There is no magic formula

Watch my interview with Tara Gentile where we analyze the evolution of her product suite, show the underlying system behind it, and reveal why she made the decisions she made to grow her business.

Watch till the end to find out what Tara’s cooking up next. Hint: “it’s a secret.”

And if you’re curious why I introduced Tara the way I did, read the below story…

10 Ways to Make Your Business Stand Out from the Crowd

Did you know that in 2013 there were an estimated 152 million blogs? Or that Wordpress estimates that around 2.7 million blog posts are written every day?

While all of those blogs and blog posts may not be used as marketing for small businesses, that’s still a lot of people attempting to get their ideas out into the world and be heard.

No matter what industry you’re in, you know that it only takes a quick Google search to see that you’re not the only one teaching what you teach.

However, you also know that you don’t run your business to serve every single person, and that in this new online era personality is just as important as the solutions you provide.

So what can you do to be a “purple cow” in your industry, as Seth Godin recommends?

Here are ten areas that you can emphasize to show your potential clients and readers how you’re different while still staying authentic to who you are.

Create Systems That Reflect Your Personality and Business Needs

If you want to have a business that you love running, creating systems is a must. Systems help you do less busy work and more of the work that matters to you.

However, no two businesses are alike when it comes to which systems to create. This is great news because it means you don’t have to force your business into systems that don’t work for your personality or your business’s demands.

What’s more, when done right, they can help your business stand out from the rest of your industry.

(Want to know what else makes your business unique? Get the free mini-guide “10 Ways to Make Your Business Stand Out from the Crowd” when you register for Your Business Blueprint training).

So how do you decide which systems are best for your business?

Do You Need A Map?

You have a grand vision for your business. That vision gives you the drive and motivation to push forward and not to give up when things get unbearable. But the same guiding light can as easily become the source of anxiety if you can’t figure out to how to actually reach it. The Conversation This is why you might find yourself having a conversation like I had with a friend the other day, who said: “I’m confident that I’m on the right track.  I can figure out my next actions.  I’m good at next actions!  I know what I need to do tomorrow, next week, even February.   But what about February 2017?  How do I conceptually fit together what I spend my time on today, so that it brings me closer to my big audacious goal several months from now? How can I balance making money to make a living now with ensuring that I’m headed in the right direction long-term?  For example, I can create a bunch of products, but is it really the best use of my time?? The thing is, I’m pretty good at figuring out what to put on my immediate to-do list.  I’m also clear what I’m working towards.  But the path to get there, that’s where it gets foggy.” The Tour de Mont Blanc Her words took me back to 2008 when I decided to go on the Tour de Mont Blanc to explore the tucked away paths of French, Italian, and Swiss Alps. …It was misty gloomy September morning.  I forced my feet into still damp hiking shoes fighting the feeling...

4 Ways to Be Creative with IFTTT

Imagine if you could update all of your social media channels, keep tabs on what your competitors are up to, keep your content organized, and make sure you don’t spend hours looking for information buried in your Inbox? IFTTT (If This, Then That) is a tool that has the power to do all of that almost automatically once you set up key “recipes,” or processes, that you want to happen. While IFTTT can’t do all of the work for you, it does set a brilliant foundation for you to do the things that you know will move your business forward. It exists to help you be more productive so you can make the most out of the time you have each day. Creative Recipes to Run and Grow Your Business  1. Build relationships If you want to get on the radar of the influencers or consistently keep in touch with the people who you want to build relationships with, you can use IFTTT in a few ways: Twitter to Google Drive: Using this recipe, you can have tweets that you’ve favorited added to a spreadsheet on Google Drive, so that in the future you can personalize your message to those people. Google Calendar to Facebook: Allows you to automate wishing friends a happy birthday on Facebook.  (And, yes, it’s best if you follow up with a personal note). Gmail to Twitter: Thank someone for following you on Twitter. When you automate these processes using IFTTT, you can build relationships in a more systematic and organized way. However, note that while you can automate certain aspects, meaningful relationships will require you to be...

Part 2: How to Pick the Right Person for Your Team

You’ve put together your job description and potential candidates have started submitting applications for your open position. Now that you have applicants, what are the next best steps for ensuring that you pick the right team member? Tip 1:  Interview all candidates (including ones who will be working with you virtually). Set up a Skype interview to meet candidates “in person” so that you get a better feel for whether or not they’ll be a good fit. Prepare questions to ask all candidates and listen carefully to their answers. Observe their attitude when responding. Ask specific questions related to necessary tasks. For example, if a chunk of your tasks revolve around using Twitter and social media for marketing, you might ask questions like these: What potential do you think Twitter has to build the brand of a small business? If I were releasing a new product on how to train health coaches to get more clients, what are a couple of ideas you would have for marketing that new product on Facebook? These specific questions can follow more generic interview questions like: What’s one example of a work-related conflict that occurred due to miscommunication? How did you handle it? What’s your experience working with online teams? What did you find attractive about this position? When you take the time to interview candidates “face to face,” you can make a more confident decision because you get an understanding of their individual personalities, attitudes, and mindsets. Tip 2: Put your favorite candidates through a short test project. If you narrow it down to a couple people who you think might be...