tag:www.flyingsolo.com.au,2010:/feeds/all Flying Solo 2014-10-01T07:30:00+10:00 tag:www.flyingsolo.com.au,2010:Media/14798 2014-10-01T07:30:00+10:00 2014-09-03T14:15:58+10:00 Presentations: Use breath to enhance your voice <p>Breathing is something that we all take for granted. Yet utilising the breath can help us deliver powerful presentations. Find out how.</p><p>Athletes&nbsp;are taught to use the breath effectively to achieve maximum output. The same is true for speakers. When we’re <a href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/marketing/public-relations-pr/nerve-busting-tips-for-media-interviews" mce_href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/marketing/public-relations-pr/nerve-busting-tips-for-media-interviews">nervous</a> we tend to shallow breathe.</p> <p>Yet if we breathed deeply we would be able to deliver a more powerful presentation. Breathing helps to relax the muscles and in so doing, oxygen flows to the brain; we can think more clearly and feel more confident about speaking in front of a group of people.</p> <p>Here are some breathing exercises that will assist you in using your voice effectively in your next <a href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/marketing/presentation-skills/presentation-skills-for-beginners" mce_href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/marketing/presentation-skills/presentation-skills-for-beginners">presentation.&nbsp;</a></p> <h2>Control the inhalation</h2> <p>Without a proper amount of air on the intake, you’re at risk of running out of air before finishing your sentence. It’s especially important to be aware of your breathing when you’re nervous or stressed. During these times, muscles tense and breathing becomes shallow.</p> <p>With shallow breathing the lungs don’t take in enough air to allow you to reach the end of your sentence. This can lead to lack of projection and volume and the inability to be clearly heard.</p> <p>These exercises will help to control the inhalation:</p> <ul> <li>Be aware of your posture – stand or sit up straight<br /> <br /> </li> <li>Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth using your diaphragm not your shoulders<br /> <br /> </li> <li>Inhale between phrases<strong>&nbsp;</strong></li> </ul> <h2>Control the exhalation</h2> <p><a href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/marketing/presentation-skills/secrets-of-successful-speakers" mce_href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/marketing/presentation-skills/secrets-of-successful-speakers">Effective speakers</a> control their exhalation so that they still have breath at the end of their sentences. The breath and voice should work together with the air flowing out in one smooth stream along with your words.</p> <p>These exercises will help to control the exhalation:</p> <ul> <li>To increase your lung capacity, practise saying the alphabet on a single exhalation, with a small amount of air left at the end.<br /> <br /> </li> <li>A good ratio of inhalation to exhalation is one to five. For every one second inhalation there is a five second exhalation on which you speak.&nbsp;</li> </ul> <h2>Eliminate ‘fillers’</h2> <p>Fillers are words such as ‘um’, ‘ah’, ‘like’, ‘so’, ‘you know’. These words and phrases can become distracting to the audience. They detract from your ability to come across as clear, confident and persuasive.</p> <p>To help minimise fillers, pause and breathe. This allows your audience to digest what you’re saying.</p> <p>By practising&nbsp;these exercises on a regular basis&nbsp;you’ll be able to use your voice&nbsp;to add impact to your message in your next presentation.</p><p> <strong><em>What are your thoughts about this article? Do you have any further presentation tips?</em></strong></p> Maria Pantalone tag:www.flyingsolo.com.au,2010:Media/14815 2014-09-30T07:30:00+10:00 2014-09-29T13:16:24+10:00 My thoughts on customer service <p>Got a bad customer service story? I can relate! Here are my thoughts on customer service these days. </p><p>I’m sure you have your own stories of frustration and annoyance with the lack of customer service available today.&nbsp;</p> <p>Due to moving homes recently, I had to encounter customer service within several different businesses including a large Telco and a small business. &nbsp;When things went wrong, both businesses treated my complaint like a hot potato, with no one wanting to take responsibility (I see you all nodding your head!).&nbsp;</p> <p>It made me realise a lot of businesses place so little value on <a href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/marketing/customer-service/customer-service-tips-learned-at-the-hairdresser" mce_href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/marketing/customer-service/customer-service-tips-learned-at-the-hairdresser">customer service</a>. Bad idea! Here are my thoughts on the matter.&nbsp;</p> <h2>Customer complaints should never be outsourced&nbsp;</h2> <p>I am the queen of <a href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/working-smarter/outsourcing/the-pros-and-cons-of-outsourcing" mce_href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/working-smarter/outsourcing/the-pros-and-cons-of-outsourcing">outsourcing</a>, so I understand a lot of big companies need to outsource their customer service offshore, but I do feel that customer complaints are one thing you should never outsource.&nbsp;</p> <p>In micro business, I believe one person should deal with an unhappy customer, be it you or someone within your business who can take ownership of the issue.&nbsp;</p> <h2>Unhappy customers cause damage&nbsp;</h2> <p>A frustrated customer is not the kind of customer you want. They can do irreparable damage if they take their opinions to social media and online review forums.</p> <p><a href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/marketing/attracting-new-business/generating-word-of-mouth-referrals" mce_href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/marketing/attracting-new-business/generating-word-of-mouth-referrals">Word of mouth</a> is still one of the most powerful forms of marketing, and negative comments can be damaging to your business.&nbsp;</p> <h2>Good customer service breeds loyalty&nbsp;</h2> <p>In my observations, businesses that prioritise good customer service are highly successful. Heard of Apple? Good customer service breeds loyalty, and if you feel like you have received good service, you will purchase again and again.&nbsp;</p> <p>A perfect example of this is a gym I joined in January – they offered me a two week free trial, and the owner generously offered an additional week. In turn, that made me feel loyal to her business, so once the trial was over, I ended up joining for six months.&nbsp;</p> <p>After moving houses recently though, I went searching for the same gym franchise in my new area. They also offered a two week trial, which I signed up to.&nbsp;</p> <p>But one week after my trial, I was told by the owner that I couldn’t get another week for free because I’d already taken the two week trial from the other franchise.&nbsp;</p> <p>Did I sign up to her gym? No. Would I have given her my business and loyalty if she let me have the extra week? Yes probably.&nbsp;</p> <h2>My three top tips for providing good customer service&nbsp;</h2> <p>Nobody wants to feel ripped off or unheard. So if you ever have a disgruntled customer, ensure they get the best customer service, ever. Here are my three top tips.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong><em>Be a good listener</em></strong><strong>&nbsp;</strong></p> <p>How will you know what someone needs if you’re doing all the talking? Be quiet and let your client tell you exactly what he or she requires. Let the client know that they are being heard and apologise if they’ve had a bad experience.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong><em>Put yourself in your customer’s shoes</em></strong><strong>&nbsp;</strong></p> <p>You know exactly how your client feels because you’ve been there before. That’s why you’re good at what you do, right? Now get out there and solve their problem.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong><em>Go the extra mile<br /> </em></strong></p> <p>Don’t you love it when someone goes above and beyond? A great example of this is my story about the gym owner offering me an extra free week.&nbsp;</p> <p>Delivering excellent customer service will create a deeper relationship with your clientele and ensures repeat business. It’s a guaranteed win for both parties and is highly rewarding.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong><em>What are your thoughts on customer service?</em></strong></p> Samantha Hurst tag:www.flyingsolo.com.au,2010:Media/14574 2014-09-29T07:30:00+10:00 2014-09-26T10:54:10+10:00 Flying Solo Meetups have a new home! <p>We're excited to announce our meetups are now live at Meetup.com/FlyingSoloAU, where it's easy to start, manage and join a group.</p><p><br /></p><h4><span style="font-weight: normal;" mce_style="font-weight: normal;">Learn more and join in at&nbsp;<a href="http://www.meetup.com/flyingsoloau/" mce_href="http://www.meetup.com/flyingsoloau/" target="_blank">www.meetup.com/flyingsoloau/</a></span></h4> FlyingSolo tag:www.flyingsolo.com.au,2010:Media/14847 2014-09-28T07:30:00+10:00 2014-09-18T12:54:12+10:00 Getting the most out of LinkedIn <p>We've all heard that a good profile on LinkedIn is valuable, but are you connecting and using the service to maximum effect? Podcast guest, Wendy Pavey shares her tips. </p><p><span style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: #000000; font-size: 11px; vertical-align: baseline; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, serif; color: #4d4d4c; line-height: 17px; background-image: initial; background-attachment: initial; background-size: initial; background-origin: initial; background-clip: initial; background-position: initial; background-repeat: initial;" mce_style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: #000000; font-size: 11px; vertical-align: baseline; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, serif; color: #4d4d4c; line-height: 17px; background-image: initial; background-attachment: initial; background-size: initial; background-origin: initial; background-clip: initial; background-position: initial; background-repeat: initial;">To access all Flying Solo podcasts visit&nbsp;</span><a style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: #000000; vertical-align: baseline; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; color: #3e8a9a; text-decoration: none; line-height: 17px; background-image: initial; background-attachment: initial; background-size: initial; background-origin: initial; background-clip: initial; background-position: initial; background-repeat: initial;" mce_style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: #000000; vertical-align: baseline; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; color: #3e8a9a; text-decoration: none; line-height: 17px; background-image: initial; background-attachment: initial; background-size: initial; background-origin: initial; background-clip: initial; background-position: initial; background-repeat: initial;" href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/podcast" mce_href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/podcast" target="_blank">http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/podcast</a></p> FlyingSolo tag:www.flyingsolo.com.au,2010:Media/14759 2014-09-27T07:30:00+10:00 2014-07-28T16:27:22+10:00 Understanding your balance sheet <p>Not sure how to interpret your balance sheet? You may be missing out on valuable information about your business performance. I’ll take you through the basics. </p><h2>What’s a balance sheet?&nbsp;</h2> <p>Your balance sheet is a statement of the financial position of your business, listing all the things the business owns (<a href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/finance/business-tax-tips/business-tax-tips-when-to-buy-new-equipment" mce_href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/finance/business-tax-tips/business-tax-tips-when-to-buy-new-equipment">assets</a>) and all the things it owes (liabilities and equity).&nbsp;</p> <h2>Assets and liabilities&nbsp;</h2> <p>Think of this in terms of your personal balance sheet. For example, you may have assets (things you own) such as a house, a car and funds in a bank account; and liabilities (things you owe) such as a mortgage, credit card debts and a car loan.</p> <p>As a person, the difference between your total assets and total liabilities is referred to as your net worth. When talking about a business, the term equity refers to the same thing.&nbsp;</p> <p>Looking at the list of assets and liabilities above, notice that your bank or credit card account will often change daily, whereas the value of your house and mortgage change more slowly. Assets and liabilities in a business are similarly split into current (short lived) and non-current or fixed (longer term).<strong>&nbsp;</strong></p> <h2>Assets&nbsp;</h2> <p>A balance sheet normally lists your assets first, starting with current assets such as the amount of money you have in the bank owed to you by debtors and held as inventory, and followed by your non-current or fixed assets, such as equipment or buildings.&nbsp;</p> <p>Incidentally, fixed assets are the types of items that tend to be depreciated, meaning that the <a href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/finance/business-tax-tips/how-to-minimise-tax" mce_href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/finance/business-tax-tips/how-to-minimise-tax">tax</a> deduction for the expense must be spread across multiple years rather than claimed in a single year.&nbsp;</p> <h2>Liabilities&nbsp;</h2> <p>The next section of your balance sheet relates to your liabilities, again split into current and non-current. Typically, the liabilities of smaller businesses are predominantly current, unless you have some loans or other liabilities that aren’t repayable for more than 12 months.&nbsp;</p> <p>Current liabilities generally include items such as credit card balances, amounts owed to suppliers or to the ATO (GST and PAYG), and superannuation liability.</p> <p>One thing to watch for in your balance sheet is a balance showing as a negative number. For example, if any current liability is showing up as a negative number it means it’s an asset, and that someone (such as the ATO) owes you money. If you know that’s not the case it means there’s an error in your accounts.<span style="line-height: 1.5em;" mce_style="line-height: 1.5em;">&nbsp;</span></p> <h2>Net assets and equity</h2> <p>The difference between all your assets and all your liabilities is your net assets, a term that refers to the net value of the things you own in the business. This is different to the net value<em> </em>of the business itself, which is a whole separate topic.</p> <p>By the magic of double-entry <a href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/finance/financial-management/outsourcing-bookkeeping-getting-the-best-from-your-bookkeeper" mce_href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/finance/financial-management/outsourcing-bookkeeping-getting-the-best-from-your-bookkeeper">bookkeeping,</a> the value of your net assets will match the value of your equity (the amount that the business “owes” to you as its owner).</p> <h2>Putting your balance sheet to work&nbsp;</h2> <p>Your profit and loss statement (P&amp;L) is the principal document your accountant uses to prepare your tax return, but your balance sheet provides an even more important snapshot of the health of your business. It’s important to keep an eye on yours and use it to correct any concerning issues as a matter of urgency.</p> <p>If you spot an error in your balance sheet, it’s highly likely that there’s also an error in your P&amp;L, which may in turn lead you to incorrectly report your income to the ATO, leading to bigger issues.&nbsp;</p> <p>More importantly, if your balance sheet reveals that your liabilities are getting to be greater than your assets, your business may be heading towards insolvency. Note that even if your total assets outnumber your total liabilities, having <em>current</em> liabilities greater than your <em>current</em> assets can create solvency issues – you may not be able to pay your debts when they fall due.&nbsp;</p> <p>If your balance sheet is looking sickly, don’t wait to act, where necessary, talk to your accountant.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong><em>Do you have any questions or comments about balance sheets?</em></strong></p> Rhys Roberts tag:www.flyingsolo.com.au,2010:Media/14851 2014-09-26T07:30:00+10:00 2014-09-26T10:24:53+10:00 Bye Google Authorship, hello Rich Snippets! <p>Last month, Google announced it ended its Authorship program. Don’t worry, if you’ve built up your Google Plus profile, your efforts may not have been in vain.</p><p>Online marketing is one of the easiest, arguably affordable ways to grow your business; and Google Authorship was a great tool for anyone who wanted to increase their online visibility and website traffic.&nbsp;</p> <h2>What was Google Authorship?&nbsp;</h2> <p>Google Authorship linked your <a href="http://www.google.com/+/learnmore/getstarted/guide.html" mce_href="http://www.google.com/+/learnmore/getstarted/guide.html">Google + profile</a> content and anything else you wrote online to Google search results. With Google paying more attention to individual authors and quality content, Google Authorship was a means of verifying your identity and becoming directly affiliated with whatever content you created.&nbsp;</p> <p>You may have seen the head shots next to the Google listings for writers who have Google Authorship. Some writers have argued that a head shot image was one of the biggest benefits of Authorship. The idea was to influence search rankings based on the reputation of its authors by using digital signatures.&nbsp;</p> <h2>Why did Google call it quits?&nbsp;</h2> <p>John Mueller from Google’s Webmaster tools announced in a <a href="https://plus.google.com/u/0/+JohnMueller/posts/HZf3KDP1Dm8" mce_href="https://plus.google.com/u/0/+JohnMueller/posts/HZf3KDP1Dm8">Google+ post</a> that the primary reason behind the Authorship removal was a response to continuous amounts of Google’s testing, where they evaluated that Authorship was not meeting Google’s two goals:&nbsp;</p> <ol> <li>Low adoption rate by authors and webmasters</li> <li>Low value to searchers&nbsp;</li> </ol> <h2>So what does the removal of Authorship mean for us?</h2> <p>Mueller explained that in their tests, removing Authorship generally does not seem to reduce traffic to sites, so it will not have a negative impact on search results in the short term.&nbsp;</p> <p>The previous Google Authorship URL now directs users to a page on ‘<a href="https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/99170" mce_href="https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/99170">rich snippets</a>’ as a way to improve search results. I believe that this is the next thing to focus on to improve your search rankings.&nbsp;</p> <h2>What are rich snippets?&nbsp;</h2> <p>Snippets are the few lines of text that appear under every search result and are designed to inform the user about what the landing page contains and why it is relevant. It’s detailed information intended to improve the search result listing. These could be in the form of: an average price range for a restaurant, preparation time for a recipe, reviews of a local business or a snippet for a music album.&nbsp;</p> <p>It appears that Google is indicating that optimising these search result listings with ‘rich snippets’ is the replacement of Authorship, or the next thing to focus your time and energy on. Instructions for setting up rich snippets can be found <a href="https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/99170" mce_href="https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/99170">here.</a>&nbsp;</p> <p>However, I don’t think that Authorship will be gone forever, the concept was solid and I believe that Google will continue to expand until a trusted method is developed.&nbsp;</p> <p>So it looks like it is time to say goodbye to Authorship and hello to rich snippets.&nbsp;</p><p> <b><i>What are your thoughts on Google’s decision?</i></b></p> Jo Macdermott tag:www.flyingsolo.com.au,2010:Media/14784 2014-09-25T07:30:00+10:00 2014-08-12T14:36:49+10:00 Three tips for selling and packaging YOU <p>Putting yourself out there and selling your services can be one of the biggest challenges. These three essential tips will help. </p><p>Selling yourself brings up all sorts of tricky stuff like vulnerability, <a href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/live-smarter/business-values/business-ethics-do-you-pass-the-authenticity-test" mce_href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/live-smarter/business-values/business-ethics-do-you-pass-the-authenticity-test">authenticity,</a> likeability, trust, fear of judgement, fear of failure and even fear of success. When you sell a service, that service is you – there’s complete <a href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/live-smarter/business-values/business-transparency-all-puff-no-substance" mce_href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/live-smarter/business-values/business-transparency-all-puff-no-substance">transparency</a>. At times it can stretch you well outside your comfort zone.</p> <p>These three essential tips will help you step into your power and presence when selling and packaging YOU.</p> <h2>1. Be afraid but do it anyway</h2> <p><a href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/startup/business-confidence/how-to-overcome-fear-in-business" mce_href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/startup/business-confidence/how-to-overcome-fear-in-business">Fear</a> is not going anywhere, so the best thing you can do is accept and manage it. Fear is the fuel that will propel you to where you want to go. Fear simply means you care.</p> <p>One helpful thing is to focus on the feeling of achieving your goal. How will you feel after you’ve delivered that speech or program? Confident, accomplished, elated, proud? Whatever your desired feeling, visualise yourself achieving your goal and feel it like you’re already there.</p> <h2>2. Practice and put it out there</h2> <p>One of the key obstacles entrepreneurs face is <a href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/live-smarter/business-psychology/dont-let-perfectionism-ruin-your-business" mce_href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/live-smarter/business-psychology/dont-let-perfectionism-ruin-your-business">perfectionism</a>, which in turn feeds procrastination. It becomes a vicious cycle. But there comes a time where you have to get it out there. Your offerings are a work in progress and through feedback and refinement, you’ll get closer to where you really want to be.</p> <p>This of course does not mean compromising on quality, but it does mean moving past the paralysis of procrastination.</p> <h2>3. Invest in your personal growth</h2> <p>The only guarantee in business is change, which includes an ongoing investment in education and personal development. For you, that might look like an online program, a coach/mentor or your local toastmasters.</p> <p>Take steps to acquire the skills that will strengthen and support you. Seek out support groups because they will become your own personal cheering squad. Surround yourself with people who will celebrate your wins and who will pick you up if you’re down.</p> <p>Whether you’re an introvert, extrovert or in between, if you’re a business owner, the art of selling and packaging <em>you</em> is an essential skill to learn. It just takes a little patience and practice.</p><p> <strong><em>What are your thoughts on selling and packaging YOU?</em></strong></p> Helen Roe tag:www.flyingsolo.com.au,2010:Media/14778 2014-09-24T07:30:00+10:00 2014-09-24T10:26:10+10:00 Selling gift cards: Five things you need to know <p>Do you sell or offer gift cards, vouchers or certificates on your website or through your business? Read this article, you may need a license.</p><p>You may be surprised to know that if you sell gift cards, vouchers or certificates (all known as ‘gift cards’), that if you don’t meet the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (<a href="http://www.asic.gov.au/" mce_href="http://www.asic.gov.au/">ASIC</a>) exemptions, you might need a financial services license to offer them.&nbsp;</p> <p>Gift cards are generally considered ‘non-cash payment facilities’ and are regulated by ASIC. For example, if you provide a means for a customer to make a payment for goods or services using payments other than Australian or foreign currency, it acts like a credit card, and this would be caught by the legislation, which means you need a license.&nbsp;</p> <h2>The downsides of obtaining a license&nbsp;</h2> <ul> <li>You have to complete a series of difficult exams </li> <li>It’s a long, drawn out process </li> <li>It’s expensive&nbsp;</li> </ul> <h2>How your business can avoid triggering licensing requirements&nbsp;</h2> <p>To avoid obtaining a license, you must include the following in your Gift Card terms.&nbsp;</p> <ol> <li><strong>Gift cards cannot be ‘reloaded’</strong>. <br /> <br /> This means you cannot offer gift cards which enable customers to add value or increase the value of their certificate amount. Otherwise they may be considered as a credit card, triggering credit facility law which requires licensing.</li> <li><strong>Gift cards cannot be redeemed for cash.</strong> <br /> <br /> This means you cannot offer cards which permit customers to use the gift card to buy items and receive the remaining balance in a cash payment. If there is a very small amount remaining on the gift card, the business owner can decide at their discretion to redeem it in cash if it cannot be ‘conveniently used’.&nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Consumers must be made aware of any ‘critical terms’. <br /> <br /> </strong>Remember, the person purchasing the gift card is often not the person using the gift certificate, so both must be made aware of any important terms of use. This includes things such as expiry dates, restrictions on items that can be purchased with the certificate, and all other limitations.&nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Set a ‘reasonable’ expiry date</strong>. <br /> <br /> Any expiry of less than 12 months may not be seen as reasonable in some cases. If there is no expiry date marked, the customer is really only permitted to use it for a ‘reasonable’ length of time after it was originally purchased. This means if they returned years later to try to use the gift card, you could arguably not permit them to do so. But from a commercial and <a href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/marketing/business-marketing/marketing-your-service-seven-ps-of-marketing" mce_href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/marketing/business-marketing/marketing-your-service-seven-ps-of-marketing">marketing</a> perspective, it would be a goodwill gesture!&nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Market them as a ‘gift’ product for multiple uses</strong>. <br /> <br /> Providing gift cards as a means of payment for goods is essentially providing a ‘non cash’ payment facility, so businesses must market them as a ‘gift’ product and not, for example, as a cash ‘alternative’. This means, if you are selling a gift card, you must treat it as if it is one of your items for sale. <br /> <br /> The card must also permit more than one purchase, or permit multiple uses until the full monetary amount is used or the expiry date is met. You cannot limit it to a single purchase.&nbsp;</li> </ol> <p>Gift cards are a great way to <a href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/marketing/attracting-new-business/how-to-attract-an-endless-supply-of-clients" mce_href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/marketing/attracting-new-business/how-to-attract-an-endless-supply-of-clients">attract new customers</a> and increase brand awareness for your business, as well as improve sales. The gift card market is growing rapidly, and while you don’t want to pass up this excellent marketing opportunity, always keep in mind the five important terms you need to offer.</p><p> <strong><em>What are your thoughts on offering gift cards?</em></strong></p> Vanessa Emilio tag:www.flyingsolo.com.au,2010:Media/14844 2014-09-23T07:30:00+10:00 2014-09-17T12:16:46+10:00 Seth Godin touched me <p>Well… his presentation style did! Just so you know, he probably wouldn’t like that headline, as he’s no fan of click bait tactics. Sorry about that Seth. </p><p>I was fortunate to blag my way into a day-long audience with the main man recently and I enjoyed every minute. As an event helper, not even the carting around of boxes or sustaining my finest meet and greet smile for eight hours, could take away from my positive experience.&nbsp;</p> <p>Rather than rant sycophantically about his <a href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/marketing/business-marketing/small-business-marketing-tips-to-make-marketing-easier" mce_href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/marketing/business-marketing/small-business-marketing-tips-to-make-marketing-easier">marketing</a> genius, I’ll focus on my observations of how he engages a live audience and presents his knowledge.&nbsp;</p> <h2>1. He makes good use of tried and tested material&nbsp;</h2> <p>I’m not saying his stuff is old, I’m saying it’s not necessarily brand new.&nbsp;</p> <p>If a story you’ve used before is simply the best way to illustrate a point, then why not air it again? Seth uses <a href="https://soundcloud.com/flyingsoloau/30-using-stories-to-attract-business" mce_href="https://soundcloud.com/flyingsoloau/30-using-stories-to-attract-business">storytelling</a> brilliantly, and each story is backed up by a constant stream of personal observations and relevant anecdotes creating more and more rich layers.&nbsp;</p> <p>I use stories in my presentations, and I realise now that enriching<ins datetime="2014-09-17T07:21" cite="mailto:Lucinda"> existing</ins> material&nbsp;<ins datetime="2014-09-17T07:21" cite="mailto:Lucinda">is </ins>far better than the endless pursuit of new content. It’s much like hearing your favourite band live - new songs are fine, but old favourites <ins datetime="2014-09-17T07:21" cite="mailto:Lucinda">with a twist </ins>are nearly always the best.&nbsp;</p> <h2>2. &nbsp;He’s a down and out kind of guy&nbsp;</h2> <p>Seth <a href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/technology/small-business-blogs/how-exactly-do-bloggers-make-money" mce_href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/technology/small-business-blogs/how-exactly-do-bloggers-make-money">blogs</a> daily and his posts are magic. But as he discussed on the day, and displayed time and again, he doesn’t labour over trying <ins datetime="2014-09-17T07:22" cite="mailto:Lucinda">to </ins>make every post brilliant. He just gets ideas down and he gets them out. Some ideas resonate widely, some less so, but he doesn’t agonise too much.&nbsp;</p> <p>As he said himself:&nbsp;</p> <p>“I try not to watch stats and I never read book reviews, good or bad.”&nbsp;</p> <p>What’s clear is that once you commit to a process like this your delivery gets sharper and sharper. A concept or observation may be 50 words, it could be 500. What matters is the core idea.&nbsp;</p> <h2>3. &nbsp;He sets boundaries and honours them&nbsp;</h2> <p>Aside from learning that Seth had a son called Max (who is now called something else, but we didn’t hear what), we didn’t get any insight into the private life of the man and you won’t find it in his posts either. I found this truly refreshing. I’m over experts banging on about themselves (and intend to stop doing it myself one day soon).&nbsp;</p> <p>Seth didn’t fly half way round the world to please everyone, make new friends, and network frantically; he was here to inspire change.&nbsp;</p> <h2>4. &nbsp;He thinks deeply and is in it for the long haul&nbsp;</h2> <p>In his work he avoids ‘newsy’ topics that won’t stand the test of time. This surely is a discipline that pushes him to think more deeply, as it’s easier to pass comment on current events, than it is to identify broader trends that drive innovation.&nbsp;</p> <p>Of his blogging Seth said: “I think of it as making art, not building a business<ins datetime="2014-09-17T07:22" cite="mailto:Lucinda">.</ins>”&nbsp;</p> <p>In amongst all this, Seth also does something that very few people ever do well. In a room full of people he has an extraordinary ability to talk directly to an individual, remember a name for hours and truly touch them, as he did me.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong><em><ins datetime="2014-09-17T07:22" cite="mailto:Lucinda">Have you been touched by Seth’s </ins><ins datetime="2014-09-17T07:23" cite="mailto:Lucinda">ideas, </ins><ins datetime="2014-09-17T07:22" cite="mailto:Lucinda">books, </ins><ins datetime="2014-09-17T07:23" cite="mailto:Lucinda">presentations or </ins><ins datetime="2014-09-17T07:22" cite="mailto:Lucinda">blog</ins><ins datetime="2014-09-17T07:23" cite="mailto:Lucinda">? Share your story here.</ins></em></strong></p> Robert Gerrish tag:www.flyingsolo.com.au,2010:Media/13463 2014-09-22T07:30:00+10:00 2014-09-19T12:15:45+10:00 Judge a book by its lover(s) <p>Flying Solo: How to go it alone in business is a book that gives you the tools you need to start your own venture, or totally rejuvenate one that’s been ticking along for years. See reviews and order now.</p><p><span class="Apple-style-span" style="color: rgb(77, 77, 76); font-family: Arial, Helvetica, serif; font-size: 12px; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; " mce_style="color: #4d4d4c; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, serif; font-size: 12px; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px;">Combining tons of motivational and practical advice, it explores the habits and behaviours of successful soloists; explodes some of the myths of marketing, time management, online success and networking; and helps you thrive as a solo or micro business owner.</span></p><p><span class="Apple-style-span" style="color: rgb(77, 77, 76); font-family: Arial, Helvetica, serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 17px; " mce_style="color: #4d4d4c; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 17px;">Written in our familiar, upbeat style, this <em>revisited </em>version includes advice on mastering the online world, optimising your money-making potential and crafting a business that runs itself. </span></p><p><span class="Apple-style-span" style="color: rgb(77, 77, 76); font-family: Arial, Helvetica, serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 17px; " mce_style="color: #4d4d4c; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 17px;">Plus we've added even more case histories and real-life examples from our wonderful solo and micro business community.</span></p><p><span class="Apple-style-span" style="color: rgb(77, 77, 76); font-family: Arial, Helvetica, serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 17px; " mce_style="color: #4d4d4c; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 17px;"></span>It can be all yours for&nbsp;<strong>$24.95 + postage, packing &amp; handling</strong>.&nbsp;Total price for Australian buyers, &nbsp;$29.70, lovingly delivered to your door.</p> <table border="0" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0" class="mceItemTable"> <tbody> <tr> <td> <p class="nomargin"><strong>Delivery to</strong></p> </td> <td> <p class="nomargin"><strong>Quantity</strong></p> </td> <td>&nbsp;</td> </tr> <tr> <td><form><select name="country"> <option selected="selected" value="24.95|4.75">Australia</option> <option value="22.86|6.6">New Zealand</option> <option value="0|0">---</option> <option value="22.86|8.4">Afghanistan</option> <option value="22.86|8.4">Albania</option> <option value="22.86|8.4">Algeria</option> <option value="22.86|8.4">Andorra</option> <option value="22.86|8.4">Angola</option> <option value="22.86|8.4">Antigua and Barbuda</option> <option value="22.86|8.4">Argentina</option> <option value="22.86|8.4">Armenia</option> <option value="22.86|8.4">Austria</option> <option value="22.86|8.4">Azerbaijan</option> <option value="22.86|8.4">The Bahamas</option> <option value="22.86|8.4">Bahrain</option> <option value="22.86|8.4">Bangladesh</option> <option value="22.86|8.4">Barbados</option> <option value="22.86|8.4">Belarus</option> <option value="22.86|8.4">Belgium</option> <option 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<option value="22.86|8.4">Gabon</option> <option value="22.86|8.4">The Gambia</option> <option value="22.86|8.4">Georgia</option> <option value="22.86|8.4">Germany</option> <option value="22.86|8.4">Ghana</option> <option value="22.86|8.4">Greece</option> <option value="22.86|8.4">Grenada</option> <option value="22.86|8.4">Guatemala</option> <option value="22.86|8.4">Guinea</option> <option value="22.86|8.4">Guinea-Bissau</option> <option value="22.86|8.4">Guyana</option> <option value="22.86|8.4">Haiti</option> <option value="22.86|8.4">Honduras</option> <option value="22.86|8.4">Hungary</option> <option value="22.86|8.4">Iceland</option> <option value="22.86|8.4">India</option> <option value="22.86|8.4">Indonesia</option> <option value="22.86|8.4">Iran</option> <option value="22.86|8.4">Iraq</option> <option value="22.86|8.4">Ireland</option> <option value="22.86|8.4">Israel</option> <option value="22.86|8.4">Italy</option> <option value="22.86|8.4">Jamaica</option> <option value="22.86|8.4">Japan</option> <option value="22.86|8.4">Jordan</option> <option value="22.86|8.4">Kazakhstan</option> <option value="22.86|8.4">Kenya</option> <option value="22.86|8.4">Kiribati</option> <option value="22.86|8.4">Korea, North</option> <option value="22.86|8.4">Korea, South</option> <option value="22.86|8.4">Kuwait</option> <option value="22.86|8.4">Kyrgyzstan</option> <option value="22.86|8.4">Laos</option> <option value="22.86|8.4">Latvia</option> <option value="22.86|8.4">Lebanon</option> <option value="22.86|8.4">Lesotho</option> <option value="22.86|8.4">Liberia</option> <option value="22.86|8.4">Libya</option> <option value="22.86|8.4">Liechtenstein</option> <option value="22.86|8.4">Lithuania</option> <option value="22.86|8.4">Luxembourg</option> <option value="22.86|8.4">Macedonia</option> <option value="22.86|8.4">Madagascar</option> <option value="22.86|8.4">Malawi</option> <option value="22.86|8.4">Malaysia</option> <option value="22.86|8.4">Maldives</option> <option value="22.86|8.4">Mali</option> <option value="22.86|8.4">Malta</option> <option value="22.86|8.4">Marshall Islands</option> <option value="22.86|8.4">Mauritania</option> <option value="22.86|8.4">Mauritius</option> <option value="22.86|8.4">Mexico</option> <option value="22.86|8.4">Federated States of Micronesia</option> <option value="22.86|8.4">Moldova</option> <option value="22.86|8.4">Monaco</option> <option value="22.86|8.4">Mongolia</option> <option value="22.86|8.4">Morocco</option> <option value="22.86|8.4">Mozambique</option> <option value="22.86|8.4">Myanmar (Burma)</option> <option value="22.86|8.4">Namibia</option> <option value="22.86|8.4">Nauru</option> <option value="22.86|8.4">Nepal</option> <option value="22.86|8.4">Netherlands</option> <option value="22.86|8.4">Nicaragua</option> <option value="22.86|8.4">Niger</option> <option value="22.86|8.4">Nigeria</option> <option value="22.86|8.4">Norway</option> <option value="22.86|8.4">Oman</option> <option value="22.86|8.4">Pakistan</option> <option value="22.86|8.4">Palau</option> <option value="22.86|8.4">Panama</option> <option value="22.86|8.4">Papua New Guinea</option> <option value="22.86|8.4">Paraguay</option> <option value="22.86|8.4">Peru</option> <option value="22.86|8.4">Philippines</option> <option value="22.86|8.4">Poland</option> <option value="22.86|8.4">Portugal</option> <option value="22.86|8.4">Qatar</option> <option value="22.86|8.4">Romania</option> <option value="22.86|8.4">Russia</option> <option value="22.86|8.4">Rwanda</option> <option value="22.86|8.4">Saint Kitts and Nevis</option> <option value="22.86|8.4">Saint Lucia</option> <option value="22.86|8.4">Saint Vincent and the Grenadines</option> <option value="22.86|8.4">Samoa</option> <option value="22.86|8.4">San Marino</option> <option value="22.86|8.4">Sao Tome and Principe</option> <option value="22.86|8.4">Saudi Arabia</option> <option value="22.86|8.4">Senegal</option> <option value="22.86|8.4">Serbia and Montenegro (Yugoslavia)</option> <option value="22.86|8.4">Seychelles</option> <option value="22.86|8.4">Sierra Leone</option> <option value="22.86|8.4">Singapore</option> <option value="22.86|8.4">Slovakia</option> <option value="22.86|8.4">Slovenia</option> <option value="22.86|8.4">Solomon Islands</option> <option value="22.86|8.4">Somalia</option> <option value="22.86|8.4">South Africa</option> <option value="22.86|8.4">Spain</option> <option value="22.86|8.4">Sri Lanka</option> <option value="22.86|8.4">Sudan</option> <option value="22.86|8.4">Suriname</option> <option value="22.86|8.4">Swaziland</option> <option value="22.86|8.4">Sweden</option> <option value="22.86|8.4">Switzerland</option> <option value="22.86|8.4">Syria</option> <option value="22.86|8.4">Taiwan</option> <option value="22.86|8.4">Tajikistan</option> <option value="22.86|8.4">Tanzania</option> <option value="22.86|8.4">Thailand</option> <option value="22.86|8.4">Togo</option> <option value="22.86|8.4">Tonga</option> <option value="22.86|8.4">Trinidad and Tobago</option> <option value="22.86|8.4">Tunisia</option> <option value="22.86|8.4">Turkey</option> <option value="22.86|8.4">Turkmenistan</option> <option value="22.86|8.4">Tuvalu</option> <option value="22.86|8.4">Uganda</option> <option value="22.86|8.4">Ukraine</option> <option value="22.86|8.4">United Arab Emirates</option> <option value="22.86|8.4">United Kingdom</option> <option value="22.86|8.4">United States</option> <option value="22.86|8.4">Uruguay</option> <option value="22.86|8.4">Uzbekistan</option> <option value="22.86|8.4">Vanuatu</option> <option value="22.86|8.4">Vatican City (Holy See)</option> <option value="22.86|8.4">Venezuela</option> <option value="22.86|8.4">Vietnam</option> <option value="22.86|8.4">Yemen</option> <option value="22.86|8.4">Zambia</option> <option value="22.86|8.4">Zimbabwe</option></select> </form></td> <td><input name="quantity" size="2" value="1"></td> <td><form action="https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr" method="post"><input name="cmd" type="hidden" value="_xclick"> <input name="business" type="hidden" value="robert@flyingsolo.com.au"> <input name="item_name" type="hidden" value="Flying Solo (1 copy)"> <input name="amount" type="hidden" value="24.95"> <input name="shipping" type="hidden" value="4.75"> <input name="no_shipping" type="hidden" value="2"> <input name="cn" type="hidden" value="Comments"> <input name="currency_code" type="hidden" value="AUD"> <input name="bn" type="hidden" value="PP-BuyNowBF"> <input alt="Make payments with PayPal - it's fast, free and secure!" name="submit" src="https://www.paypal.com/en_US/i/btn/x-click-but23.gif" mce_src="https://www.paypal.com/en_US/i/btn/x-click-but23.gif" type="image"> <img src="https://www.paypal.com/en_AU/i/scr/pixel.thumbnail.1x1.gif" mce_src="https://www.paypal.com/en_AU/i/scr/pixel.thumbnail.1x1.gif" border="0" alt="" width="1" height="1"> </form></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <p><br />'Buy Now' takes you into <strong>PayPal's payment gateway</strong> where you can pay via PayPal, Visa or Mastercard.</p> <h4><span style="outline-width: 0px; outline-style: initial; outline-color: initial; font-size: 12px; vertical-align: baseline; background-image: initial; background-attachment: initial; background-origin: initial; background-clip: initial; background-color: transparent; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; background-position: initial initial; background-repeat: initial initial; padding: 0px; margin: 0px; border: 0px initial initial;" mce_style="outline-width: 0px; outline-style: initial; outline-color: initial; font-size: 12px; vertical-align: baseline; background-image: initial; background-attachment: initial; background-origin: initial; background-clip: initial; background-color: transparent; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; background-position: initial initial; background-repeat: initial initial; padding: 0px; margin: 0px; border: 0px initial initial;"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, serif; font-size: medium;" mce_style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, serif; font-size: medium;"><span style="font-size: 16px;" mce_style="font-size: 16px;">PSST...want to score a free copy?</span></span></span></h4> <p><span style="outline: 0px; font-size: 12px; vertical-align: baseline; background-color: transparent; padding: 0px; margin: 0px;" mce_style="outline-width: 0px; outline-style: initial; outline-color: initial; font-size: 12px; vertical-align: baseline; background-image: initial; background-attachment: initial; background-origin: initial; background-clip: initial; background-color: transparent; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; background-position: initial initial; background-repeat: initial initial; padding: 0px; margin: 0px; border: 0px initial initial;"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, serif;" mce_style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, serif;">Check out our <a href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/membership/become-a-member/all" mce_href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/membership/become-a-member/all">premium memberships</a> - annual options include a free copy</span></span><em style="outline-width: 0px; outline-style: initial; outline-color: initial; font-size: 12px; vertical-align: baseline; background-image: initial; background-attachment: initial; background-origin: initial; background-clip: initial; background-color: transparent; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; background-position: initial initial; background-repeat: initial initial; padding: 0px; margin: 0px; border: 0px initial initial;" mce_style="outline-width: 0px; outline-style: initial; outline-color: initial; font-size: 12px; vertical-align: baseline; background-image: initial; background-attachment: initial; background-origin: initial; background-clip: initial; background-color: transparent; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; background-position: initial initial; background-repeat: initial initial; padding: 0px; margin: 0px; border: 0px initial initial;">.&nbsp;</em></p> <h2>What readers say</h2> <p>It's all about the social proof! So here are a selection of comments - including official reviews and spontaneous feedback - from readers of the original <em>Flying Solo - How to go it alone in business.&nbsp;</em></p> <p><em>If you're on your own, and not sure what's up next, read this book and wake up to the possibilities it presents.&nbsp;<br /> <strong>Michael Gerber,&nbsp;author of&nbsp;</strong><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0887307280/qid=1136247827/sr=8-1/ref=pd_bbs_1/102-2319535-2953751?n=507846%26s=books%26v=glance" mce_href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0887307280/qid=1136247827/sr=8-1/ref=pd_bbs_1/102-2319535-2953751?n=507846%26s=books%26v=glance" target="_blank"><strong>The E-Myth</strong></a></em></p> <p><em>A stirring and sane manifesto for working - and living! - better in the 21st century.&nbsp;<br /> <strong>Carl Honoré,&nbsp;author of&nbsp;&nbsp;</strong><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0752864416/sr=1-2/qid=1156202091/ref=pd_bbs_2/103-9575562-9901407?ie=UTF8&amp;s=books" mce_href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0752864416/sr=1-2/qid=1156202091/ref=pd_bbs_2/103-9575562-9901407?ie=UTF8&amp;s=books"><strong>In Praise of Slow</strong></a></em></p> <p><em>A remarkable book...sure to fill its readers with inspiration...&nbsp;<br /> <strong>Joanna Tovia</strong>, The Daily Telegraph, Sydney, Australia</em></p> <p><em>Flying Solo is an outstanding guide to venturing out on your own. Prepare to take notes!&nbsp;<br /> <strong>Dan Pink,&nbsp;author of&nbsp;</strong><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0446678791/sr=1-1/qid=1137633273/ref=pd_bbs_1/102-2319535-2953751?%5Fencoding=UTF8" mce_href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0446678791/sr=1-1/qid=1137633273/ref=pd_bbs_1/102-2319535-2953751?%5Fencoding=UTF8"><strong>Free Agent Nation</strong></a><strong>&nbsp;and&nbsp;</strong><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1573223085/sr=1-2/qid=1137633273/ref=pd_bbs_2/102-2319535-2953751?%5Fencoding=UTF8" mce_href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1573223085/sr=1-2/qid=1137633273/ref=pd_bbs_2/102-2319535-2953751?%5Fencoding=UTF8"><strong>A Whole New Mind</strong></a></em></p> <p><em>Opening up Flying Solo is like having coffee with a good friend...I would recommend it to anyone contemplating a shift to starting their own business.&nbsp;<br /> <strong>Angela James&nbsp;for&nbsp;www.homebizbuzz.co.nz</strong></em></p> <p><em>Flying Solo ... is a really handy, readable guide written by experienced soloists...The book shows what's required of&nbsp;you practically and psychologically to work successfully for yourself...This is a great book for anyone struggling to find purpose in traditional jobs.<br /> <strong>Melinda Finch&nbsp;from Human Resources Magazine, Australia</strong></em></p> <p><em>This book is a delight! Cheerful and upbeat while staying rooted in the practicalities of running a solo business, it is also inspiring and motivational as it tackles such issues as the importance of attitude, how to embrace uncertainty and the criticality of staying aligned with your passions in designing your work... Flying Solo is my recommended read for aspiring and new solo entrepreneurs, or those who&nbsp; may have lost sight of the reason they went solo in the first place.<br /> <strong>Terri Zwierzynski</strong>&nbsp;from&nbsp;<strong>Solo-e.com</strong></em></p> <p><em>This is an excellent book for the solo professional or business owner or for anyone thinking about going solo. It is written in a friendly, almost chatty style and given the seriousness of the content has an amazing lightness of touch. The advice here is highly professional and appropriate - all sound and much of it brilliant. An excellent contribution.&nbsp;<br /> <strong>Des Walsh&nbsp;from&nbsp;www.thinkinghomebusiness.com</strong></em></p> <p><em>With practical advice and inside knowledge into how successful&nbsp;soloists have achieved, there is plenty in Flying Solo to guide&nbsp;you...anyone who needs a change in their lifestyle...should definitely have a thorough read.<br /> <strong>eBalmain &amp; eParramatta Magazines&nbsp; Sydney, NSW</strong></em></p> <p><em>Wow, what a great book! The more I work through it the more is revealed to me to assist me on my evolving solo journey. Thanks for such a helpful contribution.&nbsp;<br /> <strong>Doug O' Hara from Sydney, New South Wales</strong></em></p> <p><em>The book is fantastic. I have learnt so much from it.&nbsp;<br /> <strong>Liz May&nbsp;from Byron Bay, New South Wales</strong></em></p> <p><em>Most business books for soloists concentrate on the logistics of how to set up the business. Booring! Flying Solo is an inside-out approach to business thinking rather than outside in. Very powerful.&nbsp;<br /> <strong>Paul J. Morris from Sydney, New South Wales</strong></em></p> <p><em>I'd like to say how fantastic your book is - it really speaks to me at this point in my business and personal revolution.&nbsp;I recommended it strongly to a friend who was starting out on his solo journey and he bought a copy last week!&nbsp;<br /> <strong>Dr. Chris Kang&nbsp;from Kelvin Grove, Australia</strong></em></p> <p><em>Flying Solo hits the nail right on the head. You have written this book with people like me in mind and I have enjoyed reading it from cover to cover twice now. Thanks for your insight and inspiration.&nbsp;<br /> <strong>Gordon Whiteside from Melbourne, Victoria</strong></em></p> <p><em>I must say your book is exactly the sort of advice, guidance and&nbsp;inspiration I have been searching for. In my opinion it taps the true essence of what really matters in business. I have followed the exercises in the book which have helped crystalise what it is I'm going to do. It has provided a tangible map and timeframe for my business, which in turn really translates into more confidence. It will be kept close by for an ongoing reference.&nbsp;<br /> <strong>Adam Leach from&nbsp;Gold Coast, Australia</strong></em></p> <p><em>Thank you for your book.&nbsp;I love it and it has helped me through moments of stress and desperation!&nbsp;<br /> <strong>Ciel Fuller from Brisbane, Australia</strong></em></p> <p><em>I've recently read your new book and loved it. I am&nbsp;right in the process of starting up my own company and the advice in the book is making a big contribution to the way I think about things and set things up.&nbsp;<br /> <strong>Mathew Patterson from Sutherland, New South Wales</strong></em></p> <p><em>What a great book, congratulations! It's so practical and accessible and devoid of "new corp speak". I'm not&nbsp;yet a soloist but I'm planning for down the track and feel like I'm in good hands! Thank you for writing something so incredibly useful!&nbsp;<br /> <strong>Lyndel Donaldson from Sydney, New South Wales</strong></em></p> <p><em>I just wanted to let you know that&nbsp;Flying Solo has helped this soloist jump all the mind/logistics hurdles and tackle my solo venture head on. I bought the book..while still working full time and read it straight through - very inspiring! Now that I've actually made the leap...I'm using it as my&nbsp; main 'business bible' going back over each section and doing the hard work involved in getting the basics right.&nbsp;<br /> <strong>Chris Black from Melbourne, Victoria</strong></em></p> <p><em>Flying Solo...is a gem... The business advice is simple, practical and full of heart and humour yet addresses beautifully the real and often less obvious stuff, about the challenges of small business.&nbsp;<br /> <strong>Wendy Buckingham, author Ready Set Goal!</strong></em></p> <p><em>I like the myth busting and accessible style of the writing. So many of these books come across as preachy and self-laudatory, whereas Flying Solo is constructive, positive and friendly.<strong>&nbsp;<br /> </strong><strong>Emma Maconick from Auckland, New Zealand</strong></em></p> <p><em>I found it brilliant and, my favourite word empowering! All of this brilliance for less than twenty bucks!<br /> <strong>Karen Morath&nbsp;from Melbourne, Victoria</strong></em></p> <p><em>Thanks for writing such a useful tool for the modern day 'soloist'. I've been running my own independent sales firm for a year now, and&nbsp;had hit a wall where the business was running me, instead of me running the business. Adjustments have been made, thanks to your input, and we plan to start 'flying' again from hereon in. Once again, much appreciated.&nbsp;<br /> <strong>Dave Dwyer from&nbsp;Glenbrook, Australia</strong></em></p> <p><em>I bought your book yesterday and am mighty impressed...The thing that impresses me the most and is truly useful to me is the amount of examples you use.&nbsp;<strong>&nbsp;<br /> </strong><strong>Darryl Butler from Acton, ACT</strong></em></p> <p><em>To get your business soaring, read Flying Solo...&nbsp;<strong>&nbsp;<br /> </strong><strong>Editorial from Madison Magazine, Australia</strong></em></p> <p><em>Thank you for putting me back in touch with the reasons I chose to work in my own company! I started reading Flying Solo the other night and really enjoyed it - an incredibly readable book full of positive self-feedback.&nbsp;<br /> <strong>Maureen Norman from South Australia</strong></em></p> <p><em>I am giving Flying Solo to my three uni student daughters as compulsory reading alongside Rich Dad, Poor Dad. I don't want them to choose any "institutional" or "corporate" career path before they have properly investigated flying solo in some enterprise of their own.&nbsp;<br /> <strong>Marianne van Dijk from Broken Hill, New South Wales</strong></em></p> <p><em>I am giving my friend a copy of Flying Solo. I am positive it will lift his spirits, but more importantly it will confirm in his own mind that he is making the right decision. No-one should attempt to run a solo business without first heeding the advice in this wonderful book.&nbsp;<br /> <strong>Tony Stevenson from Hobart, Tasmania</strong></em></p> <p><em>Congratulations to you and Sam on your book, Flying Solo.&nbsp; It is wonderful.&nbsp;<br /> <strong>Jill Cooter from Adelaide, South Australia</strong></em></p> <p><em>It is a great book, easy to read and lots of practical information and ideas.&nbsp;<br /> <strong>Kate Marsh from Sydney, New South Wales</strong></em></p> <p><em>It was my pleasure reading Flying Solo. It was thoroughly inspiring, exciting, informative, stimulating and enjoyable read. I love your energy, motivation, passion and style, and also the great tips, so a huge thank you for sharing your fascinating insights, knowledge and experience.&nbsp;<br /> <strong>Karen Low from Queensland</strong></em></p> FlyingSolo tag:www.flyingsolo.com.au,2010:Media/14810 2014-09-21T15:32:00+10:00 2014-09-19T13:02:10+10:00 Member must reads, part 3 <p>Sharon Chim, Stacey Fuller and Wayne Davis share the books that have had the most influence on the way they run their business.</p><h2>Sharon Chim</h2> <p><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, serif; font-size: 12px;" mce_style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, serif; font-size: 12px;">The book that I absolutely loved and learnt lots from is <i><a href="http://girlboss.nastygal.com/" mce_href="http://girlboss.nastygal.com/" target="_blank">#girlboss</a> </i>by Sophie Amoruso.</span><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, serif; font-size: 12px;" mce_style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, serif; font-size: 12px;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p>Having an online business myself for over nine years now, I could completely understand everything she went through to get her business off the ground <span style="font-size: 9pt; font-family: Arial, sans-serif;" mce_style="font-size: 9pt; font-family: Arial, sans-serif;">–</span>&nbsp;doing everything herself from sourcing products, taking product photos, writing product descriptions, uploading the product, and packing the orders everyday. Her success is amazing and well deserved. <br /><br />I discovered how she really connected with her customers through social media <span style="font-size: 9pt; font-family: Arial, sans-serif;" mce_style="font-size: 9pt; font-family: Arial, sans-serif;">–</span>&nbsp;an inexpensive and clever way to attract her target market of girls to her online store. </p><p>I really enjoyed reading how the company grew into what it is today <span style="font-size: 9pt; font-family: Arial, sans-serif;" mce_style="font-size: 9pt; font-family: Arial, sans-serif;">–</span>&nbsp;not an easy ride to the top by any means. </p><p>I read this book in less than five hours <span style="font-size: 9pt; font-family: Arial, sans-serif;" mce_style="font-size: 9pt; font-family: Arial, sans-serif;">–</span> wish there were more like it.</p> <p><i style="font-size: 12px;" mce_style="font-size: 12px;">Read more about&nbsp;<a style="font-size: 12px;" mce_style="font-size: 12px;" href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/directory/33727/Queen-Bee-Maternity" mce_href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/directory/33727/Queen-Bee-Maternity" target="_blank">Queen Bee Marternity</a>'s Sharon Chim&nbsp;in her&nbsp;<a style="font-size: 12px;" mce_style="font-size: 12px;" href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/spotlight/sharon-chim-queen-bee-maternity" mce_href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/spotlight/sharon-chim-queen-bee-maternity" target="_blank">Spotlight profile</a>.&nbsp;</i></p><h2>Stacey Fuller</h2> <p>The&nbsp;<i><a href="http://www.booktopia.com.au/niv-thinline-bible-new-international-version/prod9781444786446.html" mce_href="http://www.booktopia.com.au/niv-thinline-bible-new-international-version/prod9781444786446.html" target="_blank">Bible</a> </i>is the book that has had the most influence on the way I run my business. </p><p>Yep that’s right. I don’t and will never shove my spiritual beliefs down anyone’s throat but in the spirit of honesty, this is the book that influences and helps shape how I go about my business. As strange as it sounds, I’m not in business to make money, I’m in business to help other people with their own journeys, through my unique gifts and talents. Money is just something that allows me to keep doing that and help more people. </p><p> The principles in this book guide how I run my life, how I operate my business and how I treat those people who enter my life. For example: </p><p>1. Give and help others as much as I can and is humanly possible </p><p>2. Love my clients and those people who cross my path </p><p>3. Do what I can to lift others up </p><p> For the spiritual among us, looking to your chosen “guide” book is a great way to make sure your business aligns with your values and beliefs as well as allowing you to keep authenticity.</p> <p><i style="font-size: 12px;" mce_style="font-size: 12px;">Read more about <a href="http://travelbytrolleycreative.flyingsolo.com.au/" mce_href="http://travelbytrolleycreative.flyingsolo.com.au/" target="_blank">Travel by Trolley Creative</a>'s Stacey Fuller&nbsp;in her <a href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/spotlight/stacey-fuller-travel-by-trolley-creative" mce_href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/spotlight/stacey-fuller-travel-by-trolley-creative" target="_blank">Spotlight profile</a>.</i></p> <h2>Wayne Davis</h2> <p>One of the most profound things to ever happen in my life was finding stillness and presence inside.&nbsp; This did not just have an impact on my business life, but my whole life. It stemmed from being at a low point, but I was told to research ‘mindfulness meditation’, and so I did, and since that first contact with being mindful and present, I have been on an incredible journey.<span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, serif; font-size: 12px;" mce_style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, serif; font-size: 12px;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p>One of the best resources for me has been a book called <a href="http://www.booktopia.com.au/a-new-earth-eckhart-tolle/prod9780452289963.html" mce_href="http://www.booktopia.com.au/a-new-earth-eckhart-tolle/prod9780452289963.html" target="_blank"><i>A New Earth</i></a> by Eckhart Tolle. This book is profound and it changed my life instantly and irreversibly.<span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, serif; font-size: 12px;" mce_style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, serif; font-size: 12px;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p>The main components of the book are these: we all have a constant stream of thought going through our minds. Example, we have all driven a familiar road, then realised that we have no memory of the last 10 or 20 minutes. We are essentially unconscious, living that time in our heads. The book teaches to disidentify with that stream of thought and be present, in the moment.&nbsp; Also, it teaches not to identify with those autonomic thoughts as truth. Example “I can’t do this” is just a thought, there is nothing objectively true about it.<span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, serif; font-size: 12px;" mce_style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, serif; font-size: 12px;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p>Changed my life. :)</p> <p><i>Read more about <a href="http://quickoffthemarktrademarks.flyingsolo.com.au/" mce_href="http://quickoffthemarktrademarks.flyingsolo.com.au/">Quick Off The Mark Trademarks</a>' Wayne Davis&nbsp;in his <a href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/spotlight/wayne-davis-quick-off-the-mark-trademarks" mce_href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/spotlight/wayne-davis-quick-off-the-mark-trademarks" target="_blank">Spotlight profile</a>.&nbsp;</i></p> <h2>Want to share your must read?</h2> <p>To participate in in the <i>Member must reads</i> series you must be a member of Flying Solo Business Class.</p> <p><b>Already a Business Class member?</b> Simply send your 200 word or less summary to lisa(at)flyingsolo.com.au.</p> <p><b>Not yet a Business Class member?</b> <a href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/membership/my-account/business-class" mce_href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/membership/my-account/business-class" target="_self">Find out more</a> about the best value offering in town.</p> <p><br /></p> <p><br /></p> FlyingSolo tag:www.flyingsolo.com.au,2010:Media/14774 2014-09-20T07:30:00+10:00 2014-09-22T11:07:34+10:00 Excuse buster: Dealing with the word ‘how’ <p>In business, the word ‘how’ can fuel procrastination and inaction. Deal with it correctly though, and the opposite will happen.</p><h2>How?<b>&nbsp;</b></h2> <p>When starting or expanding your business, do you get bogged down in the details of ‘how’ to do certain things?</p> <ul><li>How do I start a business? </li> <li>How do I manage a business? </li> <li>How do I implement <a href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/working-smarter/processes/the-best-of-small-business-systems-processes" mce_href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/working-smarter/processes/the-best-of-small-business-systems-processes">systems?</a> </li> <li>How will I deal with growth?</li> <li>How am I going to go from here to there?&nbsp;</li> </ul> <p>Sigh.</p> <p>It doesn’t actually matter.&nbsp;</p> <p>I mean, of course it does.&nbsp;</p> <p>But aren’t you using the ‘how’ as an excuse to either not get started, stay dormant or move slower than is necessary?&nbsp;</p> <p>Show me conclusively that you’re not using it as an <a href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/working-smarter/business-plans/five-excuses-for-a-lack-of-business-vision" mce_href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/working-smarter/business-plans/five-excuses-for-a-lack-of-business-vision">excuse</a>, and I will run naked down the CBD main street.<span style="line-height: 1.5em;" mce_style="line-height: 1.5em;">&nbsp;</span><strong style="line-height: 1.5em;" mce_style="line-height: 1.5em;">&nbsp;</strong></p> <h2>Tell me this…&nbsp;</h2> <p>When you knew you wanted to drive a car, did you know how to drive? Wasn’t the only thing you knew, the only thing you were <em>certain</em> of, the fact that you wanted your licence?</p> <p>You didn’t know how to drive a car so you learned. You read a manual, took a test, organised lessons and roped people into teaching you. You didn’t allow lack of knowledge or the concept of <em>how,</em> stop you. You simply took the necessary steps to learn.</p> <p>It’s no different with business.</p> <h2>How<em> </em>to move forward</h2> <p>You need to gather support, ask people to teach you (like hiring a <a href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/working-smarter/professional-development/tough-love-why-i-hired-a-business-coach" mce_href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/working-smarter/professional-development/tough-love-why-i-hired-a-business-coach">coach</a> or mentor), ask questions, take courses, get in, get your hands dirty and make a start.</p> <p>Have you always wanted to start your own business or take your business to the next level? Well, your exciting and more fulfilling life is waiting for you, and it doesn’t care that you don’t know everything yet.</p> <p>So what steps do you take next? The answer is, <em>any</em> step.</p> <p>And what if it’s the wrong step? Well, that’s the thing, it can never be wrong – it’s just another lesson in refining your path.</p> <p>Just keep moving.</p> <p>Sure, ask ‘how’, but find out the answers, take action and move forward.</p> <p>The word ‘how’ no longer needs to stop you from moving forward; embrace it, and it will drive positive change in your life.</p> <p><br /></p><p> <strong><em>Do you think getting bogged down in how to do things can lead to procrastination and inaction?</em></strong></p> Lynda Bayada tag:www.flyingsolo.com.au,2010:Media/14781 2014-09-19T07:30:00+10:00 2014-08-11T17:57:16+10:00 Four common mistakes of startup budgets <p>In this article I’ve identified the most common startup budgeting mistakes that business owners tend to make, and how to avoid them.</p><p>Starting a business invariably involves accurate <a href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/finance/financial-management/how-to-prepare-a-small-business-budget" mce_href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/finance/financial-management/how-to-prepare-a-small-business-budget">budgets</a> to help balance financial accounts and create business goals. All too often though, I come across new business owners who have given no consideration to their financial strategies.</p> <p>Below are the most common startup budgeting mistakes and how you can avoid them.</p> <h2>Mistake 1: Having no budget at all </h2> <p>I cannot stress the importance of discussing finances with a qualified professional when it comes to starting a business.</p> <p>In order to make your startup successful you need to be able to accurately estimate how much money you will need, and how you will allocate the funds. If you’re already failing to plan you’re already planning to fail.</p> <h2>Mistake 2: Not budgeting funds for marketing </h2> <p>Not engaging in <a href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/marketing/business-marketing/marketing-your-service-seven-ps-of-marketing" mce_href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/marketing/business-marketing/marketing-your-service-seven-ps-of-marketing">marketing</a> essentially means fewer or no clients at all. Business owners have explained the wonders of the digital era and how they can market their businesses on social media – for free.</p> <p><a href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/marketing/online-networking/which-social-media-platform-is-best-for-your-business" mce_href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/marketing/online-networking/which-social-media-platform-is-best-for-your-business">Social media</a> is not ‘free’ though. Having a Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn page and posting on it every so often does not constitute effective social marketing. Social Marketing takes up time and if you’re not connecting with your potential clients and customers on an emotional level, it can be a complete <em>waste</em> of time.</p> <p>Obviously cash flow is extremely tight, when allocating a figure for your marketing budget, aim for five percent of the projected annual revenue.</p> <h2>Mistake 3: Miscalculating the break-even point</h2> <p>Business Owners sometimes do not distinguish between fixed costs such as rent and utilities, and variable costs such as materials and wages. This leads to incorrectly assuming all costs will remain steady as sales grow which, in theory, results in the profit margin widening much faster than is the case.</p> <p>Using an Excel worksheet to sort out which costs are fixed and which are variable will help to accurately calculate the break-even point.</p> <h2>Mistake 4: Underestimating startup costs</h2> <p>Many business owners are often shocked when they discover just how much startup costs can amount to. Some costs are underestimated whilst others are completely forgotten. That’s why it’s imperative you seek advice from a professional who will make you aware of certain expenses or legal requirements.</p> <p>As you adjust to your budget each month, and ideally continue to save money, you’ll be able to start investing in bigger and better things.</p> <p>The first couple of years in business can be extremely tough, but with the right tools, advice and various business related strategies you can move your business in the right direction.</p><p> <strong><em>What are your thoughts on common start up mistakes?</em></strong></p> Michael Quinn tag:www.flyingsolo.com.au,2010:Media/14766 2014-09-18T07:30:00+10:00 2014-07-29T16:29:48+10:00 Part 2: Seven hacks for a killer presentation <p>In my last article we looked at three hacks to a killer presentation. Today, let’s look at seven more.</p><p>Got an important presentation coming up? Invited for a prestigious keynote delivery? Read on.</p> <h2>4. Move</h2> <p>Seriously, no one likes to see you talking from behind the podium. People want to: connect with you, know you better and give you a chance to make a difference. Don’t make it hard for them.</p> <p>Come out of your “zone”, move your hands as you talk and embrace your stage. Walk around and move a lot, both across and in between the rows if possible.</p> <p>Pace during an exciting part of the <a href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/marketing/presentation-skills/presentation-skills-for-beginners" mce_href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/marketing/presentation-skills/presentation-skills-for-beginners">presentation.</a> Each presentation will have its highs and lows, but you’ll always be able to lead your audience into different positive states of learning.</p> <h2>5. Embrace your uniqueness</h2> <p>What differentiates you from the next speaker? Your personality.</p> <p>Don’t be afraid to share your style, voice, quirkiness – everything that makes up your personal brand. Own it. Be comfortable with who you are and your <a href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/marketing/communication-skills/know-your-audience-whos-in-the-room" mce_href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/marketing/communication-skills/know-your-audience-whos-in-the-room">audience</a> will love you for it.</p> <h2>6. Employ the 10-20-30 rule</h2> <p>You’ll love this simple rule by Guy Kawasaki. If you’re using slides for your presentation (and especially if it’s a business proposal): don’t go over <strong>10</strong> slides, don’t make it longer than <strong>20</strong> minutes and don’t use font smaller than size <strong>30</strong>.</p> <p>Why? Firstly, a human mind loses focus easily. Secondly, you want to pitch your ideas in 20 minutes and discuss (engage) for the remaining time. Thirdly, you want your slides to cover <em>just</em> the most important points – not the whole thesis. And finally, 30-point font works well for bullet points.</p> <h2>7. Use the 4-Mat</h2> <p>4-Mat is a cool system to learn anything, and you can use it to give killer presentations too. Simply put, it lets you divide your presentation into four parts: <em>Why, What, How</em> and <em>What if</em>.</p> <p>First, <em>why </em>is it important that participants learn <em>what</em> you’re teaching? This is where you press some pain points so that your audience gets excited to learn more.</p> <p>This is followed by <em>how</em>, the actual learning, which is arguably the largest chunk of your presentation.</p> <p>Lastly, you close the session by addressing <em>what if</em>. This is where you address any questions, give them a demo and so on.</p> <h2>8. Be early</h2> <p>Make it a habit to be early on the day of your presentation.</p> <p>Get a feel for your room, the stage and the seating arrangements. Make any changes you want. Do a test-run of all your audiovisual equipment. The last thing you want is to have everyone settled and realise your projector doesn’t work!</p> <h2>9. Breathe, really.</h2> <p>If you’re into the habit of using a lot of “umms” and “aahs”, try catching yourself and just breathe. Pausing for a breath will also let people digest what you’ve said. It’s always better to pause than ramble, right?</p> <h2>10. Seize opportunities</h2> <p>There is a sure-fire way to fail at presentations, and that is saying “No” to a speaking opportunity. If you want to beat the fear of public speaking and emerge as a <a href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/marketing/presentation-skills/secrets-of-successful-speakers" mce_href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/marketing/presentation-skills/secrets-of-successful-speakers">super speaker</a>, look for more <a href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/marketing/presentation-skills/how-to-get-speaking-gigs" mce_href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/marketing/presentation-skills/how-to-get-speaking-gigs">opportunities to speak.</a></p> <p><a href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/marketing/presentation-skills/part-1-killer-presentation-tips" mce_href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/marketing/presentation-skills/part-1-killer-presentation-tips"><i>Part 1 Three hacks for a killer presentation </i>is available here.</a></p> <p><strong><em>Do you have tons of presentation ideas swimming in your head now? Go on, share them with us in the comments below!</em></strong></p> Pooja Lohana tag:www.flyingsolo.com.au,2010:Media/14783 2014-09-17T07:30:00+10:00 2014-08-12T14:39:23+10:00 Five tips for hiring a local marketer <p>Some people like to hire local online marketing providers, even though it’s not necessary. If you fall into this category, consider the following five tips.</p><p>There’s a tendency among people to want to hire local service providers, and for the most part, this makes complete sense because you don’t want to travel to the other side of town.</p> <p>But when it comes to a service like <a href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/marketing/online-marketing/how-to-outsmart-your-online-competitors" mce_href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/marketing/online-marketing/how-to-outsmart-your-online-competitors">online</a> marketing where everything’s done remotely and <em>online</em> – does it still make sense? Probably not, but if you’re set on hiring locally, consider these things.</p> <h2>Local results</h2> <p>If you’re looking for a Search Engine Optimisation business in a particular location (“SEO Surry Hills”), Google will provide a unique set of local results for this. The thing to keep in mind is that it’s a lot easier for a business to rank for these keywords. Therefore it’s very hard to determine the quality and trustworthiness of that business.</p> <h2>Local reviews</h2> <p>Check out the ratings and reviews of businesses listed with Google and other important Australian <a href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/directory" mce_href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/directory">directories</a>. Go further and do a quick search in Google (type in the name of the business plus the word “scam”) to see if any negative feedback appears in forums.&nbsp;</p> <h2>Ask for local referrals </h2> <p>There’s a good chance that other nearby business owners have hired an online marketer to assist them. If you’re keen on hiring locally, it’s ideal to get a recommendation from a local client they’ve worked with.</p> <h2>Local meet ups</h2> <p>Go to a <a href="http://www.meetup.com/FlyingSoloAU" mce_href="http://www.meetup.com/FlyingSoloAU">meet up</a> or networking group in your area. This is a great place to ask questions, speak to qualified business owners, and also get recommendations.<strong><u></u></strong></p> <h2>Get a few proposals</h2> <p>Speak to a variety of consultants and visit many <a href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/technology/business-websites/how-to-create-and-plan-a-website" mce_href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/technology/business-websites/how-to-create-and-plan-a-website">websites</a> to get a feel for what an online marketer can do. Ask lots of questions and always keep a healthy level of skepticism. <strong><u></u></strong></p> <p>If you can find a suitable online marketer in your area, go for it. But it probably doesn’t make sense to limit yourself to nearby consultants. A good online marketing business knows how to bridge the location gap. Their expertise and credibility will be obvious to you, and this in itself is a great indication of their expertise and commitment.</p><p> <strong><em>What’s your experience with hiring a local online marketer? Do you have any other tips for soloists looking to hire one – local or otherwise?</em></strong></p> Adam Binstock tag:www.flyingsolo.com.au,2010:Media/14829 2014-09-16T07:30:00+10:00 2014-09-12T11:18:56+10:00 Do you love your logo? <p>We’ve been chatting a lot about logo design in the Flying Solo forum recently, and that got me thinking about the logos that represent my two businesses.</p><p>How much is it worth to you and your business to have a logo that you’re absolutely, head-over-heels in love with? If your answer is “Not much”, read on.</p> <h2>First impressions really do count</h2> <p>While discussing whether it’s worth <a href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/forums/need-resource-got-good-referral/31186-good-place-host-logo-design-contest.html" mce_href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/forums/need-resource-got-good-referral/31186-good-place-host-logo-design-contest.html">investing in logo design</a>, forum member Vertigo asked us to compare our reaction to someone we meet at a party who is well dressed, clean and confident to the way we feel when we encounter someone dressed carelessly and with poor body language, and pointed out, “Your logo is the same. It's the first impression of your business. Make it count.”</p> <p>That struck a chord with me, because ever since having the logo for my natural health marketing and copywriting business developed about eight years ago, I’ve absolutely loved handing my business card to people. Why? Because those who are in my primary target market almost always respond with, “Oh, that’s perfect!”</p> <p>In the very instant they see it, my logo demonstrates to people in my industry that I’m focused on it too. I can almost hear them thinking, “If she gets it that right for herself, I’m sure I can trust her to work on my brand too”.</p> <p>The fact that I’m not a graphic designer and didn’t actually design the logo myself has nothing to do with it, because as far as others are concerned, it symbolises my creativity, my focus on my niche, my professionalism and my personality.</p> <p>Best of all, my logo conveys all that and more in a microsecond, without me having to say a single word.</p> <h2>You are your own most important customer</h2> <p>When forum member <a href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/forums/need-resource-got-good-referral/31117-silly-question-there-price-expectation-logo-designs.html" mce_href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/forums/need-resource-got-good-referral/31117-silly-question-there-price-expectation-logo-designs.html">Martin Firth said</a>, “The people who place the most importance on a company's logo are the people paying for it,”<em> </em>I suddenly realised that my logo is all the more valuable to me and my business because of the meaning I’ve invested in it.</p> <p>It has come to symbolise my pride in my reputation in my industry and in the body of work that I’ve spent so many hours building. It also acts as a daily reminder of the way I choose to turn up for my clients: smiling cheerfully, with vibrant energy and focus.</p> <p>On days when I’m tired, stressed or overworked, that pride and positivity are worth way, way more money than I paid my logo designer!</p> <h2>The right logo will make you money</h2> <p>If you’re still wondering whether it’s worth investing in creating or reinventing your logo, rest assured that getting it right really can affect your bottom line.</p> <p>Over in <a href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/forums/talking-technology/31457-logo-design-prices.html" mce_href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/forums/talking-technology/31457-logo-design-prices.html">the forum</a>, Kindleman gave the example of a bakery whose logo differentiates them from a neighbouring competitor, clearly communicating that they bake traditional-style loaves rather than run-of-the-mill sliced white bread. If that logo attracts even just a few passersby each day who are prepared to pay more for that kind of bread, the difference to the business quickly adds up over time, and the logo pays for itself in just a matter of weeks. After that, each sale it attracts is pure profit.</p> <p>I’ve had the same experience in my flower essence business, where our logo is displayed prominently on our product packaging. We’ve lost count of the number of times prospective customers have opened a conversation with us by saying, “I love your logo”. However we’re delighted that every time they do, it gives us an opportunity to chat with them about who we are and what we do. More often than not, that conversation culminates in them deciding to give our products a try.</p><p> <strong><em>All in all, I’m completely in love with my logos and what they do for my businesses. Have you had the same experience? Head to the comments to share your stories.</em></strong></p> Jayne Tancred tag:www.flyingsolo.com.au,2010:Media/14049 2014-09-15T07:30:00+10:00 2014-09-15T10:25:01+10:00 Need some expert help in your business? <p>If you’re looking for support, check out Flying Solo’s directory where you’ll find more specialists than you can poke a stick at. </p><h1><a href="/directory" mce_href="/directory" style="font-size: 12px; line-height: 17px;" mce_style="font-size: 12px; line-height: 17px;">Visit the Flying Solo directory</a></h1> <p><br /></p> FlyingSolo tag:www.flyingsolo.com.au,2010:Media/14821 2014-09-14T07:30:00+10:00 2014-09-09T12:06:43+10:00 Lessons from the big end of town <p>Paul Mitchell has been immersed in the area of corporate psychology and leadership for over 25 years. In this podcast he shares lessons learned from the people in the tall buildings.</p><p><span style="color: #4d4d4c; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, serif; line-height: 17px;" mce_style="color: #4d4d4c; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, serif; line-height: 17px;">To access all Flying Solo podcasts visit&nbsp;</span><a style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: #000000; vertical-align: baseline; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; color: #3e8a9a; text-decoration: none; line-height: 17px; background-image: initial; background-attachment: initial; background-size: initial; background-origin: initial; background-clip: initial; background-position: initial; background-repeat: initial;" mce_style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: #000000; vertical-align: baseline; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; color: #3e8a9a; text-decoration: none; line-height: 17px; background-image: initial; background-attachment: initial; background-size: initial; background-origin: initial; background-clip: initial; background-position: initial; background-repeat: initial;" href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/podcast" mce_href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/podcast" target="_blank">http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/podcast</a></p> FlyingSolo tag:www.flyingsolo.com.au,2010:Media/14785 2014-09-13T07:30:00+10:00 2014-08-12T14:44:17+10:00 Spiritual success and the microbiz owner <p>If you want to truly become successful, you have to drop the ‘BS’ and understand what success really is, as it relates to the truest you.</p><h2>The truth about me</h2> <p>At age 16, I was not successful with girls. A skinny kid, I joined the gym to create the perfect body. This physical success brought good health, moments of fleeting <a href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/live-smarter/business-psychology/how-happiness-can-attract-success" mce_href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/live-smarter/business-psychology/how-happiness-can-attract-success">happiness</a> and admiring glances from the opposite sex.</p> <p>Having a great physical appearance was not permanent or completely fulfilling, so I next chose to create financial success by making more and more money. Money brought toys, moments of fleeting happiness, and admiring glances from the opposite sex.</p> <p>Having more <a href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/live-smarter/business-values/money-and-happiness-are-you-earning-too-much-money" mce_href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/live-smarter/business-values/money-and-happiness-are-you-earning-too-much-money">money</a> was not completely fulfilling either, so I chose to sow into relationships. This love addiction was also unfulfilling, as I sometimes found that I was so “into” the other person that the real me disappeared.</p> <p>As I navigated past physical success (muscles that grew, withered), material success (money that rose, fell) and relationship success (more rise and fall), I discovered that there were many versions of success, truths and truer truths. Beyond that, I ultimately discovered the <em>truest truth of all.</em><strong>&nbsp;</strong></p> <h2>The truest truth</h2> <p>Going somewhere over the rainbow, beyond the various truths, whether you see seven colours or seven million, you will eventually discover that you can only see a rainbow if there is a single source of light. This is the truest truth.</p> <p>Beyond the physical, material and relational lies the spiritual; without it, the others are nothing. To inject some eternal spiritual success into your physicality, bring <a href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/live-smarter/health-and-wellbeing/managing-anxiety-with-mindfulness" mce_href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/live-smarter/health-and-wellbeing/managing-anxiety-with-mindfulness">mindfulness</a> or <a href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/live-smarter/health-and-wellbeing/why-meditation-is-not-just-sitting" mce_href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/live-smarter/health-and-wellbeing/why-meditation-is-not-just-sitting">meditation</a> into your daily activities. Meditation does not mean always sitting still. You can meditate whilst eating, dancing, walking, running or doing yoga.</p> <h2>Successful relationships</h2> <p>Business aside, you can enjoy a more successful relationship by bringing a spiritual goal to your union. Instead of each partner merely focusing on making the other partner happy, aim to have a combined goal that brings happiness to others as well.</p> <p>Bring spiritual success into your material world by having a greater purpose for your wealth. Giving back to the community or the world is a fundamental financial principle in many sacred traditions, and has been taught for thousands of years because it works on financial and spiritual levels.</p> <p>Just as turning up the light source makes for richer colours in the rainbow, more spiritual enlightenment in your life will make all of your success goals clearer, bolder, richer and stronger.</p><p> <strong><em>What are your thoughts on spiritual success?</em></strong></p> Jeremy Britton tag:www.flyingsolo.com.au,2010:Media/14776 2014-09-12T07:30:00+10:00 2014-08-08T13:54:17+10:00 Why and how to create your perfect business <p>For the past 17 years I’ve been staying in business, now, after creating a powerful vision, I’m working toward flourishing in my perfect business.</p><h2>Seventeen years in business </h2> <p>Even with seventeen years in business, I rarely sit back and reflect. More importantly, I rarely look forward beyond the current year.</p> <p>It’s time to look forward&nbsp;and keep looking there.</p> <h2> Creating a picture of my perfect business</h2> <p>I recently took part in a business course where the facilitator asked me to create a bigger picture of my perfect business. Once I’d described my perfect business, she kept telling me to look at it.</p> <p>I looked at it.</p> <p>And then I’d forget about it.</p> <p>I wasn’t really paying attention to my perfect business, simply seeing it and then letting it get buried under my mental to-do list.</p> <h2> My ‘A-HA!’ moment</h2> <p>I realised she was actually asking me to look at my perfect business with a view to working toward it.</p> <p><em>Oh, you mean as if it might really happen one day?</em></p> <p>That was an AHA! moment.</p> <h2>The bigger picture versus the to-do list</h2> <p>I’ve always felt victorious when ticking off today’s to-do list. If I’m honest though, that list is full of stuff with no real consequence for the business.</p> <p>As a result of thinking about what my <em>perfect</em> business will look like, I plan the week with one eye on the bigger picture. I’m not just ticking off today’s boxes, but boxes that are anchoring my business for the long term.</p> <h2> Long range business goals</h2> <p>I’m not sure I’ve ever strategically worked toward a long range business goal before. I’ve mostly been focused on <em>staying</em> in business. But now that I have a description of my perfect business, I feel like I’m already building it.</p> <p>Instead of a <a href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/working-smarter/time-management-tips/the-to-do-list-that-worked" mce_href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/working-smarter/time-management-tips/the-to-do-list-that-worked">to-do list</a> that behaves like an unguided missile, my weekly and monthly program now points to my perfect scenario.</p> <h2> These questions helped me create my perfect business</h2> <ul> <li>What is my perfect business renowned for?</li> <li>What does it feel like to own this perfect business?</li> <li>What kind of perfect people will work in and around my perfect business?</li> <li>What kind of perfect clients would I like?</li> <li>What would the perfect financial situation be?</li> </ul> <p>Now ask, what is one thing I can do this week toward each of these five <a href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/startup/setting-business-goals/vision-statements-how-to-create-a-vision-statement" mce_href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/startup/setting-business-goals/vision-statements-how-to-create-a-vision-statement">vision</a>s?</p> <h2> A big picture to-do list</h2> <p>I’ve found it powerful to start implementing a grounded long range vision for the business. I’m enjoying ticking long term as well as short term boxes off my to-do list.</p> <p>Of course, not everything will go perfectly to plan, but at least I know what I’m <a href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/startup/setting-business-goals/four-tips-for-achieving-your-business-goals" mce_href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/startup/setting-business-goals/four-tips-for-achieving-your-business-goals">aiming</a> for.</p> <p>Just imagine if I’d been this strategic seventeen years ago!</p> <p><strong><em>What are your thoughts on creating your perfect business?</em></strong></p> Katie McMurray