Posts Tagged ‘motivation’

How to improve your Influence?

January 17, 2012

My Klout score was 46 and is now 36. It dropped to 32 at one point. I wanted all of the bloggers’ posts that I routinely read to appear on my twitter site. So, I used twitterfeed to rss feed the blog posts. Well, my Klout score went down. What was even more frustrating was that only one of the bloggers that I essentially promoted did thanked me – referral sales guru Bob Burg. Well, when my Klout score dropped I started joining Twitterchats and it went up by 4 points.

I also posted my wordpress.com blog on my Twitter page to try to increase reads and comments on my blog posts. I think this hurt my Klout score. I have since changed that wordpress url to my firm’s website url. I will report on whether that makes a difference.

The topic of clout or influence is trending. It has had me reflecting on what truly makes a person influential. It makes me wonder if I am an influential person with clout; and who in my network has clout and influence. I also wonder if entrepreneurs like me are using social media to increase marketing, visibility, and sales; or are we really trying to become more popular, gain influence, and increase our personal clout.

I’m an academic analytic. With all of my research, I begin with definitions.

Merriam-Webster defines clout as pull or influence. The dictionary defines influence as power, force, and the exercise of command:

 an emanation of occult power held to derive from stars
 an emanation of spiritual or moral force
 the act or power of producing an effect without apparent exertion of force or direct exercise of command
 the power or capacity of causing an effect in indirect or intangible ways : SWAY

I like the word “emanate”. It makes me wonder what is emanating from me – what’s springing out, coming out, and coming across to others? I suppose one way to find out is to ask folks. We could ask image consultants. We could ask folks in our networks. I collect feedback I get online. All of it has been positive. Here are examples:

 You really get me going. Great motivation.
 Im so inspired by you & all that you do I’m inspired
 Happy Thanksgiving Clovia! You inspire me:)
 Dear Clovia, you always post value on Twitter and on Facebook. You are an example to follow.
 We need more people like you.
 Thanks for all you do!
 Thanks for your input. You are so very helpful.
 You have great style and the ability to communicate on the entrepreneur’s level.
 Thanks for the encouragement to stay focused!
 Thank you for the daily inspiration.
 I really enjoy your Social Media post. Thank you so much!!
 Clovia, I just followed you on twitter and checked out your website. Impressive…Thanks for connecting
 I follow you closely. I love what you are doing.
 You really do have it right and I’m glad that there’s someplace like Lemongrassplanning.com around to help people who realize that they need to set and manage goals, but maybe don’t know how.
 Thx for the free book. Lots of great insights & I didn’t know about Ping but am using it now!
 Happy New Year Clovia! Thanks for all the inspirational & motivational quotes.

If you are not studying what folks are saying about you, you probably should start. Collect the feedback and use Google alerts to see what might be stated about you that is not sent directly to you.

Lets get back to sales. Folks buy from who they come to know, like, and trust. So, perhaps you can influence a sale if you can get someone to if you cause someone click on a link and read an article; to comment on what you post; to click LIKE on your facebook business fan page; to click the + on the Google plus link; or to retweet and share what you post on Twitter.

Those of us in business know there is no direct correlation between the two. But, how much of a correlation is there between online social activity and sales?

Should there be a score for being inspiring, encouraging, motivating – rather than influential?

 

By Clovia Hamilton, President, Lemongrass Consulting, Inc.

Clovia founded Lemongrass Consulting in 2005 with nearly 30 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 organizational assessments, government contracting strategic marketing plans, intellectual property, social media marketing strategic plans, and other services.

By Clovia Hamilton, President, Lemongrass Consulting, Inc.

Clovia founded Lemongrass Consulting in 2005 with nearly 30 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 organizational assessments, government contracting strategic marketing plans, intellectual property, social media marketing strategic plans, and other services. Contact Clovia at:
■ Web: http://www.lemongrassplanning.com/
■ Follow us on LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/company/lemongrass-consulting-inc.
■ Follow us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/lemongrassplans

■ LIKE us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LemongrassConsultingInc

 

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3 Sources of Limiting Thoughts – Don’t Put Limits on Yourself

April 24, 2011

I attended a black business expo in southwest Georgia this past weekend. Allen Payne, one of the actors on Tyler Perry’s show House of Payne gave an appearance. He spoke about being from Harlem and how he was headed for trouble in the streets until he began to study acting. I too grew up in a rough and tumble inner city neighborhood. I was raised on Chicago’s south side in Roseland. There were drugs, there was prostitution, and there were fights. But my parents raised us differently and encouraged us to go to college.

What resonated with me as Allen Payne spoke was the message that to succeed, you must stop putting limitations on yourself. He spoke about limits that our loved ones can put on us; our peers; and ourselves. I think this is a valuable lesson for anyone, especially small business owners. This article shares some thoughts I have about how this rule of thumb should be applied by small business owners.

First source – Loved Ones

You may have to love some friends and family members from a distance. If they are being negative about your desire to start and grow a business, then love them from a distance. Distance yourself from them. If you cannot physically relocate, then find a group of like minded individuals that can give you support. You may have parents, spouses, children, and others discourage you and tell you that you cannot make money. Find strength in God and don’t quit.

Second source – Our peers

Allen Payne talked about having to pass the thugs he once hung out with in order to get to the Actor’s Studio for training. I had a similar experience as a youth. I attended college classes at a local junior college and at Chicago State when I was in high school and participated in college prep programs at the University of Illinois in Chicago. When I was sixteen, I worked as a civil engineer in training at Harza. I had to pass our neighborhood thugs, and others that labeled me an uppity goody two shoes. Luckily, my parents taught us at an early age to hold our chin up and walk pass taunts.

That life lesson still applies. As a small business owner, you have to hold your head up and walk pass peers that are jealous, petty, unsupportive, or evil. You must surround yourself with supportive people. The use of social media and trade organizations are a great ways to find like minds. Meet online and take the conversation offline when there’s synergy.

Third source – Ourselves

You can put limits on yourself with nay saying thoughts and reluctance to move out on tasks that can catapult your business. From time to time, I talk to a fellow female business owner that I met in a small business development program. We share our business development challenges and ideas about how to improve our businesses. What I have notice over time is that on some ideas, she is quick to point out (a) how she has tried it once already and failed; (b) how it may become too costly; (c) how it can get you in trouble; and (d) how she would not try this and that because she just hates it.

Well, first of all, hate eats up A LOT of energy. You cannot succeed in business by trying something only once. You have to be consistent, work a routine, and be persistent. For example, it may take 6 to 24 months to land a first government contract. Further, successful entrepreneurs are optimists rather than pessimistic, risk averse people. Business owners can plan ahead to control costs and risks. One of my favorite quotes is “A good plan violently executed now is better than a perfect plan executed next week. George S. Patton”.

Getting back to Allen Payne – he shared a few other important lessons that I have lived by for years. It was refreshing to hear him share these sentiments. Allen spoke about seeing your life as a miracle and finding strength in God. He compared his journey and relationship with God to riding a wave. I have a similar experience.

Years ago I more than doubled my salary. I called it being on auto pilot. I simply moved out on faith; focused on my career goals and dreams; and set out on a journey that took me to several states and great career posts. This is the mindset you have to have to survive this down economy. Having the support and strength of a Higher Spirit certainly helps.

By Clovia Hamilton, President, Lemongrass Consulting, Inc.

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. Contact Clovia at http://www.lemongrassplanning.com or follow Clovia on Twitter @lemongrassplans

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. http://www.lemongrassplanning.com – Follow Clovia on Twitter @lemongrassplans and LIKE Lemongrass on Facebook at http://tinyurl.com/6cuu28o