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Firepole Funnies #10: The High Price of Engagement
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Enjoying the Firepole Funnies?

If you liked what you read here, please let Christina (and the rest of the Firepole team) know in the comments below. Feel free to suggest future comic strip ideas – we can’t guarantee we’ll use your idea, but we’re always open to suggestions!
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CEI 082: Systems That Work For Your Business With Natasha Vorompiova
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Business SystemsImagine having your business set up so that it runs smoothly with or without you, brings in more money than ever, and has the greatest possible impact on the world.

Sounds pretty great, doesn’t it? That’s the leading line on SystemsRock.com, run by Natasha Vorompiova. And it just so happens that Natasha is Danny’s guest on today’s podcast!

Natasha firmly believes that systems are one of the best ways to leverage your time – and your business – so that you can focus on doing the things that you love. She’s got a ton of advice on how to set up these systems, and it’s actually quite easy to get started!

Ready to get your business in shape? All you have to do is click the play button below.

Podcast runtime: 18 min 30 seconds | Transcript

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Ask the Readers: How Do You Handle Hard Decisions?
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questions-cardFamous business guru Peter Drucker once said, “Ultimately, it all comes down to work.”

I disagree.

I think that success, ultimately, comes down to two things: great decisions and hard work.

And today, I want to ask you about those decisions, especially the tough ones.

Have you ever had to make a tough decision in your business? I bet that something popped into your mind the moment I asked that question. And I hope you’ll be willing to share about it. Why? Because you’re not alone.

Owning a business is full of tough decisions. I’ve owned my own business since 1993, and not a year goes by without tough decisions.

What Makes a Decision Tough?

Here are a few things I can think of:

  • It is personal. Firing a client or a team member may be a good, even necessary, business decision. But these decisions make life really tough for someone, and that is personal. It has to be.
  • It means admitting a mistake. If we have to reverse a decision that we made, we may face that we made a bad decision, a costly decision. And that hurts.
  • It means admitting we made the same mistake again. I don’t know about you, but for me, it’s really painful when I slap my head and say, “I can’t believe I did that again!”

Those are my top three reasons a business decision can be hard and painful. What makes a decision tough for you? Please add to this list in the comments below, and let’s get a great conversation going. That way, we’ll be less alone.

There are other ways a decision can be tough. If we’re honest, we run our business on more than facts and figures. Sure, we have to take those into account. But any good entrepreneur trusts his gut and intuition, as well. We know when something feels off. But what do we do when our intuition and the facts don’t line up? Have you ever faced that? What did you do? And what happened?

And, of course, not all decisions are purely business for us. Our business decisions change our relationships with loved ones, children, and parents. I chose a portable business because I knew my wife’s career would keep us moving from place to place. But it was still hard when she got a new job in Florida just after I grew roots for my business after six years in San Antonio. Has any business decision been essential for you in your family? Or has any family decision been tough on your business?

And let’s not forget that a business is a creative venture. No two businesses are the same. And that’s even more true if your business is in the creative realm: if you’re a novelist, or a visual artist, or a performer, or you make movies. Have you ever left a crucial source of revenue behind because you just needed to create something new?

Making Tough Decisions is Different for Everyone

How do you handle it? How do you:

  • Come to face a decision you’ve been avoiding?
  • Sit down and decide?
  • Take irrevocable action?
  • Follow up with others?
  • Take good care of yourself?

Now, I’m not asking you to bare your soul or share the most painful moments of your business life. But I do hope you’ll share what you are comfortable sharing. This is a trustworthy community, and we learn and grow together. To the degree that feels right, to the degree that you’re ready, an honest sharing of the really tough stuff matters.

It’s a chance for you to clear your head and your heart. It’s a chance to be affirmed and supported by folks who’ve been there, too. And it’s a chance to learn and grow …

… for all of us …

… because, ultimately, we are in it alone. For each of us, it’s your business, it’s my business. As Harry Truman said, “The buck stops here.”

But we don’t have to be lonely. In our business, we are alone. In talking about our businesses – and our tough decisions – we can make it a bit easier for ourselves, and for one another.

So, please share your own thoughts. Review the questions in italics above, and share your stories, your challenges, your pain, process, and solutions.

Let’s grow together.

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5 Unique Strategies Most Entrepreneurs Aren’t Using To Increase Sales (and Profit)
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growing businessHere’s a scary thought: every single time you open your eyes in the morning, you will have HUNDREDS of new competitors.

Every single day, these competitors are desperately trying to scratch and claw their way to getting just a tiny sliver of market share. Market share you once had.

Put that on top of the fact that it’s becoming harder and harder to gain attention from your audience, add in higher advertising costs, and you come to one conclusion.

When you get a new customer, you must do everything humanly possible to provide as much value as possible while developing that relationship.

If you’re like most people, you might have a traditional upsell sequence in place which helps fill out your back-end to increase customer lifetime value.

That’s a good start, but it’s just the beginning.
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CEI 081: Self Publishing and Kickstarter Campaigns with Sean Platt
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Self-Publishing KickStarter CampaignsIf you’ve been listening to our podcast for the last little while or if you’re an author online, you have to know Sean Platt. He’s got the most unique views on self publishing and breaks all the rules of the traditional writing world.

He’s the author of Write. Publish. Repeat., and part of an amazing team. Most recently, his team embarked on a new writing campaign that took place on Kickstarter.

Today, Sean tells us all about the pros and cons of the Kickstarter platform, how to use Crowdfunding properly and how to come up with unique and successful ideas.

Ready to dive into Kickstarter campaigns and successful self-publishing? All you have to do is click the play button below. (Oh, and we threw in a special resource for you at the end of the podcast!)

Podcast runtime: 41 min 56 seconds | Transcript

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