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Small Biz Life

YOU STARTED A BUSINESS! YOU ARE AMAZING AT WHAT YOU DO. But there is a lot more to running a successful business: accounting, marketing, IT, sales, management. You wear so many hats. Add family, friends, health, home…no wonder you are tired! WE GET IT! We have been small business owners for the past seven years and have worked with small business owners for the last fourteen years. We know the challenges of finding the right solutions and juggling all the responsibilities. We know how hard it is to put YOURSELF on the to-do-list. YOU ARE NOT ALONE. COME JOIN THE COMMUNITY. TOGETHER WE CAN GROW AND THRIVE.
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Now displaying: April, 2017
Apr 30, 2017

Being a small business owner can be stressful. Sometimes, our businesses can add conflict in our relationships with significant others. In this episode, Jeff and Kristin discuss ways to minimize this conflict so you can start building dreams together. 

Even if your significant other does not work in your business, conflicts can exist. These conflicts usually stem from a lack of understanding between the business owner and non-business owner significant other. Creating more understanding between the two of you will allow for more joy and less stress. 

Understanding yourself

Conflicts often arise because the business owner does not have a clear vision for her business and how it will affect her life. Here are a few questions to ask yourself if you are in this position:

  1. What are your dreams?
  2. How will your business help you achieve these dreams?
  3. What steps are you taking to achieve those dreams?
  4. Are you setting deadlines?

We also recommend that you take the 5 love languages assessment. This will give you some interesting insight into what acts make you feel loved. We recommend that you also ask your significant other to take the assessment. For more in-depth information about the 5 love languages, consider purchasing the book

Listening and learning

Now that you've gotten some clarity on your own life, it's time to get some clarity on your significant other. Often, we complain that our significant other does not understand our point of view, especially when it pertains to our business. However, how often do we ask if we really understand our significant other's perspective?

We often assume that those around us understand our business and our plan. Is that really true? Do we know our loved one's goals and dreams? Here are some tips to start the conversation:

  1. How will your business benefit your loved one?
  2. How will your business affect your loved one?
  3. Does my significant other understand my business and my dreams?
  4. What are my significant other's desires and dreams?
  5. How can we find connections between our goals and dreams?

Understanding your loved one's drives and concerns can help open a dialog to aid in building your dreams together. 

Minimizing conflict

When conflicts do arise, we need to step back from the emotion and look for valid concerns. Opening up a dialog makes it easier for your significant other to voice concerns. Unless we are willing and able to hear those concerns in a rational manner, your loved one will not be willing to share. This causes resentment and small things blow up into huge arguments. 

It is difficult to hear criticism; however, if we are not open to our loved one sharing honest concerns, this will lead to conflict. Don't let your first response be defensiveness. Ask yourself if there are valid points in those concerns. 

Holding yourself accountable

Over the past 15 years working with small business owners and mediating conflicts between couples, many conflicts stem from delayed or broken promises. We often set deadlines for ourselves and watch those deadlines pass. When this happens repeatedly, your significant other will lose confidence in you, especially if you are not sharing reasons why these deadlines are being missed. 

Sometimes we don't like to share what is going on in our business because we are disappointed in our own progress. We shut our significant other out because we don't want them to see our mess or our failure. This will just cause further conflict down the road. Would you treat your customers this way? We should never treat our partner worse than our own customers. 

Holding yourself accountable, not only to yourself but also to your partner may help you achieve more. Ask your partner for insight in some areas of your business. If you are struggling with something, ask if you can run the problem past your partner. It may give your partner some important insight into how hard you are working. 

Don't use this as an opportunity to have a complain-a-thon.  Allow this to be a conversation that can help you complete something constructive. 

If your conflicts involve money, check out Melissa the Coach. She teaches a money management system which is very similar to the one we used to pay off over $220,000 in debt. Without getting our financial house in order, we would have never been able to get Jeff out of his 9 to 5 and working full-time for Ingram Digital Media

 

NOTE: This post contains affiliate links

Links

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https://www.smallbizlife.com/blog/episode-85-building-dreams-together

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5 Love Languages Free Assessment http://www.5lovelanguages.com/profile/

Melissa The Coach http://www.gochangethat.com/

Ingram Digital Media https://ingramdigitalmedia.com/

Dream Catcher Assessment https://www.smallbizlife.com/dreambig D Free for a limited time

Small Biz HQ https://www.smallbizlife.com/store/5CQukiiy

 

 

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The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts http://amzn.to/2pjOmDU

Apr 23, 2017

Do you have an advertising plan? Do you have an advertising budget? Are you just throwing things at the wall to see what sticks? In this episode, we discuss steps for putting together an advertising plan and some of the best options for advertising no matter how big or small your budget is.

Most small businesses do not have an advertising strategy; they just throw ads out into the world hoping that something will work. If you want to stop throwing money out the window, you need to have a plan.

Five things you need to know before you start running ads

What is the purpose of the ads?

Why are you running ads in the first place? Don't automatically say it is because you want to sell people things. Depending on your price point, you may need to develop a relationship with your potential customers first. Not all ads are designed to sell. Some introduce you to a new client, while others start building a relationship. You can even run ads that provide value as a service to potential customers.

What is your budget?

It's important to know how much you will spend on advertising each year. Businesses should budget 10 - 20% of their revenue on marketing and advertising, depending on the cost of providing their product or service. If your profit margin (price - cost of the product) is high, you can afford to spend a bit more on advertising. If your profit margin is lower, spend a smaller percentage of sales.

We always caution small business owners against spending money they do not have in the bank to run ads, hoping that lots of revenue will come in before the credit card bill arrives. That's an awesome way to go broke! Especially if you are new to running ads, there is going to be a lot of trial and error. Don't bank on your first few ad campaigns bringing in a ton of money, especially if you are running ads to build awareness or relationships or if you have a higher priced product. Spend smaller amounts to learn what works and perfect your message.

What do you want your leads to do?

When developing your ad campaign, how do you want your potential customers to respond? Do you want them to sign up for a newsletter, visit your website, call you, watch a video, attend a webinar, or buy a product? Do you have a funnel in place to guide them through that process? When leads arrive at your website, will it guide them where you want them to go or as there so many options, they will leave your site quickly?

Making sure you have a clear call to action and a website that encourages them to respond the way you want them to is essential to your ability to convert potential customers into paying customers. Do not start running ads until you have a clear funnel in place to get the response you want.

Who are you targeting?

Recently, Kristin was scrolling through her Facebook feed and saw an ad related to child behavior. If she saw this ad, clearly the targeting was poor (we don't have any children). Once of the awesome things about Facebook ads is that you can specifically target people based on geographic area, demographics, and interests. However, to do this, you must know who you want to target.

We have said many times that you need to know who your ideal customer is, especially if you are running ads online. If you don't know who your ideal customer is, you can't target them.

Do you know how to track your progress and improvise?

When placing ads, especially on the web, you need to track how your ads are performing and make changes as needed. Even if you are running traditional advertising and you aren't getting the response you want, you should make changes to your ads.

Tracking performance is very easy on the web. All good advertising venues will give you statistics on clicks and your website stats can show you conversions. If you don't know how to do this, YouTube and Google are magnificent teachers. Also, most advertising platforms have great training programs (because they want you to spend money with them).

With traditional advertising, this becomes a bit more complicated, but it's still possible. You can purchase custom domains that you use in your ads or ask people to mention a code when interacting with you, allowing you to see how effective your ad is.

When making changes, change one thing at a time. Do not completely revamp the ad. Making a small change to the headline or image can sometimes cause a huge difference in response rates. We have even found that changing your font can make a difference.

Six types of advertising

In this episode, we discuss six types of advertising and marketing that small business owners can consider. This is in addition to other forms of marketing you can do, like speaking, webinars, and free content.

 

Traditional advertising (print, broadcast, radio)

Online advertising (Facebook, YouTube, Adwords, Geofencing)

Affiliates

Guerilla (Gamification, flyers, giveaways)

Product placement

Referrals

We discuss each of these in the episode, including why some are better options than others and what to look for if you engage in any of these types of advertising.

NOTE: This post contains affiliate links

Links

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https://www.smallbizlife.com/blog/episode-84-your-small-biz-advertising-guide

 

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https://www.smallbizlife.com/dreambig D Free for a limited time

https://www.smallbizlife.com/store/5CQukiiy Small Biz HQ

https://smallbizlife.mykajabi.com/blog/episode-4-who-is-your-ideal-customer Episode 4

https://www.smallbizlife.com/blog/episode-79-the-4x4x3-insight-guide-for-sales The 4x4x3 Insight Guide for Sales

 

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https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/small-biz-life/id1039595496 Small Biz HQ

 

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Apr 16, 2017

Have you cut out hobbies to get more done, think again!

In today’s episode, we will be talking a lot about the benefits of hobbies, and they are real.  You can promote the increase of eustress, and decrease your distress.  Essentially, help remove the bad stress and try and replace them with positive stress.

As this happens you will see less of that horrific morning and work fatigue.  So much like sleep, hobbies are a great way to promote increases in productivity, improved social supports, and do it while having fun.

 

Want to be successful like Warren Buffet, try the ukulele

After all, don’t all the gurus tell us to model successful people before they sell us a complex system on helping improve our productivity?  And how many of them told us to spend more time having fun with hobbies.

 

I am still looking for that guru.  I am so sick of trying to work smarter practicing systems that might help my productivity in about a month of intense practice. I have been looking for magic bullets for years which lead to more work, less fun, worse relationships, and finally burnout.

 

Do not look for productivity systems that ignore basic human needs

And at the same time, I had less time doing the thing that all humans need living life.  It is the relationships that lead us to push to improve ourselves. It is fun and movement that give us the energy to not just get crap done, but live life to the fullest.

 

Put the credit card down today, stand up and scream with me, “I will not spend another dollar on productivity systems until I have some fun, sleep, and love my life.”

 

Okay now if you have forgotten how to have fun, where should I start

Now, we have very similar views on this. However, our view might be work for you.  If not check out what other people do that would interest you. Or check out this list of hobbies.  Just be careful and seek out professional help when needed before starting out hobbies that might be dangerous for you. If they are really dangerous, it might also cause problems getting insurance. And for Pete’s sake, have fun but be safe.

 

Kristin choice for people looking for hobbies is reading

It works the brain, and can educate and entertain you. If you can get a physical book, ebooks are great for backup access to reading, but there is nothing like an old fashion book in your hand.

However, do not read books to make you better at your business for a hobby. You need to keep it separated.

 

Jeff closes his eyes and suggest fantasy worldbuilding

Okay, this might be a bit self-serving since he also host’s the Worldbuilder’s Anvil podcast.  However, there is more to it than the selfless self-promotion.

 

Worldbuilding is the portion of storytelling that builds the setting for stories. It ranges from interesting characters in any story, entire fiction world’s like Gardul, or universes like in Star Wars. The can be strange, futuristic, or realistic.

 

The reason worldbuilding is a great hobby is it feed curiosity. It prompts people to learn more about how the real world works and exercise our creativity.

 

Join Kristin and Jeff as they look at the using fun to increase productivity.

 

Mentions

Dream catcher assessment (Free until

Gardul and the Worldbuilder’s Anvil Podcast http://gardul.com/category/worldbuilders-anvil/

Famous people hobbies http://www.businessinsider.com/hobbies-of-successful-people-2015-11/#actress-angelina-jolie-collects-daggers-2

Hobbies that make you smarter

List of hobbies https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_hobbies

Don’t cause your loved ones to write letters http://www.goodtherapy.org/blog/dear-gt/help-my-husband-is-putting-his-hobby-before-our-marriage

Links

((((((((((((((((((((((((((( Visit Show notes )))))))))))))))))))))))))

 

((((((((((((((((((((((((((( Mentions links )))))))))))))))))))))))))

https://www.smallbizlife.com/dreambig Dream catcher assessment Free for a limited time

https://www.smallbizlife.com/store/5CQukiiy Small Biz HQ

http://www.businessinsider.com/hobbies-of-successful-people-2015-11/#actress-angelina-jolie-collects-daggers-2

Eustress Study https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26227991

http://www.cofcogroup.com/want-more-productivity-get-a-hobby/

Finding Hobbies

http://www.lifespan.com/7-hobbies-will-make-smarter/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_hobbies

http://www.goodtherapy.org/blog/dear-gt/help-my-husband-is-putting-his-hobby-before-our-marriage

 

 

 

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https://www.facebook.com/smallbizlifepodcast/

 

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https://www.facebook.com/groups/SmallBizLife/

 

 

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https://twitter.com/JefferyWIngram

https://twitter.com/KristinLIngram

https://twitter.com/SBLPodcast

 

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Apr 9, 2017

Hi my name is Jeff, and I spent years burned out. If I was ever going to start a self-help group. It would start off saying that statement.

About a couple of years ago, I started breaking out of nearly permanent burnout. My work was suffering, my relationships were suffering, and I was just not happy.

I question my ability to be a proper husband. Maybe, I was a total failure.  I believed it was only a matter of time before every else knew the level of failure that I had achieved.

I even spent several long afternoons with a therapist trying to figure out why I felt guilty not getting killed in a war.

The therapy helped some. I knew part of why I felt so guilty. However, I did not break out of my funk. I was stuck. I was burned out, and to defend my therapist, I never asked for help with burnout. I just wanted to get past my survivor’s guilt.  

Then I finally recognized that was burned out.

My wife, Kristin shared with me Jon Acuff’s book call “Start”. I read it, I loved it.  It woke me up. It made me question myself. I realized that I had hopes and dreams. I had buried them so far, I was started to cripple myself.

I knew that I had to change, I needed to start sharing.  I jumped on my first love, fantasy fiction. I wrote my first novel and then I got stuck again.

Thank Jon, Things started to change. I made some changes. I would get a great burst of energy and knock out work, however I would end up getting frustrated and burning out.

The burnout was no longer sticking.

It would set in, I would lose a weekend or a week.  However, I would pick up the pieces and keep moving. I launched my fist podcast, the Worldbuilder’s Anvil. I started sharing.  I would pick up momentum, however I would still get frustrated and burn out and lose all of the momenta that I build up.

 

Finally, I had my aha moment

I was in San Diego, I had escaped the cold days of early march in 2017.  I went to the Brendon Burchard's High Performance Academy Live. You heard me, I was in one of the best places in the world for weather and I spent 10 hours a day inside a conference room.

 

I had given in when he talked about the idea of high performance versus peak performance. My skeptical mind said, give this all a chance.  I knew what I had to keep changing.  I liked the way I was moving, I wanted more.  And thankfully, he backs up many of his ideas with the science and research to keep my cynical side at bay.

 

If you are not familiar with Brendon, I would suggest reading “The Charge”. I had been trapped in the caged life, I broke myself out and moved in the comfortable life. 

Comfort might work for lots of people.  However, when I was at HPA 2017 I was introduced to a friend I had not seen in years, I understood why even comfort lead to my burnout.

 

I stood in front of my old friend and waved into the mirror

I am a scout, explorer, podcaster, and author. I have a burning desire to entertain, educate, and empower people.  I cannot do that if I am living a comfortable life.  So, I invite you to join Kristin and I as we look at our stages of breaking through burnout. Escaping the burn out cycle does not have to take you years like it did for me. Once I understood that the root cause of my burnout was grief. I wasted so much time grieving. DO NOT DO THIS. Understand your burn out and break through it and start living a life that you love.

 

And yes, they are based on the stages of grief.  Because, I realized that I was trapped in grief. I was grieving for my dreams never achieved.

 

However, we learned that it is crazy to grief for yourself. If you breathe, you can and should increment changes to get you moving towards your dreams, do it now before you regret it.

 

Here are our 4 stages of the burnout cycle and the 3 steps you need to take to escape it now:

  • 4 stages of burnout!
    • Denial
    • Guilt
    • Anger
    • Hopelessness
  • 3 Steps to escaping burnout
    • Recognition
    • Reconstruction
    • Hope

Mentions:

7 STAGES OF GRIEF Through the Process and Back to Life http://www.recover-from-grief.com/7-stages-of-grief.html

23 of the Most Amazingly Successful Introverts in History

https://www.inc.com/john-rampton/23-amazingly-successful-introverts-throughout-history.html

16 Super Successful Introverts http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/08/15/famous-introverts_n_3733400.html

https://www.smallbizlife.com/dreambig  Dream Catcher Assessment (Free until the end of April 2017)

https://www.smallbizlife.com/store/5CQukiiy Small Biz HQ

High Performance Live http://brendon.com/hpalive/

Start.: Punch Fear in the Face, Escape Average, and Do Work That Matters http://amzn.to/2nu1iI4

The Charge: Activating the 10 Human Drives That Make You Feel Alive http://amzn.to/2odMdHL

Links

((((((((((((((((((((((((((( Visit Show notes )))))))))))))))))))))))))

 

 

((((((((((((((((((((((((((( Mentions links )))))))))))))))))))))))))

7 STAGES OF GRIEF Through the Process and Back to Life http://www.recover-from-grief.com/7-stages-of-grief.html

23 of the Most Amazingly Successful Introverts in History

https://www.inc.com/john-rampton/23-amazingly-successful-introverts-throughout-history.html

16 Super Successful Introverts http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/08/15/famous-introverts_n_3733400.html

https://www.smallbizlife.com/dreambig  Dream Catcher Assessment (Free until the end of April 2017)

https://www.smallbizlife.com/store/5CQukiiy Small Biz HQ

High Performance Live http://brendon.com/hpalive/

 

((((((((((((((((((((((((((( Rate and Review us in iTunes )))))))))))))))))))))))))

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/small-biz-life/id1039595496 Small Biz HQ

 

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https://www.facebook.com/smallbizlifepodcast/

 

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https://twitter.com/JefferyWIngram

https://twitter.com/KristinLIngram

https://twitter.com/SBLPodcast

 

((((((((((((((((((((((((((( Affiliate Mentions links )))))))))))))))))))))))))

Start.: Punch Fear in the Face, Escape Average, and Do Work That Matters http://amzn.to/2nu1iI4

The Charge: Activating the 10 Human Drives That Make You Feel Alive http://amzn.to/2odMdHL

Apr 2, 2017

Episode 81 – Sleep: Your greatest productivity tool

What!!! I cannot sleep, I have too much work

Hey we understand. Jeff resisted this notion for years. Because, the idea that if you sleep more you can get more work done in less time is truly counter-intuitive. However, when Jeff was researching content on the basics of improving performance. We found lots of evidence that sleep is really the foundation of performing at a higher level.

Really, sleep is the foundation of better performance?

Yes, since adopting a few new strategies. May of which we learned at Brendon Burchard’s live High Performance Academy, not an affiliate. We have both found an increased level of energy, to get rid of time loss to low energy and increased focus for the entire day.

 

The results have been so astounding we have rescheduled our entire content plan at Small Biz HQ to dedicate April 2017 to help our friends and peers.

 

While researching, why we had the improvement. The true importance of sleep became apparent.

 

If you do not know, Jeff is a skeptic.  So, he follows up success with research. He looked at all the things we did to improve.  He found that without the sleep, nothing else would have worked as well. So Really, sleep is the foundation of better performance? Join us as we look at the science of sleep. The benefits of 7 – 9 hours of sleep a night. We also invite you to some of the links below

 

We challenge you to find a system, trick, or technique that could help you become more productive than a good night of sleep.  If you do share it in the comments below. Jeff would love to research that as well.

 

NOTE: This post contains affiliate links

Links

((((((((((((((((((((((((((( Visit Show notes )))))))))))))))))))))))))

https://www.smallbizlife.com/blog/episode-81-sleep-your-greatest-productivity-tool

 

((((((((((((((((((((((((((( Mentions links )))))))))))))))))))))))))

http://brendon.com/hpalive/

Small Biz HQ https://www.smallbizlife.com/store/5CQukiiy

 

https://www.smallbizlife.com/dreambig D Free for a limited time

What happens during sleep

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/09/28/brain-sleep-_n_5863736.html

https://sleep.org/articles/brain-during-sleep/

 

Get better sleep

http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/in-depth/sleep/art-20048379

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/03/17/better-sleep-tips-best_n_4958036.html

 

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