CEI 044: Ryan Holiday on Winning Through Obstacles

Ryan HolidayNo matter what path your business – or your life – is on, obstacles are bound to come up.

Even if you’re the most fortunate person in the world, doing exactly what you want to be doing, that doesn’t mean your life is obstacle-free.

Today, Danny sits down with Ryan Holiday to talk about the career path and life lessons that led Ryan to publish his new book Welcome To The Obstacle Is The Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Trials into Triumph.

Several years ago, Ryan was introduced to the philosophy of stoicism through the works of Epictetus and Marcus Aurelius. And although he has run a successful marketing company, and has worked with dozens of best-selling authors and public figures, he always comes back to the tenants of stoicism to keep him grounded and provide the basic tools to succeed because of -not in spite of – the obstacles in his path.

On this week’s podcast, Danny and Ryan explore how Ryan became interested in stoicism and why he wrote this book more for his own enjoyment and use than to advance his career. Most importantly, they’ll discuss some of the key tenants of stoicism, and how you can use those lessons and insights to succeed because of your own obstacles.

Podcast run time: 23 min 46 seconds

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Ultimate Guide on Building A Trustworthy Testimonial Page

customer reviewsGlowing commendations and reviews from your clients are gold to your company, but only if they are real and reliable. A testimonials page is a great place to show off these reviews!

But in order to make your testimonials successful and trustworthy, you must approach securing those testimonials in a forthcoming way.

Tweet it! How exactly do you get great, trustworthy testimonials that will inspire new clients to work with you? Follow the ultimate guide below – and follow it well  – and you will be on your way to successfully showcasing your organization through the eyes of your clients with excellent customer reviews.

How to Ask For a Client Testimonial

When you deliver good work, many clients are more than happy to leave a positive testimonial. People love to share their opinions and to make recommendations to others, and testimonials are a great way for your clients to share their excitement about your business.

So how do you get these excited testimonials?

Often times, the best way to get a client testimonial is to simply ask for it.
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How to Choose Between Online and Offline Marketing Techniques for Your Business

marketing techniques

Image credit: lojogrup.com

Have you ever looked at your marketing to-do list and thought, “If I have to spend one more minute marketing myself online, I’ll go crazy?”

We’ve all had that thought from time to time. Sometimes, we even dream of the “good old days,” when all you had to do was put an ad in the local newspaper. Luckily for us, there is room for both online and offline marketing techniques. The trick is knowing when to use these two different marketing mediums, and it’s a distinction that too many businesses neglect these days.

There are, of course, many who believe offline marketing has simply been superseded by online marketing, and the argument may be a valid one in some cases. However, by throwing out the value of offline marketing, it becomes a little too easy to underestimate the benefits of shaking hands and getting your face (and product) in front of your potential audience.

With that in mind, let’s take a look and see just what each kind of marketing can offer, and what is important to remember with each approach.
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Ask The Readers: Do You Apologize For Your Prices?

apologize pricesOne of the hardest things about running your own business is figuring out what to charge.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re trying to price your consulting package, your newest set of binoculars, or the latest in your ebook series about urban fantasy pink unicorns.

Tweet it! The bottom line is: pricing your stuff is hard.

But it has to be done, and so you do it. You research what your competitors are doing and think about how you value the time, effort, and creative inspiration it takes to produce your own result.  Maybe you think about your customers’ budget, and maybe you don’t.

And at the end of the day, you come up with a price (or prices) that are a good middle ground between what you’re putting into the product or service, and what your customer is going to get out of it.

You’re feeling really proud of yourself, and you should be – you worked hard to set those prices!

And that feeling lasts right up until you have to start talking about your prices with your customers.

Suddenly, you’re not so sure. You find yourself apologizing – sometimes even backpedaling – on your prices.

What is going on here? And, perhaps more importantly, how can we stop?

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How to Leverage Your Message and Go From Self-Promotion to Online Legacy

online communicationLife coaches, health coaches, yoga teachers and the like, please gather round.

Last week, we talked about how to use business storytelling to discover your core values, the problems you solve, and who you solve them for.

But in business, that’s not enough to last long-term.  You might have some stellar clients here and there.  You’ve identified who your market is, how you relate to them, and how you solve their problem, but nothing is really sticking.

There’s a problem.  Something’s missing, but you can’t put your finger on what it is.  All you know is that you want to be known online for what you do and wish it wasn’t so hard to communicate with your audience.

Cue the Megaphone

What you lack right now is the online communication language that your audience understands and responds to.  They’re just waiting for you to take the words right out of their mouths.

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CEI 042: Finding (and Charging) the Right Price

pricing modelsFinding and charging the right price is by far the most challenging issue that many entrepreneurs face.

Today, Megan sits down with Danny to discuss why it’s so difficult to find the right price, and also how to stick to your guns after you have decided on the right price for your product or service.

Figuring out your “right price” is a matter of researching your competitors: what they’re charging, where you’re better and where you’re worse, and how that will translate into value for your ideal customer.

On the other hand, once you have taken those factors into account, asking for the price you’ve set isn’t easy, either!

On this week’s podcast, Danny and Megan will explore both of these issues – how to find the right price, and how to ask for it. They’ll give you some clear guidelines to follow to determine what pricing models you should use, and a few tactics you should not use when determining pricing.

Podcast run time: 24 min 36 seconds

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How to Improve Your Business Cash Flow in 2014

business cash flowIn the popular press, CEOs like to brag about how much revenue their company has and how much they own, while standing in front of their beautiful estates and fancy cars.

However, you and I both know that none of that really matters.

Who cares if you have a lot of revenue and no profit?  Who cares if you own a lot of real estate but are in debt over your head and are barely making the payments?

The bottom-line: Cash = Freedom

I’m a banker and know first-hand that debt can be poison to your business and your personal life. Now, I know that you probably hate the idea of debt. In fact, the thought of getting a loan to start a business might make you want to throw-up.

However, I still want you to read this post.  Why? 

Because if you know and understand how banks underwrite businesses you can ultimately build a stronger business – with or without debt!  Using the information below you can learn to analyze your business to improve your business cash flow this year.

Let’s begin, shall we?
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The Power of Internet Marketing Promotional Plans

internet marketing planWhether it’s an astonishingly potent new viral sensation or a preachy blog post that pokes at sacred cows and common practices, the general tone in marketing is that nobody is doing anything right.  But, everybody knows how it should be done.

There’s often a huge separation between what most marketers say, and what we actually do.

With conflicting viewpoints, no commonly-accepted guidelines, and a confusing mass of information, trying to follow the latest marketing trends can feel like being pinged back and forth between completely different philosophies.

The solution?

Don’t Be a Follower

That sounds great, of course, but what does it mean? How do you get off the ‘hot new tactic’ treadmill?

Well, there’s a crucial difference between those who follow and those who set trends.

Followers don’t have a plan. They’re reactionary. Their strategies are formed rashly over a short amount of time, using only the immediately available resources, and are flimsy enough to be dropped for the next trend, fad, or idea that comes into play.

Tweet it! If you want to set agendas, make rules, and come out on top over the long-term, then you’re going to need an internet marketing plan.
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Project ABC: Changes Across the Board

abcHappy Spring, Beacons! I’ve got some interesting news. Actually, I have a lot of interesting news!

A personal change.

A Project ABC change.

And a change to the team at Firepole.

I’ll start with the update you’ve been expecting. :-)

In the last Project ABC update I expressed how prioritizing was a challenge for me – and you all gave me some exceptional advice about how to make more time for Paying for Life. I tried a bunch of them – and even settled on a schedule that was letting me make some really good, and consistent inroads in developing things. But then something changed.

An opportunity came along to take a risk, learn something new, and build something altogether different than what I’ve been working on so far. To give you a little background on where this is coming from – I want to tell you about my honeymoon… [Read more...]

How to Use Business Storytelling to Find Your Message

business storytellingLife coaches, health coaches, yoga teachers and the like, please gather round.

Your business is really more of an art form, isn’t it?  An art form with a real core message that’s ready to take flight.

And yet, getting your message out to the world is difficult. Really difficult.

Why? Why do other businesses have no trouble with business storytelling while you struggle to get started?

It’s because you’ve succumbed to the greatest lie of all time: self-promotion is inauthentic.

Time To Do Some Myth-Busting

Tweet it! Shameless self-promotion is a completely different animal than authentic storytelling.

When you’re able to take a step back from your business for a minute and start to focus on your art form you can see this a little clearer.
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