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What does it mean to have grit?

I’ve made lot of mistakes. You want a list? Because I have one.

No, I don’t really. That would be kind of weird to keep a whole list of mistakes, right? RIGHT? I definitely don’t have a list like that.

So why am I even bringing up mistakes? Because mistakes are what keep us going.

You may call them failures, disappointments, setbacks, missed opportunities.

I call them character builders.

They make us wiser, and more determined to try better next time.

They give us GRIT. Perseverance. Courage. Resolve.

(Can you tell I looked up “grit” in a thesaurus?)

LET ME TELL YOU A STORY

It’s about to get a little personal. Are you ready?

 

My entire life has been building grit and resiliency. 

I was raised in a home that taught me my job was to grow up, marry a nice man, and raise nice children. That’s it. Nothing else. College was a back up plan for that life.

Is there anything wrong with wanting to grow up, marry a nice man and raise nice children? Absolutely not.

In fact, I’ve already done that. Check.

But is it all I wanted? Absolutely not.

I figured out how to get into college, because I really didn’t know what to do. College seemed like the answer. A friend talked me into enrolling at my local community college.

Every step since then, I wasn’t supposed to do. But I wanted more.

It was community college, then the local four-year university.

My world unfolded.

I worked full-time throughout and struggled. Did I almost fail a class or two while trying to juggle it all? Yes.

But I made it through.

I graduated in 2009 at the height of the recession and moved to Chicago to find a job.

I found a job temping as a receptionist.

Is that what I hoped for myself? Not really. 

But I was grateful to have a job while I saw friends flounder and people lose everything.

I worked my way up in a company and then pivoted and got into grad school (after being rejected 3 times).

I wanted to be an academic. I thought it would be this utopia of thought and well-intentioned and self-aware intellectuals.

Ah, fantasies.

It wasn’t quite what I thought, so again, I pivoted.

I wanted to study digital cultures, but instead, I learned how to participate in digital cultures through marketing.

I found my thing. The thing I enjoyed doing and earning money at the same time. Email marketing.

After having my baby, my husband and I moved back to Michigan to be near family.

I wasn’t finding the next job that felt right, so guess what I did?

I created my own.

It never occurred to me to be an entrepreneur. It’s not a goal I ever had. It’s not something I was encouraged to do.

I didn’t have role models to look up to for it.

But almost every step I’ve taken since graduating high school, I wasn’t meant to do. Why not this thing too?

I’ve failed while doing this entrepreneurial thing. But I’ve reset and come back for more.

What are my other options?

Along the way, I’ve met some incredible women who are hustling hard while trying to build a business for themselves. They’ve inspired me and made me want to keep going.

And I finally found what it is I’m looking for when working with someone. I don’t know about you, but I’ve worked with people that I’m glad to have in my rearview mirror.

The people I love to work with are those who have grit also. They’ve hustled hard – like me.

I’ve worked the job that had a shoestring budget, so I was in charge of everything

These are people who jump in feet first and are willing to get their hands dirty on a new project. They know how to be resourceful and figure out to get something done with the tools they have available.

That’s been in me in a variety of jobs I’ve had. Was it hard? Yes. Did I love the challenge? Yes.

Now I get to work with people who have been there or are there. They’re incredibly smart, take on impossible tasks with minimal resources. And they do it well.

They make mistakes. Learn from those mistakes and try better next time.

They are flawed and bright and know when to not take themselves too seriously.

For me, grit has always been brushing myself off and trying harder next time.

It used to mean being tough and never asking for help.

Not showing my scars or vulnerabilities.

But letting that guard down and admitting when I need help has opened up incredible communities to me. I have met people I would have never met if I didn’t ask for help.

Today, I can flourish, because I have survived challenges that were difficult for me. I made it through by learning from my mistakes and asking for help. 

That’s grit. Keep going and reaching out for community.

 

What does it mean to flourish?

We’re in to the middle of January and still on hot on the heals of our New Year’s Resolutions.

I’ve been talking to a lot of people who are thinking about what they want to change about their businesses, jobs and personal lives. 

The hottest personal goal: work-life balance.

My immediate response: LOL

HERE’S THE DEAL.

This thing we’re doing. You know, living?

It’s ALL life. Every part of it.

The work. The family. The friends. The you.

To achieve balance is an impossible measure. There will always be something that takes more of our attention than other aspects of our life. Because guess what. That’s life.

So instead of setting our sights on something that’s not within our grasp. Here’s what I want you to focus on.

What it means to flourish.

Why? Well, because it’s in my business name (shameless self-promotion). 

But seriously. I want you to focus on what it really means to feel proud of what you are doing in every part of your life. 

To feel purpose.

To feel fulfilled.

To look at your life around you and say,

“Yes. This is my world. The overwhelming joy and the disappointment. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.”

 

HERE’S HOW YOU GET THERE

A

FIND YOUR STRENGTHS

What are you really good at?

Not what you wish you were good at, but what you are really good at doing.

Stuck?

What do people come to you needing help with?

Or, to put it another way, when someone is struggling with something, what help do you offer?

What makes you feel proud of yourself?

Got the list? Good.

Tape it up somewhere. Focus on those things, and find ways to carve out your professional and personal life so that you can utilize your skills.

 

A

WHERE DO YOU HAVE ROOM TO GROW?

I’m not saying you’re not perfect (yes, I just used a double-negative).

I’m saying I’m perfect and have no room to grow. 

Kidding!

There are parts of our life that need expanding.

Usually, that means we need to find ways to not only carve out time to dedicate to those areas, but we need to find solutions to what’s not working.

Is there a relationship that needs some attention?

Is there a skill set that you’ve been wanting to pick up in order to expand your career, business or hobby?

 

HOMEWORK:

Make a list of your top three parts of your life you want to grow? Be specific. A specific relationship. A specific skill set. A specific area of your business/career.

Now comes the research. What resources are available to you?

Find one resource for each area and dive in.

 

A

DON'T FORGET YOU

I know self-care is a big buzz word these days, but it’s legit.

If you aren’t taking care of yourself, none of these other things matter.

You will not have the emotional, mental or physical energy to work on any of these things if you’re burning the candle at both ends.

Are you in a season of life where you’re taking care of others (aging parents, small children, teenagers, sick friend)? 

This is when self-care is so incredibly important. How can you show up for them when you’re feeling depleted?

HOMEWORK:

What’s one thing you know will fill your cup that you keep meaning to do but keep putting off?

Write it down. Schedule it. Honor that time.

Email me what you have scheduled and I’ll hold you to it!

A

ASK FOR HELP

You cannot do this on your own. Sorry! I know you really really really want to, but it’s just not gonna happen.

And I know. Believe me, I know. It is so hard to ask for help.

We have this really weird idea in our culture that asking for help is, in a way, a sign of weakness.

Guess what? It’s not. Shocking. I know.

Do you want it will do for you?

Take something off our plate which will free you up for other parts of your life.

Side benefit: It brings someone else in to your life which can lead to some awesome relationships.

HOMEWORK: What’s one thing you want to take off your plate this week? Find someone who can help you with that and reach out. You’ll be surprised at how easy it is once you get the hang of it.

 

How much is too much?

The overwhelm. It is real.

I know your pain. I have lofty goals for 2019. When I think about them, they make me feel ambitious and optimistic. When I sit down to plan them out, I start to panic.

It’s so much work!

I can’t do this all on my own!

What was I thinking!?

Don’t worry. I’m here to help you (and myself) work through the goal overwhelm. And what would this blog be if it wasn’t email oriented?

Just a blog. (Boooorrrrriiiing!)

So, today we’re going to dig into THE BIG GOAL of 2019. I’ll follow this up with some other 2019 goals next week. The BIG GOAL deserves it’s own blog post. 

Z

MAKE MORE MONEY

That’s pretty vague, I know. But it’s at the top of everyone’s list. Let’s break it down into digestible chunks. Here’s a bit of homework.

  1. Set your annual revenue goal.
  2. Break that down by month.
  3. What is your average order/client/deal value?
  4. How many orders/deals/clients do you need per month to reach that goal?

Don’t worry. I don’t expect you to do all that math on your own. Here’s a Google Sheet that you can copy to your Google Drive and do the work on your own. (There’s even formulas built in to help you along!)

After you evaluate your goals and ideals, you’ll need to examine where your business is currently standing. (That’s on the spreadsheet too).

If you’re not on track to make the goals you want to make, how do you adjust your current numbers? Raise your average order/deal value? Take on more orders or clients? 

Let me show you.

HIT YOUR REVENUE GOALS WITH EMAIL

THE QUESTION: How do I raise my average order/client value and/or how do I get more orders/clients?

Let’s start with getting more orders/clients. 

You’re getting traffic to your site/blog/social accounts but not converting them as well as you’d like.

My first question to you is, how are you inviting your prospects to order/schedule an appointment?

If they’re signing up for your emails and the first email they get from you is your regularly schedule content in a few weeks, YOU’RE MISSING OUT!

When someone signs up for your emails, they are very interested in your brand/services/products. Why aren’t you talking to them right then!? 

There are a lot of assumptions about your customer if you think the first time they visit your site, they are going to immediately buy. Grab their info and start talking to them immediately.

What do you say?

  1. Introduce your brand/products/yourself.
  2. Remind them why they signed up for your emails. If you don’t have a sign up offer (more on that in another blog post), then talk to them about what it says about them for signing up for your emails.
  3. Show off your brand/product and give them the best of what you have to show them.
  4. Make a soft pitch. Don’t hard sell them your product or service right away. Show them what you have to offer them (content, examples of work, the best of your products/services.)
  5. Add a sense of urgency. If your sign up offer includes a freebie or discount, give it an expiration date. Then, remind your subscriber of the expiration date 2 – 3 times in a series if they haven’t taken advantage of it.
  6. Save your hard pitch until the end. If all else fails, give them your hard sell at the end of your welcome series. Make it sound scare, exclusive and not to be missed.

TIP: Don’t say it all in one email. Create a series over the course of 3 – 5 emails.

 

Increase your average order/client value.

There are a number of tactics to increase your rates and client value. Here’s how you do it with email.

Before an order/client is booked:

  1. Upsell. When showcasing a product or service to a prospect in an email, always suggest upsells. What will compliment their product or service? Suggestions are helpful for customers. It lets them get the most out of their product or service.
  2. Giving them a deadline to make their decision. FOMO is real. Giving a customer a deadline will increase their likelihood of completing a purchase and deciding on those add ons. You can even add a countdown timer to your emails!
  3. Unique Value Propositions. This is Marketing 101, but something that not everyone is aware of. Tell them how the service/product will add value to their life. What makes it unique coming from you?

After an order/client is booked:

1. Onboard them. Send post purchase emails to orient them to how your order/shipping/service process works. The more they know how to use your product or service, the more likely they are to use it and keep coming back.

2. Follow up. Haven’t heard from a client/customer in awhile? Set a trigger to automate a re-engagement email with them. Sometimes, they want to know you’re still thinking about them. Remind them.

 

READY TO START 2019 RIGHT?

Pick one of these projects and get going!

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