Entrepreneur of the Month

Suzi Dronzek

Suzi Dronzek

The first entrepreneur of the month honors for 2013 fall to Suzi Dronzek, graphic artist, intuitive consultant, healer and entrepreneur.  A lot of the challenges that beset entrepreneurs are similar from person to person and career path to career path.  If you have the chance to hear from other entrepreneurs where they struggle, where their personal habits have either expanded their businesses or caused challenges, then perhaps we can shave some time off of your personal journey to success.  You can learn more about Suzi at her site Starcana.com and listen to my interview with Suzi here:  SDronzekInterview.

In keeping with this being the entrepreneur of the month blog, I’d like to share some of my favorite tips and tools with you starting with the book Lean In, by Sheryl Sandberg.  This book is for every woman who has ever questioned her right to speak up because she didn’t feel she was good enough.  Women have been in the workforce in one form or another forever, but the idea of being in a leadership position, well somehow, in some quarters, that idea still ruffles some feathers.  Ms. Sandberg invites us to take a look at that and then be willing to stand up or as she puts it–lean in.

I mentioned awhile back that your Instagram profile and photos were going to be made available via the web and Instagram is one hot, hot, hot platform for business owners now.  You can share tips, help people get to know you, show your products, and advertise your services worldwide.  So, if you’re not on Instagram now, you might just want to check it out.  And of course, I can’t leave Pinterest out of the equation.  If you’re marketing to women, you need to be in two places online right now–Facebook and Pinterest.  Selling products, curating great content, warehousing your blogs, and possibly connecting with Joint Venture buddies are just some of the reasons for you to take advantage of this platform that is taking the business world by storm.  Eye candy sells, so get moving and meet me on Pinterest.

Last, but not least, that tiny voice in your head that says you’re not good enough, you know, the one Ms. Sandberg mentioned?   Well, it can kill your business  PDQ.  I have been working with a set of audio programs that literally retrain your brain so that you think not just positively, but these program teach you to think like the men and women who have already achieved success.  Want to learn more?  You can check it out here(affiliate link).  You’ll also find a host of other helpful tools, books, etc., here on my Resources page and in my business newsletter which you can sign up for here.

I think that’s going to do it for now; know that I’m wishing you a brilliant April filled with powerful, positive success and don’t forget to share this blog with friends who might find it helpful!

Rich Blessings!

Dee

Copyright 2013.  All rights reserved.

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September 2012 Favorites

Image representing Flipboard as depicted in Cr...

Image via CrunchBase

Greetings Friends!

I hope you enjoyed the Entrepreneur of the Month interview with Pip Miller last week; if you missed it, you can check it out here.  Pip raised an issue that challenges so many entrepreneurs online and off; how do you get your audience to engage with you?  With that in mind, I’m looking at transforming the way I offer information to you–less ‘stuff’ arriving in your inbox from me, yet more responsive to your needs.  I’ll be making some announcements about those changes soon, but for now I thought I’d share some of the things I found extremely helpful to my social media, writing and blogging work for September.  So let’s dive right in!

Tribal Author

Most of you know that I’m a huge fan of Danielle LaPorte and her Big Beautiful Book Plan (affiliate link) and I am also a big fan of Jonathan Fields–another teacher of great publishing information.  If you’ve got a book in you, this is your time, but you’re going to want to do it right.  You can no longer expect to write your book and have a publisher do the marketing for you–in fact, you don’t even need a publisher.  Click the Tribal Author link above and let Jonathan tell you more about what you need to know to become a successful, best selling author or click the Big Beautiful Book Plan link to take a look at what Danielle LaPorte offers.  And just for total transparency, Danielle’s material is the one I personally chose to work with.

Flipboard

This app makes my inner geek so happy it’s just insane; imagine a made to order magazine with only the input you want and you’ve got Flipboard.  Now, true confession, I was the kid who would lie awake at night, under the sheets with a flashlight reading a book I just couldn’t put down.  Things haven’t changed much, except that I’ve abandoned the flashlight for an iPhone and I spend the last 15 minutes or so each night flipping through my favorite news venues–without a computer, a book or newspaper.  I favorite some news items and share others immediately via my social media accounts.  And then in the morning I take some of my favorites from the night before and share them on more of my social media sites.  This app is available for Android, iPad, iPhone, Kindle Fire and Nook, so there’s bound to be an app for your phone or tablet that’s just right for you.  And you’ve got tons of news choices to pick from–House Beautiful, the New York Times, Life Hacker, your Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Google+ accounts–and much more, all on one app.  If you’re leading a busy life–or even if you’ve got time to burn, I highly recommend Flipboard (and welcome to the news of the future)!

Pinterest

As much as I love Flipboard, this is probably my favorite ‘thing’ from September.  I think of it as crack for the eyes; beautiful photos of everything from home decor, to great fashion, even elegantly photographed food.  You might wonder what this has to do with business; well have you noticed that many articles online are starting to add photos and a Pinterest button for social sharing?  You can find out about practically anything you want to on Pinterest from astrology to zoology.

Think of the possibilities!  You can provide great content in your area of expertise, people get to know and trust you–and you can introduce them to your blog, website, products or services all while they browse these elegantly laid out photos and articles.  If you click the Pinterest link above it will take you to all of my pinterest boards; if you’d like to see only my business board, just click here for some great articles and inspiration.  And for even more fabulous tips on how to use Pinterest, click here.

Now this last item isn’t strictly business, it’s more about the business of taking care of you.  Some of you might have noticed that on Saturdays I put up meditation videos or something from Deepak Chopra’s channel on YouTube.  As much as I love my business, I am insanely busy and I think perhaps it’s a sign of our times not to have any time.  So, now you haven’t any excuse.  You can check out meditations or thought provoking videos to help you reframe and rebalance your life, right here.  I hope you enjoy them and maybe even subscribe to some of the channels I share here.

Want more savvy business tips?  Sign up here for the LAGirl13 business newsletter!  And with that, I’m going to call it a wrap.  Have a great week and…

Rich Blessings!

Dee

Copyright 2012.  All rights reserved.

Courage and Success in Memorium

Greetings Friends!

The last week of September my sister Mikki would have celebrated her 50th birthday.  As the anniversary of her birth rolled around this year I couldn’t help but think of the challenges today’s workers experience in trying to find and keep stable employment.  My sister was a VP at a banking institution handling mortgages before her passing.  She worked her way up–a dogged, tireless perfectionist at her work.  I am convinced that being laid off from the position she fought so hard to land, played a part in her early passing; she was only 44 years old when she died.  Mikki was the canary in the coal mine, dealing with the lack of good paying jobs long before September 2008, as well as being aware that something rotten was going on in the mortgage banking industry–an industry that had allowed her to pull herself up by her bootstraps and achieve in ways no one might have imagined for her when she was younger.

Six years have passed since Mikki died and the global financial economy is still wobbly.  I have said it before and I’ll say it again, you can be an employee, but you better have a net.  Whether that net comes in the form of investments, a trust fund or preferably a business you own; have something else that you control to provide for you and yours.  The 99% can no longer afford the luxury of dependence on an employer.  Thankfully women are starting businesses in unprecedented numbers these days, but many aren’t seeing the type of return in their businesses that they hope to.  Ali Brown refers to this as an invisible ceiling of our own making.  Let’s face it, being in business for yourself takes courage, dedication and a willingness to constantly be on the lookout for new information, better systems and processes to take us where we want to go.

I am a lucky woman, because in many places in the world women have limited opportunities; the societies in developing countries often don’t support women them with good education or employment opportunities.  America’s school system needs a major overhaul, but that’s not the same as living in a country where you won’t be educated at all just because of your gender.  In the western world we have other challenges, but the internet provides us–both men and women, leverage to take our avocations and make them a truly viable vocation over time.

I’d like to dedicate this blog to my sister–Mikki Loewer.  Since my sister’s death I learned what it means to suffer from grief and depression; I climbed out of that hole and now I’m learning what it takes to make a difference in business, to be self-disciplined and successful.  I encourage you to share with your blogging community and friends why you do what you do.  Leave a comment here on this blog and a link to your blog so that we can hear your story and your voice.  You are important and what you do matters.

Take courage, be willing to show up and make a difference.

Rich Blessings!

Dee

A Glitch in the Matrix

The Matrix Has You

Greetings Friends!

You know that feeling, the one where you feel a clutch of fear?  Maybe it’s when your potential client asks, “So how much does your program cost?”  Or maybe it comes when you need to do something techie for your website or when you need to give a public speech.  It doesn’t really matter when it happens, the problem is always an issue of mindset–and whether or not you are aware enough to do something about it.

When I first began working as a broadcaster I had the enviable task of working behind the scenes in radio.  I could record, edit and dub my work and send it off to parts unknown without anyone knowing who I was.  This was back in the stone age (aka before digital) so there was no website, no Facebook or anything else to give me away.

And then I was moved to television.  My bosses knew I was going to freak so they didn’t even tell me.  I went away on vacation for a month and when I came back my name had mysteriously moved from the radio portion of the assignment board to the television side.  I remember feeling my stomach hit the floor.  This meant I had to stand up with a mic and deliver copy looking into the camera.  I would far rather have been balled up and shot out of cannon.  But I was in uniform and really had no choice…

How about you?  What scares you silly and how are you going to ‘man up’?  Do you need to join Toast Masters to get a grip on the public speaking thing?  Or maybe you need to take some classes so that you understand how your site works.  Maybe you just need to go back online and put up a post on a blog that you allowed to lapse.  It doesn’t really matter–it’s probably time to make like St. Nike and ‘Just do It’.

Take a class.

Get some coaching.

Do some visualization/affirmation work.

Get moving.

Because in the end you don’t want your journey to the land of the successful entrepreneur to be impeded by a glitch in your Matrix.

Rich Blessings!

Dee

Investing in You Inc.

Greetings Friends!

Yes it’s September, but I wanted to talk to you about–gasp–tax time.  Most of you probably already have some form of organized information capture with regard to income generated by your business, as well as your business expenses.  And this is perfect because as of 31 December 2012, it’s tax time baby!  I’d go so far as to say your tax person should receive a holiday gift from you before anyone else, because he or she keeps you ahead of the tax game!

Whether you use Quicken or keep a paper diary of your income and related expenses doesn’t really matter.  What I actually want to talk to you about is the step beyond that–creating a financial statement.  Robert Kiyosaki discusses this in his ‘Rich Dad, Poor Dad‘ book, a must read for all entrepreneurs.  If you’re in business for yourself and haven’t read it, put it at the top of your To Do list today!

You may be wondering what’s the big deal?   Well, when you were in school you received a report card; that card told you, your parents, your counselors–and anyone else connected to you, how you were doing in your classes.  The main benefit of a financial statement is you get a clear sense of the truth of your income.  And here’s where it gets juicy/painful; you also find out where you’re leaking money.

The truth of the matter is, if you’re an American and you’re an employee, the tax code wasn’t built to help you.  It’s built to support businesses–often time big businesses, and that’s important because businesses create jobs, which keeps the Gross Domestic Product healthy.  But that doesn’t mean a savvy solopreneur, such as yourself, can’t take advantage of these benefits too.  This is especially true if you incorporate.  When you’re a business owner you deduct your expenses and pay your taxes from what’s left.  When you’re an employee your taxes are taken from you before you see a nickel.  Check in with your tax person and see where you stand and what they recommend you do…stat!

And all of this is a really big deal in these days of job shortages and relatively low wages, especially for women.

So, if you’re thinking that you’re not doing especially well financially or that you don’t have any investments–think again.  Your business is an investment.  Keep records of every cent you spend for your business and make sure you have that information organized for your tax person so that they don’t have a heart attack when you present that material to them.  Be nice to Mr./Ms. Tax Person; they are your new bff!

With that in mind I’d like to share with you a resource who has proven invaluable to me.  Her name is Ali Brown and she’s has put together some videos for ‘savvy, yet not wholly rolling in the dough yet’ entrepreneurs.  This is an affiliate link and I hope you find her information pertinent and empowering.

And remember to invest in You Inc.  You’re riding the wave of a brave new tomorrow as an entrepreneur.  Don’t be afraid to invest in your future success!

Rich Blessings!

Dee

Copyright 2012. All rights reserved

Entrepreneur of the Month

Connie Jones-Steward

Connie Jones-Steward Interview

http://www.aritetocelebrate.com/

Greetings Friends!

I am proud to feature Connie Jones Steward as the September 2012 Entrepreneur of the month.  Connie is a healer and wedding officiant in the greater Los Angeles, California area who shares her journey as an entrepreneur with us.  You can learn more about Connie and her services at her website http://www.aritetocelebrate.com/.   Click the link above to hear my interview with Connie.

It is my hope that not only can we learn from those that I interview, but perhaps we, as a community, can offer solutions to some of the challenges our entrepreneurs put forward.  This will be an ongoing feature for this blog along with a monthly book of the month.  As entrepreneurs, school will never be out; we will always have new things to learn, so why not learn from one another?

Success–especially financial success as an entrepreneur, is a greatly coveted goal, but once it happens how will you handle your new found wealth?  There are a lot of potential ‘money pits’ or ‘do-dads’ you can buy once you acquire your wealth, but I recommend you acquire a degree of financial literacy before the money shows up.  To that end I’m recommending a book called The Conspiracy of the Rich; it shares the history of the banking industry in a way that will assist you as an entrepreneur to better understand what is happening globally (as well as in your respective home country); avoid money pits and disastrous financial choices by educating yourself.  This book is an excellent start; it’s an eye opener–I guarantee you that!

Would you like to be a featured entrepreneur of the month on the LAGirl13 blog?  Just leave a comment below letting me know and then click the link above to enjoy this month’s interview.

Rich Blessings!

Dee

(c) Copyright 2012.  All rights reserved.

Entrepreneurial Drama & Order

Image representing Google Alerts as depicted i...

Image via CrunchBase

Greetings Friends!

Well Mercury is no longer retrograde–or in its retrograde shadow period, so the next bit of information I share is just some of that random crap the Universal pranksters shovel out at us from time to time.  Tuesday night I was happily preparing for bed when in came a direct message from Twitter.  I had seen a  suspicious looking tweet a bit earlier in the day and before I clicked the link I wanted to check with my friend to insure she had actually sent it.  Turns out she had and the low down was that someone was using my content–in full; the perp had killed the links back to me and said nothing to me about using my work.  My friend, also an astrologer, was letting me know the 411.  To say it fried my eggs would be putting it mildly.  Two hours later I stumbled off to bed, angry and frustrated after digging online for information on how to nab the cuplrpit.  Who are these people and what the h. e. double toothpicks are they thinking– thinking being the operative word.

Well, I sent missy a terse, but what I deemed effective, cease and desist tweet–and as I suspected, received no reply.  My friend let me know this woman doesn’t respond to communications–why am I not surprised?  So I started digging around on WordPress to see what they had to say about content stealing, borrowing, scraping–whatever you want to call it.  Here is a link to the information I decided to use.  I say that because I’m not sure if the other 30 some odd astrologers/tarot readers are taking any action.  I am because, well, that’s just how I roll.  I spend a lot of time and energy looking for content and writing my astrology blog–I give it away for free, yes.  However, I don’t think you ought to cut me out of the loop and use my content in whatever way you choose.  I could lose my temper, but that would lower me to her standards; so I’ll let her host provider deal with her.

I’m happy to say that in the midst of this pre-Full Moon drama, I am still on track.  I am keeping bankers hours on my days off, using my tools to keep track of my tasks and finishing up the work for my Fall projects–woo, hoo!  I say all this because…

Sh** happens.  Keep working.

Keep an eye open for people using your content; I had Google alerts out for my name and my site, but nothing showed up.  It may be your friends who let you know someone is scraping your content–head back here and click the link to find out what to do.  Share with friends/clients as needed.

Get a routine and some support tools.  Use them like it’s part of your religion.  You can have a life and a successful business, but not if you’re messy or scattered.

Don’t forget, I have other Resources for you on the Resource page; these are affiliate links to programs I have used and liked.  Check them out and also remember to sign up for my bi-weekly ezine.  I know, one more thing in your already filled to overflowing inbox; but it’s great content delivered free, so you might as well check it out…

As for ‘Madame I will take your stuff and use it as I please’, the site is down.   I’m not going to let this kind of thing deter me or get me down–I’m considering making this my new motto.  Feel free to use it next time the Universe tosses you a curve ball!

Rich Blessings!

Dee

(c) Copyright 2012.  All rights reserved.

Putting You First

I’ve been blogging for almost five years now.  One of the things I’ve noticed is that when I’m approaching a shift in the nature of my writing I hit a wall.  The words don’t flow well, the topics I want to discuss evaporate like money from my bank account on bill paying day.  It’s not a lot of fun–except that when I experience this, I now realize a new me is about to emerge.

Case in point, this blog.  I switched templates, I fiddled with its appearance, but I couldn’t quite catch the full vision.  It probably would have been apparent to someone else what all needed to be done, but I couldn’t figure it out.  That’s one of the reasons I suggest you not wait until you have it all figured it out–it’s never going to be completely figured out.  Your business, your blog, your products/services are all a work in progress.  Get in there and get dirty–and do what you can to create something powerful in the moment.

One of the most important things I learned from this last set of developments is not to do that thing we women do…I am an employee at work and a Mom at home.  I am an intuitive at the office and a business blogger on my off hours.  Put you first–all of you.  You have a wealth of experiences, from being married to being divorced, from being an intuitive to having a list of business courses you’ve taken that would ordinarily have earned you a bachelors degree.  Your business, your blog, your work, your offerings should have as much of you front and center as possible.  Why?

Because if you don’t you’re going to lose juice, passion and interest in what you’re doing.

Because if you leave parts of you out of the play, you leave part of your power behind.

Because someone needs to hear that you have had troubles too.  You know that message that says show me you’re not a spam bot before you comment on a blog?  Well, by bringing all the pieces of you to the party we know you’re real, that you’re human and that you can relate to our needs and failures.  That is how I learn to relate to you and vice versa.

So look forward to those places where the flow shuts down; it may not be fun, but you may well be on your way to a new level of experience.  And if you’d like more information on business, social media and content curation, sign up for my bi-weekly business blog!

Rich Blessings!

Dee

The Worthy Entrepreneur

English: Jagriti Chadha, Indian Designer, Entr...

English: Jagriti Chadha, Indian Designer, Entrepreneur and Business Woman (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Greetings Friends!

 

My ex-husband used to say if all else fails, follow directions.  For all I know, he is still saying that–and while it feels a little odd to begin a post with one of my ex’s quotes, he had a point.  Giving the devil his due, muhahahaha; he is one of the funniest people I know and the quote pertains to going back to square one and looking at the directions when something you’re working on…um, doesn’t work.  Like, you know, your business.

 

Most of the women I know who are in business are super women.  They have hearts the size of Texas.  They go out, earn the bacon, cook the bacon, care for the house, the kids, the bills, the husband (oh wait, that part of the program broke–scratch the husband).  And yet, their businesses are meandering.  Women are a different breed.  You cannot give us instructions that read ‘use your personal power’ and get a rise out of most of us.  We’re not wired that way.

 

So, some of the things we’re asked to do–like prospect for new clients–well, we’d rather take a header off a 20 story building first.  It just plain feels yucky.  You want me to do public speaking too?  Forget about it (said in my best New York accent).  And pay somebody to teach me how to operate a successful business?  I’d love to, but you see, I’m broke as heck.

 

I feel your pain.

 

There is another saying, that if you keep doing the same thing and expect a different outcome, you’re nuts.  If the tire is flat, you’re just going to have to change it.

 

Here are some ideas:

 

Get some coaching.  Be prepared for a never ending journey of learning.  Free will only take you so far.

 

Get your PR kit together (photo, bio, etc.) and network like crazy to get some energy moving in your business.

 

Realize you have some money issues.  If you’ve got debt, accept that you have it (or any other issues) and forgive yourself.  You’re learning and growing; the money you earn can help you eliminate that debt you owe.

 

And brace yourself for this last one–it’s connected to the last one; raise your rates.  Yep, raise your rates.  We women have a hard time asking for what we need, whether from the man in our life to our clients–or to our bosses (if you still have one).  Work on getting comfortable with the idea that your services are worthy and that you are worthy.  And accept that this challenge is going to be a journey.  You were taught by a society that doesn’t value you not to value yourself.  It will take time to grow this concept within you so that it’s strong and healthy.  Oh, and guys–some of this applies to you too!

 

So, take a look at your business.  What’s broken, what doesn’t feel good?  Work on it today–and when all else fails, follow directions.  And don’t forget to sign up for my bi-weekly business tips.  More fuel for your business tank!

 

Rich Blessings!

 

Dee

 

Killing the Procrastination Monster

Oct 2011 Cover Of Social Media Woman Magazine

Oct 2011 Cover Of Social Media Woman Magazine (Photo credit: ByronNewMedia)

 

It’s been an interesting year.  As an astrologer, I cautioned my clients not to expect too much lift off in their pet projects until we got past the July/August Mercury retrograde.  There were a whole host of retrogrades for the first seven and a half months of 2012 and since we in the western world like to see January 1st as the starting gate for new dreams and schemes, well, it probably has been significantly underwhelming this year in the ‘major success’ category of life experience (kudos to those of you who managed to leap over the barriers to success).  That being said, I have still been chipping away at a major project…three steps forward, two steps back.  Mostly due to situations I have no control over, but also due to that friend of mine I now call the procrastination monster.  I’m no longer giving him pride of place, he gets no more capital letters from me.

It turns out that Marie Forleo’s tips were helpful, you can see her video about that here; but I still have a steep learning curve on so many aspects of my business; I’m learning I just have to get over myself and stop trying to make everything happen this minute.  I am also accepting that my learning curve is going to cause some mistakes; if you’re making an omelet folks, be prepared to break a few eggs.

So, what’s working right now?  I’m using the tips and tools I recently mentioned to be more strategic about my social media work; you know, Alltop, Hootsuite and Buffer–if you haven’t used them, you should check them out.  You can be on top of a bevy of information in your area of expertise, while cutting down on the amount of time you spend hunting for great content and doing your social media thing.  Love. That.

I am also forcing myself to work in two hour stints–otherwise I would just work all day.  I have recently realized I really love what I do–which is great, but then I have severe boundary issues (as in, I have no boundaries).  And that’s a HUGE problem if you are trying to launch something–because the amount of work for a launch is, well, huge.

So, in order to move through that experience I’m learning some new skills for project management.  Starting with the use of a lovely little thing called OmniFocus (for Macophiles); project management at my fingertips.  For those of you who like paper planners there’s always the handy, dandy Planner Pad (which I also swear by, not at);  all the hats you wear in one planner!  You can have a brain dump, appointments listed, phone numbers, strategy map all in one slim book–what’s not to love?!

And least you think that you have to figure out all the bits and pieces of a launch (Goddess forbid) all by yourself, Laura Roeder & Co provide you with some great ideas of what to have in place before that launch of yours takes off.  It may not be everything, but it’s a great place to start–just in case you have some doubts about what all is entailed in having a splendiferously perfect launch.

I realize that my success as an entrepreneur is going to be an ongoing project and I’m cool with that.  Heck, I’m exciting about that–more to learn!  And speaking of more, here’s one more shiny toy I discovered, Twylah–go get yourself one too and send me a link so I can check you out!  Cheers to all of you early adopters out there and…

Rich Blessings!

Dee