Posts Tagged ‘entrepreneur’

7 Limitless Ways to Plan for Peak Performance

March 21, 2011

I watched Director Neil Burger’s movie Limitless this weekend. I really enjoyed it!

Actor Bradley Cooper plays the writer named Ed Morra who begins to take a top secret drug NZT that gives him super human, top performance abilities.

Here are seven (7) ways you can plan to operate your small business at peak performance without the drug NZT:

1. Overcome your fear

Much has been written about entrepreneurs’ fear of sales and fear of success. The first step to overcoming these fears is to not be in denial. Assuming there are fears, the next step is to get help. There are self help books on the market and a few counseling sessions with a business coach or therapist may prove helpful. Regardless of what course of action is taken, it is important to get past fear because fear can paralyze an entrepreneur’s ability to execute their plans.

2. Overcome your shyness

Ed Morra stated that NZT helped him overcome his shyness. I once dated a guy who used cocaine to overcome his shyness. We can all relate to folks that drink alcohol to become more social and less shy. Well, shyness can be overcome without drugs. Again, the first step is to not be in denial. You have to have some out of body experiences. In the movie Limitless, there were several photo shoots which depicted the un-drugged version of Ed looking at the drugged up Ed.

These scenes reminded me of when I first began to market my firm Lemongrass Consulting back in 2005. I went to trade meetings and would talk to the person sitting to the right of me and to the left of me. I would then leave. If I stayed, I was usually a wall flower. I did not realize I was behaving this way until I participated in a mentor protégé program. My mentor began to go to trade meetings with me. She was the out of body person observing me – so to speak. She observed how I would dart into a rest room and would not work the room. I was in denial. I did not realize how incredibly shy I was. The way I got past it was to mimic my mentor’s behavior and read self help books.

3. Have unprecedented motivation

On NZT, the writer Ed Morra had unprecedented motivation. He was so motivated that he put aside his writing and figured out ways to make money quick on the stock market.

For many entrepreneurs, motivation is tough to maintain. In business, you face ups and downs. You have to learn how to deal with rejection. Rejection and periods of slow sales can crush your spirit and can be quite depressing if you do not get a handle on it. The depression can lead to paralysis when it comes to executing your plans.

I stay motivated by putting in place vision boards, games, and rewards for winning. I have a vision board that I look at every day. It is right near my bed and contains thumb tacked cut outs of magazine clippings of where I want to be in terms of business development, career advancement, wealth, and my lifestyle. I have a separate task board with Q cards that list each task that will get me closer to achieving my goals. As I complete the task, I remove it from the board. When I achieve a goal, I reward myself with a spa day and shopping. It helps to have some system in place to stay focused and motivated.

4. Have clarity

On NZT, Ed Morra had unprecedented clarity. My vision board helps me to stay focused and clear about why I exist, my purpose in life, and what I want to accomplish. I have used vision boards for years. Before starting my business, my vision board was simply to achieve a six figure salary, get a SUV, and buy a nice home. I went from making 40,000 a year in 1997 to making 90,000 a year in 2000. I went from a beige Mazda Protégé to a red Mazda Tribute. I went from being riddled with law school loans and debt to buying a nice home. I looked at my vision board containing magazine clippings of what I wanted each day. It was always exciting to see how, perhaps subliminally, the images became my reality over a very short period of time.

5. Be jacked in, booted up, and full of focused energy

Ed Morra said that the NZT drug helped him be jacked in and booted up. Well, I find that I am most booted up and jacked in after I exercise. When I eat poorly and do not exercise, I feel sluggish. In fact, in the movie Limitless, they show Ed Morra exercising in a gym and swimming.

6. Find a bridge

Robert Dinero plays a merger and acquisition tycoon Carl Von Noon. Carl Von Noon is a bridge to Ed Morra. Carl hires Ed to help with a large, proposed merger and acquisition. Ed was well connected and one of his connections in stock trades introduced Ed to Carl.

My take away here is that it is extremely important to have a strong network and mentors. Your mentors are your bridges. Bridges connect you from where you exist to where you want to go. When I counsel small businesses I advise them to begin very early on to develop a Contacts Relationship Management (CRM) tool. It is important to work your list of connections, stay in touch with folks, and share information. Nearly every business adviser I have had has taught me this.

7. Feel invisible

If you are successful with Items 1-6, you will feel better. When you achieve successes, you will develop confidence and that confidence will make you feel better. But, to feel invisible may not be such as wise thing. Humility goes a long way in business development.

Ann Hutchinson wrote “But now having seen him which is invisible I fear not what man can do unto me.” For me, having a relationship with a higher spirit God is a way to see that which is invisible and to not fear what can possibly do to you. Many entrepreneurs have experienced competitors that will block our sales efforts; prospects that are difficult to reel in; peers that are not very helpful; and customers that are not ideal. Nevertheless, having a real relationship with a higher spirit can help you feel protected above all of that so that you can press on.

Clovia founded Lemongrass Consulting in 2005 with 25 years of government work experience and serves as a procurement counselor in the Georgia Tech Procurement Assistance Center (GTPAC). Lemongrass Consulting provides strategic planning solutions including government contracting strategic marketing plans. – Follow Clovia on Twitter @lemongrassplans and LIKE Lemongrass on Facebook at


Do you Tweet?

June 14, 2010

I completed two Social Media classes a year or so ago. My first thought was: “who has time for this?” I also, thought that if you are always on the web, when will you have time to do your work?

Well, I decided to try Linkedin, Twitter and Facebook. I had accounts since 2005, but never put them to any real use.

When the economy took a nose dive, I had to get out “there” and market my services to try to earn a living. Online marketing can be free and it’s a great way to stay present on the minds of potential buyers or to stay well connected to achieve “presence of mind” when it comes to getting referrals.

I spend a minimum (and usually maximum) of 5 minutes in the morning and 5 minutes at night each day. Here’s what I do with Twitter:

You get followers by following others. If someone does not follow you in about a week or so, then stop following them.

How to find followers:

1) ask your linkedin and facebook groups: “Do you tweet? If so, what is your twitter address”
a. then use the search tool in twitter to find them
i. be careful – don’t click on any links because they could be a dangerous to infiltrate your computer with worms, viruses, trojans, etc…
ii. instead type it into twitter search and if the link shows up, click on it and then click follow
b. then follow them (click Follow)
2) type keywords for topics that interest you in the twitter search box
a. then check out folks’ profile pages
b. if you like their tweets, then click follow to follow them
3) use twellow to search for folks to follow using keywords for topics that interest you
4) follow other folks’ followers if you have similar interests – eg find the coaches that follow me and follow them

How to get folks to follow you:

1) usually folks will follow folks that follow them (reciprocal following)
2) you need to have a balance of followers (ie your followers number) and folks you follow (ie your following number) – or you will be viewed as a spammer
a. so be sure to check weekly or monthly if the folks you follow are following you back
b. if they are not following you back, then stop following them
c. but bare in mind that trade orgs and news outlets may not follow you back. Nevertheless, I keep these because I want their content

What to do if someone follows you:

1) you’ll get an email
2) use the Direct Messages feature in your twitter Home page (off the right) to thank the person who is following you …be careful about not posting your personal messages for everyone to see …I love Direct messaging because only that one person will see it
a. usually if you reply and acknowledge a follower, that will solidify your relationship and they wont stop following you
b. I post “Thank you for the follow (or follow back)! I look forward to your tweets! You can learn more about me at
c. Always try to get them to visit your website …you can also direct them to a free gift or a blog post on your website

What and How to post:

1) Each post can only be 140 characters
2) DON’T post hard sales “buy this” or “hire us”
3) DO try to get folks to your website
a. Send a notice when your constant contact newsletter is available
b. Send a notice with each new blog post on your website
c. Send notices about videos on youtube
d. Send notices about freebies
e. Send notices about events
4) I use ping fm ( to post once each morning to twitter, linkedin, and facebook by email
a. Ping fm will give you an email address
b. You email your message to the ping fm email address and the message will get posted wherever you want it to
5) You can preset posts to automatically go out using tweetdeck or hootsuite
6) Share content – go for just one main topic
a. Famous quotes
i. just google “famous quotes” for websites
ii. search with keywords
iii. collect into a word document
b. events
c. awards
d. Articles
i. If you post articles, use tiny url ( to convert the longer url where folks can find the article
ii. Sources of articles – sign up to get articles emailed to you
1. NAWBO (and other trade organizations)
2. forbes and forbes woman
3. Small Business News and Updates
4. Inc mag
5. Smartbrief on Social Media
6. Smartbrief on Entrepreneurs
7. Smartbrief on Leadership
8. NFIB Smartbrief
9. Businessweek’s Small Biz Insider

Clovia founded Lemongrass Consulting in 2005 with 25 years of government work experience and serves as a procurement counselor in the Georgia Tech Procurement Assistance Center (GTPAC). Lemongrass Consulting provides strategic planning solutions including government contracting strategic marketing plans. Visit us at: – Follow Clovia on Twitter @lemongrassplans and LIKE Lemongrass on Facebook at