because you feel you are inadequate to do creative problem-solving or to come up with new ideas to take your business in the direction you want to take it to, you end up relying heavily on outsourcing.

If it works out, great.  Most of the time though, the process of having others do the job requires some trial & error unless you are driving those projects.  This eats up your time, and you have to pay money for their work if the arrangement is not results-based, meaning you only pay for the results they are bringing in. 

The bottom line is, if you want to grow your business, it is your job to expand your way of thinking.

Now the good news.

I have 3 pieces of good news for you.

1.     Being creative doesn’t mean becoming the next Picasso.

2.     Small actions you can take will make a huge difference.

3.     None of the tips I will share in this post cost much.

5 Actionable Tips to Uplevel Your Public Speaking Skills & Captivate Your Audience, Even If You Have No Experience

5 Actionable Tips to Uplevel Your Public Speaking Skills & Captivate Your Audience, Even If You Have No Experience

In case you haven't heard me say enough, I love hosting interactive live events for entrepreneurs.  It truly allows me to witness a group of people coming together for one goal.

Needless to say, there are ups and downs through the prep process, but I always come out re-energized & so proud of my community’s engagement.

You might say, “Live events? Wow, that’s so old school!”

I totally get it. In this age, trust and genuine connections can just be established over the internet.

But I have news for you. There is a trend that many are already talking about in certain entrepreneur communities this year that you don’t want to ignore:

Online businesses, especially online courses & info products, i.e. group coaching, have hit the fatigue point. 

Do you know what this means?

It means people are looking elsewhere for more “hands-on” experience to solve their problems to attain true transformations.  So, servicing “1 on 1” is becoming sexy again.  Building a community where people can show up & share their thoughts is making a comeback.  Some are ditching their online courses & starting to provide in-person, 1 on 1 experience.  ­

This is all happening right now.

See, this is not a “flavor of the month” kind of trend.  This can easily last as long as “make money online” lasted.

This is the reason I chose the topic of “How to Captivate Your Audience Through Public Speaking & What Not to Do on Stage” for my Meetup group this month.  I wanted to arm my Meetup members with effective public speaking skills so that they can attract more customers by sharing their experience and expertise with confidence.

The problem? 

I’m not an expert in this area.  Luckily though, I knew who was.

Tricia Brouk, podcaster of “Big Talk,” award-winning film director, and the host of “Speaker Salon,” lives & breathes coaching professionals who want to give “fearless, ovation-worthy” talks.

I’ve asked Tricia to help my members master the art of public speaking so that they don’t have to go through endless trial & error to get where they need to be.

7 Surprisingly Easy Steps to Handle Difficult Conversations with Ease

7 Surprisingly Easy Steps to Handle Difficult Conversations with Ease

As a business owner, you will face conversations that you perceive as "difficult" or "confronting" from time to time.  Some of you may have more experience than others by holding a managerial position at a corporation.  But even then, having rather unpleasant conversations as a business owner is a whole other category, as you are the face of the company.

There are no other bosses to blame.  There is no brand name to hide behind and say, “They made me do it!  I’m just a messenger!”

As your business grows, your responsibility of looking after your business as a whole and assessing the overall well-being of it also grows significantly. 

It could be about firing one of your employees, especially when you break my golden rule- "No family or friends for hire."

It could be about unhappy customers demanding to speak to you.

In some cases, it's about your customers wanting a refund.

It may be that you need to tell vendors you want to stop working with them.

Or, you want to fire your client. 

 

They all sound unsavory, don’t they?

How would you say you feel when realizing you may have to handle these business matters?

Dreadful?
Heavy?
Depressed?
Exposed?
Confronted?
Conflicted?

Is your immediate reaction:

Wanting to avoid it at all cost?
Defensive?
Apprehensive?

 

What if I told you, by the end of this post, you may look forward to having these conversations because you have just acquired a new perspective? 

How to Bounce Back from Business Setbacks Fast: 5 Questions You Must Ask Yourself Immediately After a Setback

How to Bounce Back from Business Setbacks Fast: 5 Questions You Must Ask Yourself Immediately After a Setback

A sudden loss of a major customer, a delayed shipment, an unexpected departure of your superstar employee, an injury/accident, a failed launch, a deal falling apart in the last minute, family emergencies… Operating a business comes with many unexpected challenges. Worse yet, multiple setbacks can come at us all at once.

When setbacks like these happen to you, they can take you right out of your element. This is particularly true when you are laser-focused on achieving your goal, leaving no room for doubts.

 

So, how do we bounce back from setbacks fast?

 

On a personal note, while writing this post, I experienced a setback. 

Only a few days from my meetup live event in NYC, I had no choice but to put it on hold due to an unexpected complication with the venue, where the event was supposed to be held.

This has never happened during my 2 years of running live events.  

If you are experienced in running events big or small, you know the production process starts way before the actual event.  You may also know that securing a venue is the biggest hurdle for anyone who wants to host a live business event. 

Needless to say, it was a blow at first.  To make the matter worse, in just one-weeks’ time surrounding this setback, I have gone through a massive water leak in my apartment, resulting in a section of the ceiling falling down and a family member getting injured.  Luckily, none of these were life threatening. 

Nonetheless, they did not help me get through a setback any easier.

This experience prompted me to write this post on how you can handle business setbacks better and faster.

At this point in my career, I can safely say that I'm a pro at dealing with setbacks because I've had so many in my life - both business and personal.  As I faced numerous setbacks, I have perfected a way to handle them better without forcing myself to believe everything is OK.

DIY PR: Proven Strategies to be Recognized as an Expert in Your Industry

DIY PR: Proven Strategies to be Recognized as an Expert in Your Industry

“Why Should We Hire You?”

You thought you would never have to hear this again once you left your 9 to 5 life. But, there you are as a business owner, you find yourself having to answer this question to your prospects. Déjà vu.  Somehow this never seems to go away.

There are a few ways to handle this age-old question.  One of them is to increase your visibility to be viewed as an expert in your field. 

It provides a sense of assurance to prospective customers to feel confident in your ability to solve a problem they have.  On the same token, it takes care of a large part of their due diligence process.  You have been properly vetted through a channel, in this case ‘media,’ which allows them to put the guard down.

Sounds like a daunting task.  It also sparks a lot of questions.

“Where do I even start?”
“How do I know I am qualified? I don’t have PhD or anything.”
“Would this take a long time?”
“What makes me different from anyone else?”
“What are the secrets to increase the chance of my ideas being picked?”

I was pleased when Tara Rae Bradford from The Potentialista agreed to be the guest speaker at my June event.

Likable vs. Relatable: Why Your Innate Desire to be Liked is Killing Your Business (and What to Do about It.)

Likable vs. Relatable: Why Your Innate Desire to be Liked is Killing Your Business (and What to Do about It.)

“The Courage to be Disliked” has been a Japanese’s bestselling self-help book for the past few years.

It is a big deal as this probably is the last group of people on earth voicing their desire to be "different" and to be totally OK about it. It is a long time coming.

Born and raised in Japan, I have the first-hand experience in failing miserably at being a “girl next door.”  I have been (and still am) more like Wednesday (Christina Ricci) from The Addams Family or Lydia (Winona Ryder) from Beatlejuice. Not the most approachable in the eyes of a well-behaved collective. 

Days of No Wins: How to Defy Your Emotional Gravity and Stay Productive.

[Fact] Every entrepreneur experiences "Days of No Wins" on a regular basis. In this post, I will share my 3 tips for making those days meaningful and reveal the reason why I don't look for small wins.
 

Seeds have been planted.  This is the point of no return.   Leading up to that point, you have mapped out your strategy, your intention was clear, you poured yourself into it, and you went for it. All in.

Now what?

How to avoid FOMO by Creating Bold Themes that Ground You

How to avoid FOMO by Creating Bold Themes that Ground You

My biggest take away this year was how effectively creating clear themes helped me to stay on the right path. 

It had a tremendous impact as I managed to avoid chaos and FOMO (fear-of-missing-out) often triggered by hot new trends and crazy sounding success stories from the online world.

In our head, we all know that we should not get side-tracked by the noise coming from social media posts and relentless ads full of ridiculous success stories. But, let's face it; it is so hard not to get sucked down the rabbit hole. It's because those are designed to tap into your emotions.

Recap: Entrepreneurial Fears - A Practical Guide for Overcoming 3 Types of Fears that Slow You Down

Thank you to those who attended the Sept 2017 event, Entrepreneurial Fears: Practical Tips for Overcoming 3 Types of Fears that Slow You Down.

You were the most integral in making the entire experience unforgettable. Also, special thanks to those who bravely shared their business challenges, which was immensely helpful for me from an event planning perspective.

Want to Get Noticed by a Room Full of People? Take Yourself Out of the Equation by Using “Class-Participation” Technique

Want to Get Noticed by a Room Full of People? Take Yourself Out of the Equation by Using “Class-Participation” Technique

A recent study shows that, for 78% of startups, professional networking plays an important role in getting traction and growing their businesses. (More here: http://bit.ly/2lBDXz2) Yet the fact that there are many books and online learning products on the subject of better networking techniques suggesting many entrepreneurs are facing challenges with networking.

The #1 complaint I hear from business owners about networking is they find most of the events they went to were disappointing as they felt those events false-advertised in terms of what organizers promised to deliver.  Also, they said comparing the amount of effort required to the level of results generated, they weren’t able to justify the effort.  

Stop Using This Word If You Want To Maximize Your Potential in the New Year

The word in question is everywhere and, of course, all over social media. The next 3 months is THE season for this word to pop up even in many ads. Can you guess what that is?

The word is: Goal(s).

“Have you set your goals for 2017?”
“Do you have goals for your business?”
“7 goal-setting tips for 2017”

Coupled with the, ‘resolution’, you will start seeing similar posts or polls like these very soon if not already in your social media timelines and feeds.

Goals are great. Knowing what you want to achieve personally and professionally is important. However, I feel that psychological impact of the word, goal(s), has been diminishing over time.  It almost feels lukewarm.