Thursday, October 1, 2015

5 Business Lessons I Learned Running My Last 5K!

I recently ran (okay, mostly ran) a neighborhood 5K after many months since my last event. I’m a very experienced back-of-the-pack half-marathoner, but I tend to only run during the fall racing season, so this was my chance to get off my rear end for the first event of the year.

To keep my mind occupied on something more pleasant than the two-mile uphill climb I was trekking at the time, I started thinking about how recreational racing is similar to starting and growing a business. So after pulling over to re-tie my shoes for the second time (trying not to make it obvious that I needed a break), I brilliantly extended my resting period by noting five business lessons inspired by my 5K march.

Let's see if they can help you along your journey too.


1. Know the Course Before the Race

Before signing up for a race, the first thing I always do is review the course. I want to be mentally ready for the steep hill climbs, the fast down slopes and the monotonous flats.

The same principle applies to growing your business. When you look ahead to the next 90 days or 12 months, what do you see? A big sales push? A new product launch? Or just staying the course with the strategy already in place?

When you take the time to envision your business a little down the road (but not too far in advance, because it’s usually hard to see around the bend), you can be thoughtful and proactive about how you spend your time and your money, as well as what you can expect the results to be. When you have a clear vision of the road ahead, you’ll be more likely to cross the finish line with an amazing sense of accomplishment.


2. Start Out Fast, Then Settle Into Your Own Pace

If you have ever run an organized race, then you know that the entire pack starts out really fast: fast enough to worry about getting trampled. When I first started racing, I used to resist the flow by staying in the “slow lane” on the right while the speedsters zoomed past me and the other slowpokes.

But now that I’ve run over 25 races, I know that it’s actually much better to start off fast for the entire first mile before settling into my own rhythm.

This same idea applies to growing your business.

Start out fast and strong every new quarter by kicking off a new marketing campaign or launching a service or product. In essence, generate massive results at least four times a year—yes, push yourself past your comfort zone—and then settle into your natural pace with all of that momentum carrying you forward.


3. Forget About Passing That Girl in Lulu Everything

Yes, she looks amazing when she speeds by in her adorable outfit, but that’s her race, not yours.
In business, your competitors are running their own races, so don’t confuse yours with theirs. Determine how your brand and its offerings are unique, and use that uniqueness to target customers who will be delighted with your products and services.

When you find yourself overly dissecting other companies' branding and marketing strategies, you can lose focus on your own path. Getting inspired by the success stories in front of you is fantastic, but feeling threatened by them or, worse, trying to copy them is a recipe for disaster.
Besides, they may be ahead now, but it’s who makes it to the finish line first that counts!


4. When Approaching a Big Hill, Take Smaller Steps

Surprisingly enough, I actually love running hills. Not for the entire course, but I do love the powerful feeling that comes from making it to the top. A running coach once told me that, whenever I want to tackle a steep hill, I should stay focused on the road ahead and take small but steady steps.

This advice has helped me grow my business time and time again.

When you have a big project or goal with many moving parts and pressing deadlines, start by breaking it down into easier-to-manage micro-projects. It’s much easier to finish 10 small things than to make an exaggerated leap to the end. And as an added bonus, the small achievements along the way will give you a big boost of energy to finish strong.


5. Run as Fast as You Can When the Wind Is Finally Behind Your Back

So after running uphill for two miles, and since I was familiar with the course because I reviewed it in advance, I was completely ready for the last half of my race, where I could breeze downhill with a new medal in my sights.

While on your entrepreneurial journey, there will be times when everything you do feels easy and is actually fun. These are your downhill moments. This is your time to go as fast as you can to maximize the opportunities put in front of you and to accelerate towards your goals as quickly as the momentum will take you.

These exciting times can be few and far between, but when it's your time, run like the wind and grab every medal along the way!


Pace Yourself for Success

These five lessons started out as a way for me to discreetly catch my breath, as both runners and entrepreneurs sometimes need to do. But the unintended benefit was a great reminder that the best way to win with your business is to run it with intention and do it your way. Remember that it's mostly a marathon, but sometimes you absolutely have to sprint.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

The 3 Myths of Free Web Traffic & What to Do About It

After growing my boutique mergers-and-acquisitions firm for 10 years, I decided to listen to my inner voice and pivot into a new business.

My new venture would be the complete opposite of my previous company, which had expensive office space and a team of 12. This new venture would be a home-based online training company supported by a virtual assistant.

Initially, this laptop lifestyle seemed like a dream come true. There’s nothing like the feeling of hitting “send” on your first blog post, email or video upload—unless, of course, the response is zero, nothing, nil.

Yes, the dirty little secret is out: When you begin building an online business, be prepared for crickets or—even worse—complete silence.

The truth is that it takes time to build an online following and even longer to convert users into buyers. 

If you follow online business gurus, you might think the industry is as simple as “write, upload and post,” and the money will start flooding in. If I’m being fair, success probably does come quickly for a small few who already had a large following before they started, but if that’s not your situation, be on the lookout for the following myths when considering "free traffic" for your site.


Myth 1: Someone Else’s Strategy for Free Traffic Will Work for You

There are many online courses you can purchase, often at a steep price, that will show you how to drive free traffic to your site. Many of the programs teach excellent strategies and tactics, but in my experience, when you try to copy someone else’s path, it rarely leads your business in the right direction.

The fault isn't in the lessons; it’s based on the fact that, if you don't interject your own brand's style and personality into the process, your audience won't understand how the strategy appeals to them, leading your customers to question why they should buy from you and not a similar competitor.

If you do decide to invest in a course, master the technical aspects, but pay special attention to what feels most natural to you. You may be a better writer than a video blogger, or you may feel very comfortable in front of a camera but loath the idea of producing a 750-word post. In essence, learn from their best practices, but be sure to make it your own.

Lastly, that pricey course was far from free, so be sure to measure your success and the return on that “free traffic” investment.


Myth 2: You Don’t Need to Spend Money on Advertising

If you opened a service business, would you sit at your desk and wait for people to walk in? Or if you manufacture products, would you stare at the phone waiting for a big-box retailer to call you? Of course not!

To grow your business, you have to actively market and sell your offerings. There’s no way around it, and it's especially true for online businesses.

The fastest way to grow your sales is through highly targeted and measurable advertising. Don’t get me wrong: You can absolutely grow slowly and organically with networking, word-of-mouth and referrals. In fact, these are great strategies, but to really gain traction, you need to spend money to let your potential buyers know you exist.

If you’re just getting started with generating online traffic, consider running a small marketing campaign on Facebook. Based on my own experience, the beauty of Facebook marketing is that it’s highly targeted and has great analytics, so you can track both your successes and shortfalls. You can also start with a very small amount of money, even as low as $10, to test an ad or promoted post.

As a growing business, you don’t have money to waste, so in order to find the fish that are willing to bite, paying a few bucks for worms is definitely money well-spent.


Myth 3: Free Traffic Is Actually Free

Let’s say you decide that writing and marketing a blog post is your primary strategy for driving online traffic. For certain businesses, regular and consistent blogging can be an excellent way to build an audience and an email marketing list.

But to be clear, this isn’t free if you’re writing, editing and posting it yourself. While you didn’t have to write a check to get it done, you have most definitely spent your biggest and most valuable asset: your time.

Time is perishable, and as an entrepreneur, we need to track our time spent in the same way we would track the task if it were outsourced.

Start with establishing a “project” fee for yourself, but not an hourly rate. Hourly rates create a time-for-activity mindset, whereas a project rate takes into consideration all of the years it took for you to gain the expertise you’re bringing to the task.

The added bonus is that, if you value your work and “bill” your business for it, your customers will value your work and pay you more for it. Ultimately, your prices should reflect the value you bring to the customer, not how long it took you to produce the service or product.


Nothing Is Free, Not Even You

If you’re growing an online business or adding an online sales channel to an existing brick-and-mortar establishment, be prepared to invest cash in strategies that attract customers and close sales.

Consistent growth requires time and money, so resist the impulse to rely solely on “free” strategies. Instead, focus on increasing your return on investment. Getting a high return for every hard and soft dollar invested in your business is the secret to success. So stay focused, value your time, and measure results every step of the way.

Friday, May 1, 2015

How to Create a Signature Speech in 7 Simple Steps

The fastest way to build credibility with your target audience is by teaching it something valuable. And the best way to grab your audience's attention and communicate your credibility is by speaking in person at an event.

As adult learners, we automatically assign expert status to speakers, so the sooner you develop a signature style, tone and speech, the sooner you'll be able to establish yourself as a valuable contributor to forums, workshops and even keynote addresses. This will be vital to building a loyal and committed tribe of followers, buyers and clients that can help spread your message and grow your business.

Let's take a look at how to craft a signature speech that is sure to establish you as an influencer and expert in your field.


So What Exactly Is a Signature Speech?

A signature speech is both an educational and persuasive presentation about the three to ten most important concepts that you want your ideal customer to know.

A well-designed signature speech offers the audience knowledge about subject matter related to your products and services that will help them improve their personal and/or professional lives while simultaneously creating interest for your business' offerings.

Signature speeches are rooted in the education-based selling method, but they seek to inform more than sell. However, if your speech is engineered correctly, members of the audience will naturally be drawn to you and the products and services you offer.

For example, if you have a tea company, you could speak about the “7 Benefits of Drinking Black Tea.” If you are a fitness coach, your speech might be “The 8 Most Effective Exercises for Lasting Weight Loss.” Regardless of what you sell, there is a signature speech waiting to be born!


Why Is a Signature Speech Important?

When you stand in front of an audience, you are automatically seen as a credible person or expert, which positions you as an authority and instills trust in potential customers, hopefully convincing them to purchase your offerings in the process.

When you have a signature speech, you have a system that helps you describe what you do and what you believe in, so whether you’re in a networking situation or writing email copy, you will always use informative and persuasive words to share what you do and why you do it.
The process of creating a signature speech forces you to decide what you are most passionate about and what the message you're sharing with the world should be. It brings clarity to what you do, and clarity leads to action, so when you put the two of them together, you now have a formula for success!


How Do You Create a Signature Speech?

To easily create a clear, customer-centric and memorable presentation, use these seven simple steps to help you get started:
  1. Open with a question or a story to capture the audience’s attention.
  2. Describe how you decided to start your business.
  3. Let them know what you are going to cover in your speech.
  4. Transition into three to five key points (four is ideal for a 30- to 45-minute talk) with examples, stories and case studies to illustrate your points.
  5. Recap what you just told them.
  6. Close with a powerful quote or story, as well as a call to action on your teaching.
  7. Thank them for having you, open up for Q&A, and invite them to the back of the room to buy or sample your products!
When you give your speech, make sure to bring enough product to sell or enough samples to go around (or order forms if you are selling services) so you can monetize your time without having to ask for a speaker's fee. This is a win-win for you and the organizer, and it makes it much easier for you to get booked.

To recap, a signature speech is both educational and persuasive, designed to improve the lives of your audience and create interest in your products. Knowing the steps of your signature system also helps you share your message while networking, blogging and training new team members.

Having a signature speech is an excellent marketing tool, internal training tool and foundation for creating systems in your business, so if you haven't already, create your talk to start accelerating your business to the next level and beyond!

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

5 Reasons Why You Should Start With Your Exit in Mind

During the critical early years of starting and growing your business, your top priorities will always be sales and marketing. However, there is an additional small but critical decision that business owners forget to make a priority as well: How you will one day tell your exit story. Will it be with pride and prosperity? Or with disappointment and unnecessary regret?

I know that you’re focused on selling and are probably not worrying about being sellable, but I promise that if you take the time to craft your exit vision with the same amount of care that you used to craft your growth vision, you will have a clearer, more exciting and faster path to success.

When you have an idea of your eventual exit story, it will subtly help you build a business that you love now because it will be strategic, focused and will run like a well-oiled machine. And as a bonus, if you start and grow a profitable business that you love, then the chances are high that somebody else will love it just as much and will some day pay you handsomely for it as well.

There are many ways to exit your business, such as a merger with a competitor, employee buyout, a partnership dispute or one of the disheartening D’s: divorce, dissolution or death. But for our purposes, we will focus on selling to an outside buyer.

Over the last 10 years, it has been my pleasure to help countless small business owners cash-out big, happy and free after building and selling a profitable business they loved. As such, I know the many reasons why you too should start with your exit in mind. Let's have a look at those reasons.


1. You Will Determine Your Most Profitable Business Model

Starting and growing a small business is challenging, to say the least, but when you have an exit plan in place, it can help you make better overall business decisions, especially regarding your economic model.

When you are growing a sellable business, you’ll do your research to determine the most profitable business model for your offerings because you’ll understand that profits drive business value. And when your business is profitable, it can put more money in your pocket sooner rather than later.

So the primary benefit of having an early vision of your exit isn’t just about building something to sell down the road; it’s about building a better business for you to enjoy and benefit from in both the short term and the long term.


2. You Will Understand the Value of a Rinse-and-Repeat Revenue Stream

Rinse-and-repeat revenue is a fun way of describing a re-occurring revenue stream within your business. Examples of re-occurring revenue streams are monthly service agreements, subscription-based services that automatically renew, products that are auto-shipped, and memberships that are ongoing until cancelled by the customer (which is the best kind of re-occurring revenue stream there is!).
As you can see, the ultimate advantage of re-occurring revenue is predictable income.
Every growing business struggles with cash flow, so wouldn’t it be great to know exactly how much revenue you can expect each month? If you don’t have these types of agreements in place, brainstorm with your team (even if you’re a team of one) about new re-occurring revenue streams. This can help you make proactive hiring, marketing and other growth-oriented decisions because you know exactly how much revenue you have coming in each month.


3. You Will Make the Extra Effort to Document Your Processes

The success of franchises like McDonald’s is based on a documented, step-by-step process that any high-school kid can follow to ensure their signature burgers and fries are cooked the same every time. To ensure your long-term success, you should strive for that same kind of consistency.
If documenting your processes seems unnecessary and too time-consuming at the early stages of your business, try using one of my favorite and simplest business tools: the checklist.

Keep a yellow pad, paper or even your favorite mobile device next to your desk, and start a running list of the tasks that you do throughout the day. If you have staff, they should do this as well. As you create your checklists, you will begin to see a pattern of repeated steps that can be organized into a “proprietary process” to be leveraged as both a marketing differentiator and a training program for new hires.

A business that runs smoothly with documented processes gives a buyer confidence that the company will continue to be successful after a sale. More importantly, a smoothly run operation gives you, the business owner, more freedom, less stress and more time to focus on the activities that fuel your entrepreneurial passion!


4. You Will Know How to Value Your Own Business as a Measurement of Success and in the Event of an Unsolicited Offer

When your intention is to grow a business that is sellable, one of your key measurements of success will be its current potential market value. Knowing the value of your business at any given time (annually at a minimum) is like your business’ private report card that shows when and where it’s “exceeding expectations” and where it “works really hard but needs improvement.”

To value your business for your own internal purposes, use this “Back of the Envelope” Valuation (BOEV) formula:

Net Profit + Owner Benefit (i.e. your salary, payroll tax, retirement contributions, and other owner perks) + Depreciation + Amortization x 3 = Back of the Envelope Valuation

Depreciation and amortization can be found on your tax returns. When you add these line items together and multiply them by three (also referred to as a "3x multiple"), you will have a general idea about the potential market price of your business. Of course, certified valuations and appraisals are serious business, but for your internal use, the BOEV will empower you to keep pushing ahead, to consider cashing out or possibly a thoughtful combination of both.


5. You Will Naturally Think Bigger, Grow Bigger and Have More Fun in the Process

Last but never least is your mindset. When you dream about your ideal exit from the start, you will be inspired to think bigger, because a bigger, more profitable business puts more money in your pocket, creates an exciting environment to work in and ultimately allows you to build something greater than yourself that someone else values as much as you do. And as a small business owner, it doesn’t get much better than that.

Hopefully you can now see why starting and growing your business with an exit vision from the beginning isn’t just for tech companies and IPO-bound entrepreneurs. You will benefit greatly from an exit that is planned, beautifully executed and comes with a pot of gold at the end of your entrepreneurial rainbow. If you remain resistant to your exit vision, you could find yourself at the other extreme with only one option: quietly and painfully shutting down your business for good.

In closing, always remember that your exit journey began the day you started your business, so understand it, embrace it and journey towards the biggest, most profitable and sellable business you can imagine!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

{VIDEO} We're Talking Tactics! Where the Fortune Is

The fortune in our work is often left on the table by women entrepreneurs when we forget to do this one simple, yet powerful thing... 


So how do you make sure you don't miss the fortune? How many times do you commit to doing it? Post your comments below and I look forward to hearing about YOUR best practices!

Until next time, Be Profitable & Be WELL!

XO, J. 

P.S. Click the share button on the video image to make sure your women entrepreneur peeps don't forget the fortune either! :)

Friday, January 23, 2015

SYMPOSIA :: 2015 Conference for Women Entrepreneurs... 7 Days to 7 Figures!

You're just 7 days away for learning from 7 figure women about how they started and grew their amazing companies -- and I guarantee, it wasn't all peaches and unicorns! Click the video for my quick message and I'll see you at SYMPOSIA :: 2015 Conference for Women Entrepreneurs VERY soon! xo,J.
Grab the last tickets at > 



Tuesday, January 13, 2015

9 Things That Women with Multimillion Dollar Businesses Focus On

Good Evening WELLies!

I'm heading to the beautiful Napa Valley in the morning for a 3 day retreat with my Women Presidents Organization (WPO) chapter, and wanted to share what we will be focusing on so you can do the same for your business too. Sharing is caring right? :)

As a bit of background, WPO is a global organization of women entrepreneurs who own multimillion dollar companies. I have been a member since 2007 and it has been instrumental in growing my business through great times and extremely challenging times, so as soon as you hit 7 figures, I would love to recommend you for membership.

So getting back to the retreat, in addition to incredible speakers (and a little spa time of course!), our facilitator will guide us through the following 9 questions so we can go deep on strategy and tactics, and ensure that we hit the ground running this year. 

The 9 focus areas we will work through are:

1. What are the core values of your business (what do you stand for)?
2. What is your core focus (what is your purpose and passion)?
3. What is your 10 year target (revenue, team members, etc.)?
4. What is your 3 year target (revenue, profit, team members, etc.)?
5. What is your 1 year target (revenue, profit, team members, etc.)?
6. What are your primary marketing strategies?
7. What are your goals for this year (revenue, profit, team, etc.)?
8. What are your focused activities this quarter to achieve your goals?
9. What are the roadblock that may slow down your success?

These are simple yet very powerful questions culled from a book called Traction.

Even if you don't have 3 days to ponder them, I would love for you to set aside at least 3 hours. Growth planning isn't a luxury, so don't feel guilty about taking this time because your business and your sanity depend on it! I also encourage you limit yourself to 3 to 5 answers for each question. As a small but growing business, less is usually more so focus on what will move your goals closer with the least amount of effort.

Want to see those 9 strategies in action?

Come and meet 2 of my WPO sisters at SYMPOSIA :: 2015 Conference for Women Entrepreneurs on January 30th and hear their amazing stories about how they handle growing a big business head on, keeping their marriages in tact, and somehow raising 5 awesome kids between them in the process... Impressive!

Alright, my suitcase beckons! If you retreat while I'm retreating, reply and let me know how it went, and until next time...

Be Profitable & Be WELL!

XO, J.

P.S. Click here, then on Lara and Sharon's pics to read their bios if you want to take a peek...(THEY ROCK if I do say so myself!)

P.S. Double dip and bring an accountability partner to the conference... Now THAT's a strategy!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

{Video} We're Talking Tactics! 5 Fabulous "Fs" for Women Entrepreneurs in 2015!

Welcome to a new year and a new chance to make your entrepreneurial dreams come true! As you step up and into your 2015 fresh start, consider these 5 ideas as a road map to accelerate you towards your best year yet... And because I know you have them, be sure to share YOUR success strategies for 2015 in the comments below! Cheers and HNY!! xoxo, j.
P.S. Only 72 hours left to save $50 on your SYMPOSIA :: 2015 ticket! Get inspired, save money, and make money because networking with the women in the room is priceless! Click below to meet the speakers!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Leslie's 5 Big Growth Tips from the "Bare" Billionaire

Last week I had the privilege of meeting Leslie Blodgett, CEO of the billion dollar cosmetic empire Bare Escentuals, at our monthly NAWBO San Francisco dinner series and hearing her journey about how she grew the business, grew a son, kept her marriage intact and eventually sold the company for $1.7 billion. Yes, BILLION with a B!! 

 Of course I was thinking about all of you the entire time and made sure to note her biggest take-ways, so here are the best golden nuggets she shared to grow (and sell!) the business of your dreams: 

1. Be a rebel. 
Bare Escentuals’ primary product was a mineral based foundation to make the skin look smooth and even. At the time, popular foundations were liquid based, cakey and thick. Her product was a loose powder, light and silky. Even though her product was superior in many ways, the market was used to liquid and when she was told it would never sell, her inner rebel told her to keep going… all the way to the bank! She also bucked conventional wisdom when she started selling her products on QVC and infomercials instead of at cosmetic counters. Powdered foundation sold over TV where you can’t even test it? You betcha! In fact,a year's worth of in-store sales in less than an 1 hour, and the rest is history! 

2. Let the community build it. 
Once the company started getting traction with sales, Leslie started spending time in online forums where customers were talking about the products (think old school Facebook). She would literally stay up all night answering questions, getting feedback and new product ideas. Over time, the forums and message boards became so integral, she started naming products after top contributors or adding items based directly from their suggestions. Talk about crowdsourcing! At Bare Escentuals, customers had a real voice in creating products that they wanted and loved, and ultimately became raving fans, evangelists and loyal buyers of the everything the brand offered. 

3. Create a BFF experience. 
Once the online community had taken on a life of its own, she decided it was time to take the relationships offline and so they went on Lady Gaga’s tour bus (literally, it was Lady Gaga’s she said!) all around the country meeting their online community in person. It created an amazing experience for everyone involved resulting in what she called the “BFF experience”, when all of your customers feel like BFFs (best friends forever) of the company and each other. Pretty darn awesome. 

4. Distribution channels sell stuff faster. 
As I shared earlier, selling on QVC was her real tipping point. Bare Escentuals was a small bath and body company with 6 stores in 1994, and now has over 6,500 distribution channels – their own stores, retailers, and online – which are in essence thousands of salespeople offering their products 24/7. To grow big, you have to have multiple distribution channels – not just your own website. Hmm, think about it. Where else can you offer your products and services? 

5. Focus more on doing than planning. 
Leslie admits that now when people ask her for advice, she always tells them that they need a great plan, but confessed to us that she actually never did! She said that she was just passionately and tirelessly focused on DOING. Doing sales calls, doing customer interviews, doing product development. And as much as I love strategic planning, I have to agree! DOING, or executing, almost always trumps planning as long as you at least have a clear vision about why you are doing all that doing!

The entire evening was beyond amazing, but hands down, my favorite A Ha moment was definitely about letting the community build it. As an expert, there can be a lot of pressure to always create the right content or have the best answer, when sometimes, it’s just as valuable or even more valuable to listen and source ideas from your community – aka “there’s wisdom in the group”. 

Just this week I was on a call with a member of my Accelerate! online training and community for women entrepreneurs, and she was asking for my feedback on a book that she is thinking about writing. I was happy to share my personal experience and then at some point it dawned on me to ask her if she would like me a to create a new training module about how to write and self-publish a non-fiction book that becomes an Amazon bestseller, and she responded, "absolutely!" Each month I add 4 new modules (foundation, marketing, sales and money), so adding to the existing 25 modules with exactly what the community wants makes my heart sing! 

In fact, I would love to get you involved too! Post in the comments below the subject you would like me to create a module around (each 15 minute intensive module has an ebook, audio and printable download), and I will select the most popular request, create it for August, and share it with all of you as my gift! Also be sure to share your inner rebel stories like Leslie Blodgett’s below to get everyone fired up and on their billion dollar path (why not you too?!?), along with the module you want to see, and I can’t wait to create it for you! 

As always, until next time...

Be Profitable & Be WELL! 

 XO, jgw

P.S. This Friday is the last day to sign up for SUMMER SUCCESS: Designed, Developed & Done, my private and customized program to make sure you have both a fun AND productive summer, and finish that pressing product, workshop, book or new business that you want to do but need someone to help you get it out of your head and into the world! Yay! To learn more and even watch the video again, click here.  
Friday is it, so if you’re on the fence… JUMP! And I’ll always be there to catch you! xoxo

Thursday, May 22, 2014

{Video} We're Talking Tactics! How to Grow Faster with a Peer Advisory Group

If you want to know the secret to my success over the last 7 years, click play to find out how you can use this secret to grow your business faster (and bigger!) too... Enjoy! jgw

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Promises Delivered! (Get More Clients, Bigger Clients & Hiring)

Promise delivered? Well, almost. ;)

My actual promise from the survey that many of you completed a few weeks ago was a live Google hangout to share with you my thought about how to gain traction on the feedback I received on the survey – including how to get more clients, how to get bigger clients, and how to hire. So today I am definitely going to give you action steps to start moving towards these important objectives, but please forgive me because  I'm going to do it in this less than sexy, but nonetheless effective, written post. Sigh.

However! As soon as I have time to get confident about doing a hangout without a million technical glitches (which have been downright excruciating for the participants AND the presenters I have witnessed), I promise to invite you to be my first attempt… but buyer beware!

Alright, let’s jump straight into my number one best strategies to get more and bigger clients, and how to hire. Here we go!  {You might want to print & save this one!}

My Number One Best Strategy to Get More Clients
Partner with non-competitors
that have the same target market.
When I grew my brokerage firm, I had 1 to 3 networking lunches with accountants and lawyers weekly to introduce my business and see how I could support their marketing efforts as well. Now, as I grow The WELL online, I am building similar relationships by offering my content to other online companies that have women entrepreneurs as clients but specialize in a different area or a specific area within my knowledge scope that they have deeper experience on.

For example, in my accelerate program, I am partnering with Pinnacle Business Services, a cloud based bookkeeping company, to provide monthly training lessons for our Money Module.  While I know my way confidently around financial statemenst, Elizabeth Whitehouse is a 10-year Certified QuickBooks Pro expert, so I am  thrilled to have her lead that section and also provide an opportunity for her to market her services.

Partnerships are a win-win if structured correctly and can put your business in front of a new and qualified audience much faster that you can attract on your own. But even beyond getting introduced to potential new customers, that introduction will come with an implied or direct endorsement from the partner which will move your relationship with that new customer from ice cold to very warm (and even hot if you do a great job!) in an instant.

My Number One Best Strategy to Get Bigger Clients
Determine how your products or services can be
sold to corporate and government clients.
The first step to working with corporate clients is to start with their diversity supplier departments to learn their requirements for getting on their preferred vendor list.  They may need you to be certified as women-owned, show your financial statements, demonstrate your capabilities in the area you are proposing to sell into, and prove that you have the capacity to fill the order without delay. All companies will have difference minimum requirements, so make sure you are clear about what they are before making any contact.

In addition to knowing what they will require to consider you as a supplier, make sure you do your homework on their current initiatives, so you can show that you understand their needs and that you are ready to partner with them to achieve their goals- basically what's in it for them.  To know exactly what they are currently focusing on, read the press releases posted on their website for the last 12 months. In those releases you will discover critical initiatives, success stories and shortfalls, and who the high-level decision makers - all things that when included with your pitch, will show that not only are you willing to be a supplier, you will go the extra mile to be a partner as well.

You can find the link to many corporations that want to do business with women entrepreneurs by searching “supplier diversity” plus the name of the company that you would like to work with.  You can also get certified as a women-owned company, through many agencies, so search “women-owned certification” to find the certifiers closest to your location.

When trying to win a government client, similar to securing corporate contracts, you need to visit the online portals of your municipal, state and federal procurement pages to learn what that "agency" is currently seeking, and how you can submit an RFP (request for proposal) to bid on the opportunity. While I haven’t sold to government agencies, many of my peers have grown multimillion dollar firms as suppliers to local city government as well as the federal government. If you decide to pursue this sales channel, know that it requires determination and a thick skin. There is an art to completing RFPs and there are even companies that specialize helping you complete them.  Also be aware that until you are proven entity, you may not be able to secure a contract on your own, but rather become a sub-contractor, supplying to an existing larger contractor that is already in place. This is an excellent way to get your foot in the door to establish yourself, and then later begin bidding on larger opportunities on your own.

With both the corporate and government markets, the application process can be challenging and the decision cycle long, but if you are fortunate enough to match what you offer to their direct needs, you can literally grow into a multimillion dollar company overnight.

My Number One Best Strategy for Hiring
Go deep and wide before adding to the org chart.
We hire when we run out of bandwidth or when we are pro-actively planning to grow. Hiring can be one of the most exciting, yet also terrifying activities we do as a business owner. Suddenly being responsible to someone else in terms of attention and income can feel scary, but as I have said many times, you have to let go to grow, and that means putting on your big girl pants on and start welcoming new people (not just your BFF, sister-in-law or some other low-risk person) onto the mother ship!

One of the best pieces of advice I was ever given on hiring was “hire slowly and fire quickly”. When deciding to fill a position, be sure that you do your thorough due diligence on that person, including checking 5 year of references (yes five). I’m not sure why business owners always want to skip this step and just go on their “gut instinct", because unfortunately, hiring is not a place to trust your tuition.

When it comes to people, most women entrepreneurs naturally believe that most applicants are good, good enough or trainable. But quite frankly, as a small but growing business, good, good enough and trainable are the worst people you can hire!  You don’t have the time or money to babysit or pay for someone to learn on your precious, hard-earned dollars.

You need staff that has experience in what you need them to do, is open to trying it your way as well, can ramp up fast, and has EXCELLENT references.  And yes, you can absolutely find that person in your price range. If you can’t afford to pay them the base salary that they want, propose a profit sharing program based on new results. Having transparency around financial goals will be great for everyone involved because they can see the path to success and added income, and you will be forced to map it out (instead of shooting from the seat of your yoga pants!) which will make it clearer and more attainable for you too.  Yay!  But wait a minute! What if they don't work out? Remember that advise I shared at the beginning? Let them go QUICKLY. If you've re-reviewed your expectations, re-trained and re-observed them in action and they still don't get it, it's time to free them up to find something that will be better suited for their current skill set. No judgment. Just not a fit. Bye bye.

And there's one last step before making your first or biggest hire. Make sure you sit down with your accountant to review your cash flow so you can feel confident that you will be able to pay them without waking up in the middle of the night in a panic the day before payroll is due. There’s nothing worse than adding someone and then having to lay them off because you didn’t do your homework in advance.  Same thing applies to independent contractors; although if your contract is written correctly, you should have an easy separation, but just in case, understand your cash before adding a big, new, painful to getrid of, expense.

So that’s the scoop!  Of course I could go on and on about getting more and bigger customers and hiring, but that’s plenty for starters! But as always, if you want to take your business to the next level, take a test drive in our accelerate! Business Growth Program for free and I’ll be there personally to help you zooooooooom to the next level!

Until next time, Be Profitable & Be WELL!

XO, jgw.

P.S. Here are some quick links to get you going and growing faster!

{Grow Faster!} accelerate! Program 14 Day Free Trial

Get Inspired!} Where is Julie Speaking Next?

{Rock Your World!} Book an Exclusive Private Acceleration Day with Julie

{Cash Out!} Thinking of selling in the next 5 years? Check out
my bestselling book, “EXIT!” in Kindle or Paperback


Thursday, May 1, 2014

May Day Clarity

Although Spring is already in full swing (my itchy nose tells me so!), to me, May feels like the official gateway to summer. And as we move forward through the second quarter, it's critical to focus on what needs to happen in order to make our business dreams come true this year, which brings me to one if my favorite topics - CLARITY.

Being concerned about clarity can seem fluffy, but in fact, clarity is the basis for all things strategic and powerful in your business.

When we lack clarity, we lose our way. We chase our tails. We think we are bored or uninspired. We might even go as far as to change our entire business model because secretly we think we are wrong. Wrong about what to do to grow our businesses- maybe even wrong for trying to be an entrepreneur at all. Sigh.

Last week I had the privilege of advising 8 incredible women entrepreneurs in private 1:1 sessions. Some were start ups striving towards their first $100K, some were established and trying to breakthrough their self imposed $200K limit, and some had mature multimillion dollar companies  in "post-recession re-invention mode" looking for a powerful plan for acceleration.

The interesting thing they had in common was that they had all lost their clarity.

Without clarity, they were frustrated, making things more complicated than they needed to be and down right stuck. However even with all of that, they were all still committed to their mission and eager to find their way "back" quickly.

Through my hour with each of them, it was very exciting to help them draw out the answers that they already knew but weren't trusting, and also contribute ideas and a filter to help then form clear, do-able and energy igniting plans... aka... Clarity!

The bottom line is that we all get stuck. We all lose our way.

When you find yourself spinning in circles, not taking action and maybe even feeling a little down, know that it's not the end of your entrepreneurial journey - you probably just need to regain your clarity.

So if this feels a little too familiar, I encourage you to reach out to a respected peer, a spouse or partner that knows you inside and out, or a trusted advisor to help clear the way. But whatever you do, do something!

And to help you take the first step, here is a link to a short talk I gave about clarity as the closing remarks of SYMPOSIA, my conference last January for women entrepreneurs. In the talk I share with you how I personally regained post-recession clarity, and how that clarity is the reason we are connect right now through The WELL. :)

Clarity Video Link:

Julie Gordon White The WELL for Women Entrepreneurs

Again, welcome to May and if I can help you sharpen your clarity privately like the women above or through our accelerate! group program, don't hesitate to ask!

Until next time,

Be Profitable & Be WELL!

XO, jgw.

P.S. Be sure to bookmark the page with my video on clarity because you never know when you just might need a little breakthrough! xoxo

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Hello WELLies!  Is it just me or is the word FEARLESS popping up everywhere this week?  Maybe my "FearFree Radar" is personally off the charts, but images and words like COURAGE and LEAP seem to be showing up everywhere! Earlier this week I had the pleasure of an acceleration session with a very high level advisor (yes, even high-level advisors need high-level advisors!) that opened up a whole new level for my business. So that's probably driving my feelings of crystal clear clarity and excitement, but just in case you need your own micro breakthrough, I have an equally powerful session for you!

I recently had the pleasure of interviewing the amazing, Jacqueline Wales, renowned author of The Fearless Factor.  During our conversation, we go deep on how to help women entrepreneurs move through their fears quickly to grow your business bigger and faster.

In 30 short minutes (we could have gone on for days!), Jacqueline shares quite a few powerful tips, so click here or on the image above to listen and let me know what resonated with you in the comments below!

Enjoy & BE WELL!  XO, jgw

Monday, March 31, 2014

We're Talking Tactics! Important Question for You

I had the pleasure of being the featured speaker for NAWBO (National Association of Women Business Owners) Las Vegas and NAWBO Agoura Hills in Los Angeles last week.  When I give a talk, I always like to begin with a provocative question, so to get you thinking too, here it is...

So what was your answer - "Yes", "Maybe" or "No Thanks!"? Post it below and let's start a conversation around how to turn the maybe's and no thanks into yeses!  Comment now and I'll reply back right away.

Until then, Be Profitable & Be WELL! XO, jgw.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

How to Become a Thought Leader in 4 Simple Steps

Before we jump into this week’s article, don’t forget that Charter Membership pricing (half off!) for the accelerate! Business Growth Membership Program for Women Entrepreneurs ends Thursday, February 27th at midnight!  

The members are loving the training modules, productivity tools, private Facebook group, and consulting calls, so if it’s been on your radar, I don’t want you to miss out.  For more info click here and I look forward to seeing you inside the accelerate! Member Portal along with the others very soon!  

How to Become a Thought Leader in 4 Simple Steps
By Julie Gordon White

At the recent annual retreat for my Women Presidents’ Organization chapter, I had the privilege of participating in an intimate workshop with nationally renowned champion of women entrepreneurs, Denise Brosseau. The workshop was based on her new book, “Ready to Be a Thought Leader? How to Increase Your Influence, Impact and Success”.  The forward is by Guy Kawasaki, so you know the book is excellent if Guy is willing to put his name on the cover.

In Denise’s workshop and in the book, she shares 7 excellent steps to accelerate your success by becoming a thought leader. Denise expertly explains the ideas behind each step with examples and exercises, so I highly encourage you to spend a weekend soaking it in.

Thinking about my own experience in becoming a thought leader as a champion for women entrepreneurs as well, there are 4 strategies that have helped me succeed as an influencer, so I'm sharing what has worked for me in hopes that it will support your thought leadership strategy as well.

1} Take a Stand
When I first started selling businesses, and before I began selling multimillion dollar companies, I was the queen of... flower shops! Really! My first year and a half as a business broker was literally spent selling 25 florists. When I started my companies, I established two firms -  BlueKey Business Brokerage M&A for the larger deals I knew I would do in the future, and Flowershop Brokers.  By taking a stand for florists and claiming the niche in the name of my company, I very quickly became the go-to broker to sell a florist in Northern California. And now as the founder of The WELL for Women Entrepreneurs, I am proudly taking a stand for women business owners.  I believe that when you are bold enough to not just state your position, but actually live your position, you get very clear about who can benefit most from your expertise, and potential customers can make a faster and easier decisions about working with your company as well.  When you decide to truly "own" your space, be prepared that you may initially feel limited, but in fact, the outcome is actually the exact opposite. Demonstrating to the world who you are and what you believe in has a magical way of attracting the exact clients, customers and partners that are perfectly aligned with your philosophy or expertise. And when all are in alignment, business becomes easier, more fun and more profitable.

2} Grow an Online and Offline Tribe
I can’t emphasize enough about the importance of building a tribe online and offline. Creating your online tribe through social and digital media, is the platform for your thought leadership. When you “connect, like and comment”, focus on supporting those in your tribe. On LinkedIn, connect with others who are in alignment with your stance through their business or group membership.  On Facebook, like and comment on pages that relate to your tribe. On twitter, follow and retweet posts from other thought leaders in your tribe. Similar strategies can be used for Google+, Pinterest and Instagram if that’s where your tribe hangs out. Also don't forget to post status updates with links to articles that would not only be of interest to your tribe, but would also establish you as credible source of important information. To grow a large platform, it takes a village, so when you support others in your tribe, they will eventually support you back. And even though it’s easier to reach out digitally, don’t forget the value of a good old fashioned face-to-face.  Nothing moves a relationship forward faster than meeting for coffee or at an association gathering of like-minded people. Online is faster, but offline is lasting, so spend time on both to build a tribe of your ideal peeps.

3} Write About It
Since you’re reading this now, you know I am walking my talk! Even in a 140 character world, we all still love information that creates shortcuts to things that matter to us.  So once you’ve declared your position, write about it on your own blog, and guest post on others.  If you are really committed to creating a legacy, write a book about it. Not only was my book, “EXIT! 12 Steps to Sell Your Business for the Price You Deserve” one of the best credibility boosters for my niche and helped generate tens of thousands in fees,  it is also a lasting legacy for my children and their children because they will always know that mom (and eventually grandma) had something to say in a bigger than usual way, which is pretty, darn, cool.

4} Talk About It
Once you establish your stance or expertise and you begin writing about it and then start gaining momentum with your platform, one of the most powerful things you can do as a thought leader is to speak about it... everywhere! You can book yourself at association meetings, retreats, teleseminars, webinars and now, Google hangouts. You can speak live or recorded as a video. The bottom line is be seen by your platform in person from a stage (and I use the term “stage” loosely), both off and online as often as possible.

The opportunities are endless with technology, so be creative, get out there and walk your talk so you can spread your message, inspire others, and become a thought leader to accelerate the growth of your business!

So let me ask you, what do you believe in? Who’s in your tribe?

I would love to hear what gets you up in the morning, so comment below and declare your stance!

Until next time, Be Profitable & Be WELL!

XO, jgw.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Are you an Owner, President or CEO?

Today we celebrate Presidents' Day, and it reminded me of a question I get asked by women entrepreneurs about what title they should call themselves.  

In today's world, I think titles are less about posturing and more about positioning. 

When I say posturing, I mean making yourself look bigger than you are to impress others which is so 80's, and so not now! (I know because I lived through the 80's "fake it till you make it" mentality, big shoulder pads, and even bigger hair...ugh!).

When I talk about positioning, I'm not referring to marketing in this situation, I'm referring to your entrepreneurial mindset. I think choosing a title is actually more for your benefit than the person who is reading your bio or business card.  Here's what I mean:

If you title yourself as the owner, you are a sole proprietor telling yourself and the world that you are courageous, independent and willing to accept responsibility for the good AND the bad. Further, you are taking the road less traveled and forging ahead to become economically independent and self-sufficient... Hear me roar!

If you title yourself as President, not only are you serving the world with your unique gifts and talents, you know that your growth path to success includes a team.  Presidents are leaders and by declaring, "I am the President", you are positioning your business to grow bigger, more profitable, and beyond what you can do on your own. Hail to the Chief!

If you title yourself as CEO or Chief Executive Officer, you have established your business as a corporation, you have a group of advisors or a board of directors (formal or informal), and you know that in addition to a team, you will need access to capital to grow a multimillion dollar business.  You may step into your CEO stilettos right out of the gate or after being on your entrepreneurial journey for many years. There's no right or wrong time to establish yourself as the CEO, so don't compare yourself to others, just step in and step up when "WAY bigger" feels best to you. 

For me, because my boutique M&A firm is a professional practice and a corporation, I titled myself "Principal & CEO". As a practice organized as a corporation with 10 team members and a vision of multi millions in transactions, the title seemed fitting. And now that most of my time is spent in pursuit of training millions of women entrepreneurs to grow bigger, more profitable and sellable seven-figure businesses, guess what my title is? CEO, of course - it's the only way I roll! 

So to wrap this up, my bottom line message is to choose your title thoughtfully.  It's more about creating a personal mindset to grow the business of your dreams than telling the world who you are, so choose your title carefully and then own it as a vehicle to manifest your vision. Who knew titles were so powerful?!

So what do you call yourself? 
Do you think your title represents your vision (current and future)? 

I would love to know your thoughts on titles and hear your story, so please comment below!

XO, jgw.

P.S. If growing a bigger, more profitable and someday sellable business is your manifest destiny, click to learn about our accelerator program - it's a proven road map with a personal guide to get you there! 

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Your 1st Thing 1st Recording is Here!

Did you missed the call we had on January first on how to ensure a focused and accelerated first quarter of the year? If so, no worries! Normally the recording would only be available for a week, but here it is as my gift to you! 

The extra cool bonus strategy is to bookmark this post and listen to it at the beginning of every new quarter, and then watch your revenue skyrocket! 

OK, click below to start the recording, 
and then post your 1st Thing 1st in the comments below... 

Until next time, Be Profitable & Be WELL! xoxo, jgw.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

We're Talking Tactics! 1st THING 1st on 1/1/14!

Happy last week of 2013! 
Can you believe it? Time sure does fly when you’re doing what you love! Speaking of doing what you love, I’m on a mission in 2014 to help you do WAY more of what you love to grow your business, and WAY less of what you shouldn’t be doing. 

To fully step into 2014 and really make the next 12 months remarkable, I would like to invite you to begin your year focused and strong with an easy, yet exponential 1, 2, 3 plan. 

The 1, 2, 3, plan will take you through the first quarter of 2014, so 90 days with accelerated action towards making your BIG & BODACIOUS (love it!) first quarter goal become a reality! 

Notice that we are only focused on the first quarter at the moment. I have found that over the years, annual goals start to loose steam by the beginning of February because December seems so far away.  But if we break our annual goals into manageable quarterly buckets, we can absolutely focus on anything for 90 days. Exciting isn’t it?! 

OK, so here it is, the easy and exponential 1, 2, 3 plan to rocket your first quarter and ignite your entire year! 

1. Join the “1st Things 1st” call on January 1st at 1pm Pacific (it’s free!) where I will guide you through a process on how to focus on one thing and forget the rest (yay!) because we don’t have time to do all that unnecessary busy work anyway. Click here to register so I know how many to plan for. This call will set the tone for the the entire quarter so don’t miss it and if you already have plans, register anyway and I’ll send you the recording. 

2. Invite an accountability partner to register for the call and recording, and then make a plan to have a call with your partner every week.  Let’s face it, we’re all human. We can start things with a bang because starting something new is always exciting, but staying the course is the hard part.  I guarantee that if you have someone to help you stay the course EVERY WEEK, your results will be exponentially better than if you try to go it alone. Trust me. This is the secret sauce and I walk my own talk with accountability partner calls TWICE a week! 

3. Commit. Yes, simply commit for 90 days. Deciding is one thing, but making a commitment is golden. If you’ve been struggling to grow your business, to generate consistent and sustainable personal income, or to re-invent yourself in way that feels more authentic and less like pushing a rock uphill, then it’s time for you to make the commitment to yourself NOW. Time to step fully into who you are meant to be by sharing your unique gifts and talents in a bigger, more expansive way. Your time is now, so step in, step up, and let’s make it happen together. Whoo hoo to that! 


If you haven’t already, get registered now for SYMPOSIA :: 2014 Conference for Women Entrepreneurs.  I created this awe-inspiring day just for YOU. It’s not a profit making endeavor- it’s a labor of love. You need to hear the stories of these 7 figure women so you can learn, feel mentored and model the path they have carved.  Their stories are your story, just further down the path. Reserve your seat now if you’re serious about making 2014 a remarkable and rock star year, and use the promo code INSPIRE to save $30.  This day was created just for you, so again, just step in and step up! 

Whew this was a long one! That’s how passionate I am about making this year EXPONENTIAL & REMARKABLE! 

Here's the link again to register for the “1st Thing 1st” call on January 1st at 1pm which will also take you to the registration page for SYMPOSIA :: 2014. 

This is going to be an exciting year and I can’t wait to take this amazing 2014 journey together! 

Be Profitable & Be WELL! 

xoxo, jgw. 

P.S. Register for the call and then don’t forget to forward this invite to an accountability partner... Double your pleasure, double your fun, double up and get it... DONE!!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

We're Talking Tactics! How to Stop Networking & Start Leading

Holiday events abound, and create a plethora of marketing opportunities... or do they? Networking has always been an excellent way of meeting people face-to-face, building relationships and doing business, but what if there was a better way... 

Do you agree or disagree? What's your best networking tip? Post your comment below and share your goodndess!

Also, of you haven't registered for SYMPOSIA :: 2014 Conference for Women Entrepreneurs on January 10th in San Francisco, time is ticking!  

Meet Susan Thomas, SYMPOSIA speaker on COURAGE. 

Susan has won dozens of awards for service excellence and innovation in PR, marketing communications, and video, including the 2013 Golden Gate Female Entrepreneur of the Year, all while raising 4 beautiful children with her husband and overcoming some incredible personal challenges. Come hear and learn from Susan's inspiring 7 figure journey... The day promises to be MAGICAL!