How The Written Goal Can Get You There!

By Andrea Costantine
The “written goal” is too often dismissed as being over-rated, too easy, too simple, or even mundane and boring and frequently gets overlooked.  But the truth of the matter is that a written goal can get you there.
So why is the act of writing goals down so important and why do so many coaches, business consultants, and psychologist recommend it? It’s simple and quite powerful. Statistics show that when a person writes down their goals, they are more likely to actually achieve them than those who don’t write down their goals.
It almost seems too good to be true, but if the simple act of writing your goals can help you achieve them in 2010, don’t you think it might be worth it?
Here’s a few tips for goal-setting in 2010:
1.       First, don’t delay this process. Take the time to write down your goals down as soon as possible but preferably within the first few weeks of the year. The longer you postpone writing them down, the less likely you are to actually achieve them.
2.       Keep them simple and manageable. Instead of setting extravagant goals, use simple goals to fuel you forward. For example, instead of setting a goal of writing a book, set a goal to write one chapter each month which seems more doable and manageable. This will help you overcome procrastination in fear of the bigger goal.
3.       Break them down. No matter how big or small your goals are, there are always multiple steps or actions to achieving them. Let’s say your goal is to start blogging in 2010 and write two posts a week. You could break this down into: step one – register for a blog. Step two – set up and design blog template. Step three – link blog to social networking sites. Step three – create a writing schedule. Step four – brainstorm blog posting titles. Smaller goals can feel easier than the elusive “start blogging” goal.
4.       Block time on your calendar. After you’ve written your goals, start blocking off the time in your calendar to achieve them. Stick with a schedule, work on the highest priority goals first, and keep at it.
5.       Review your goals at least quarterly. This allows you to see the success and progress you’ve made, which encourages you to continue. It also allows you to assess whether each goal is still important to you. We have a tendency to set goals but then we evolve so quickly that the goal doesn’t mean the same thing to us a few months later. Decide whether the goal should be postponed or deleted and then update your goals accordingly. You can also use this time to add new goals and check off any goals that have already been completed.
6.       Lastly, get help where needed. If you are having trouble completing a goal that is really important to you and to moving your business forward, seek outside support. The accountability and coaching that is available, as well as “out-sourcing” tasks to local, qualified professionals may be just what you need to ensure that your goals are met in 2010 and beyond.

(c) 2010 Behind The Moon, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 

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Feel free to share this article in its entirety and include the Bio information below along with live link back to this blog post.  Thank you.

Andrea Costantine is a writer, speaker, and wanna-be artist, focusing on the good things in life.  She is a perpetual optimist, lover of nature, yoga, travel, and new experiences.  Learn more about Andrea at www.andreacostantine.com.

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Dealing with Rejection in Your Job Search

By Sabrina Risley

In a crowded marketplace of qualified job seekers, rejection can become a common occurrence. And while the rejection is sure to end at some point, while in the midst of it, it could feel like it’s never ending. First, know that everyone deals with job rejection whether you never receive a call back from an application or resume, or you never get offered the job after an interview. Its common place that when you are looking for a job, you’ll be sure to come face to face with it.

Second, know that each rejection gets you closer to the right job. There are countless stories about people who thought they desperately wanted a position, felt that it was the right company, but the job wasn’t offered to them. The devastation was heart breaking, but just around the corner was another opportunity that presented a greater work environment, pay, etc.

If the rejection blues are starting to weigh in on you and you feel yourself slipping into desperate thinking, aka I’ll go work at Starbucks, Wal-Mart, etc let’s shift this feeling and refocus. While I don’t discount going to work at those places, and think if you need the money it’s not a bad idea – however, sometimes people are over qualified for those positions as well and get rejected from those applications too – then here we are back at dealing with rejection again.

First things first, allow yourself to take a break from job searching. Whether stepping away for an hour, a day or a week all the jobs will still be there when you return.

Second, acknowledge that this is a process and no matter how quickly you want the job searching to end it just takes time.  There will be an end in the road.

Lastly, have fun. Turn on some inspiring music, go for a walk or workout at the gym, or event take advantage of the time to get back involved in a hobby you’ve stepped away from.  Do something for yourself and enjoy your life!

Remember, what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.

(c) 2010 Behind The Moon, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 

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Feel free to share this article in its entirety and include the Bio information below along with live link back to this blog post.  Thank you.

Sabrina Risley founded Behind The Moon, Inc.® in 2003, a Colorado-based networking and referral group organization that sets itself apart with its motto “grow your business by helping others grow theirs.” Behind The Moon offers several networking events across Colorado’s Front Range, as well as referral groups that attract professionals who network to give rather than get.  You will find Sabrina speaking to audiences about effective networking techniques, the power of partnerships, and principles of service and giving as a means to grow a business.  To learn more about Behind The Moon, please visit http://www.BehindTheMoonInc.com

Beginner’s Guide to Online Marketing!

By Andrea Costantine
Internet marketing is an effective way to grow your business. However, many business owners get intimidated and overwhelmed trying to figure out where to start. Here are a few ways that you can begin to integrate Internet marketing into your business.  It’s best to pick a few, do them well, and grow from there. You do not need to do all of these strategies at once.
 
Websites: A website is a great Internet marketing tools, however, most websites are set up as an online brochure. While having information about your products or services is a great way for people to find out more about you, the main purpose of a website when using Internet marketing is to capture email addresses of your visitors. Statistics show that most visitors last only a minute or two on a website before they leave. If you begin to use your website as a way to capture email addresses, you will then have an opportunity to continually stay in touch with potential clients and build the know, like, and trust factor.
 
Ezines: Electronic newsletters are weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly newsletters that are sent to your subscriber list. Be sure to note that it is important to follow the SPAM laws and verify that everyone on your email list has given you permission to be marketed to. Email laws can be strict so never add anyone on to your list that has not given you permission. Example, don’t take business cards from networking and add them to your database. Use your ezine to provide value, share about your products and services, and to stay in touch with your database. This is a great way to develop a relationship over time and through the net.
 
Blogs: Some people don’t like receiving information in their email inbox but they may still like what you have to say and want to hear from you.  Having a blog gives people a chance to read your postings without receiving it in their inbox. Be sure to include an RSS reader option on your blog so people can subscribe and get notified when you update it. Blog postings can be short, between 250-500 words and should be done two to three times a week to be the most effective.  Additionally, subscribe to the blogs of people who compliment what you do and who touch your target market.  Be sure to comment on their posts and drive traffic back to your own blog.
 
Social Media: Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube are the most commonly used social media sites today. When used effectively they can produce great results.  Be sure to put a picture on your profile, stay active, and build community. Comment on other people’s posts, share what you are doing and working on, and have a little fun too!
 
Forums: Many communities and forums exist online.  When you are clear about your target market, it’s easy to find them online. For example, a realtor might search for their market and look for “insurance broker forums” or “realtor forums.”  Be sure the communities are active before you start participating by checking when the most recent postings happened and the response rates. Don’t go in and try to sell yourself.  Instead provide value and mention what you do. You’ll be able to attract clients just by sharing your expertise.
These are all easy ways to begin Internet marketing, all of which are free!  There are some more advanced Internet marketing strategies like Pay-Per-Click, Search Engine Optimization and Ads but I advise you to seek professional assistance when utilizing these methods.  If not done correctly, you could easily find yourself paying way too much for an ineffective campaign.

(c) 2010 Behind The Moon, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 

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Feel free to share this article in its entirety and include the Bio information below along with live link back to this blog post.  Thank you.

Andrea Costantine is a writer, speaker, and wanna-be artist, focusing on the good things in life.  She is a perpetual optimist, lover of nature, yoga, travel, and new experiences.  Learn more about Andrea at www.andreacostantine.com.

Job Search Strategy

by Sabrina Risley

Having a job search strategy can save you time, energy and stress – so why not create one and have more fun in the process.

Here are some simple tips to help with your job search strategy:

1. Create a schedule and stick to it. Whether you have an hour a week to look for a job or looking for a job is your full-time gig, create a schedule and stick to it. Meaning you give yourself a break, call it quits at the end of the day by a certain time, or ensure you are actually looking routinely.

2. Have a system. There’s no need to repeatedly check the same sights twenty times a day. While the job search can become obsessive, it’s not great for your own psyche. Check in with the sites once or twice daily if needed and stick with it.

3. Utilizing different options. Whether it’s hiring a career coach, going to networking meetings, seeking out recruiters, or using social media add these various strategies into your mix.

4.  Think outside the box. Don’t get caught in the day-to-day routine of job searching and forget to look outside the box. Sometimes we get caught up in one way of doing things and miss opportunities that may clearly be right in front of us.

The importance of setting up, creating, and following a strategy is that you won’t spend unnecessary time obsessing, you’ll know that you are checking what you need to check, following up on resumes sent, sending thank you cards, or calling recruiters. It will also help you see your progress and know that even though you feel like you are going nowhere you really are putting in a lot of effort.

(c) 2010 Behind The Moon, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 

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Feel free to share this article in its entirety and include the Bio information below along with live link back to this blog post.  Thank you.

Sabrina Risley founded Behind The Moon, Inc.® in 2003, a Colorado-based networking and referral group organization that sets itself apart with its motto “grow your business by helping others grow theirs.” Behind The Moon offers several networking events across Colorado’s Front Range, as well as referral groups that attract professionals who network to give rather than get.  You will find Sabrina speaking to audiences about effective networking techniques, the power of partnerships, and principles of service and giving as a means to grow a business.  To learn more about Behind The Moon, please visit http://www.BehindTheMoonInc.com

Adding Value Adds Profit

By Andrea Costantine

If you have been thinking about ways to increase your bottom line, start by adding value. Value can show up in many ways. Even if you do not have a service-based business, there are ways you can still increase your value to increase your profit.

(1)   Giving your owners a take home “doggy bag” with a treat for their special pet.

(2)   Or – you could keep track of the pets’ birthdays, send a card to the owner wishing a happy birthday, and giving their pet a free day at the salon.

By adding value and increasing your service – your bottom line will start to show it.

DO NOT get into the mindset that times are tough, and think that you cannot afford to add value to your service.  In fact, it is just the opposite. When times are tough, you have to increase your value. People want to feel special and important. When you treat them that way, they will come back again and again (and they will also tell all of their friends about you).

I challenge you to see how you can add value in your business. No matter what business you are in, I guarantee that you can find a way to add value and set yourself apart from your competition.

Here are some professions and examples of ways to add value:

Realtor: Pay for your buyer’s house to be cleaned after they move in (or for your sellers after they move out).

Hair Stylist: Call your clients a week after their new haircut, ensure they can style it the way you showed them, if not, invite them back in for a complimentary styling session.

Photographer: After a wedding, include a free, one-year anniversary follow-up session. Stay in touch with them every year, soon they will be having kids and needing family portraits!

You get the point… there’s always something you can do to add value to your business.

If you are having trouble figuring out what value to add, ask your clients what they would like to see and what is important to them.

Once you start adding value, not only will your bottom line start to increase, but you will also be able to charge more for your services because you will stand out from your competitors.

The fact is, people do not make purchases on price alone. You can start charging more for your services and keep adding value, because when you set yourself apart it will not matter what your price is.

(c) 2010 Behind The Moon, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 

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Feel free to share this article in its entirety and include the Bio information below along with live link back to this blog post.  Thank you.

Andrea Costantine is a writer, speaker, and wanna-be artist, focusing on the good things in life.  She is a perpetual optimist, lover of nature, yoga, travel, and new experiences.  Learn more about Andrea at www.andreacostantine.com.

The Business Books that Changed My Life & Business

By Sabrina Risley

There are quite a few books that I have enjoyed over the years that have greatly impacted my business.  I wanted to take the time to share those with you here.

The Referral of a Lifetime by Tim Templeton  – This was one of the first books that I read and was gifted to me by a colleague. It literally changed my perspective on networking, referrals, and helping others to grow their business and ultimately helping to grow mine.  This book helps you to understand the power of a referral and how it can change your business.

Million Dollar Rainmaker by Ed Robinson – Another great book about really caring about others, building relationships and putting others needs before your own. A “rainmaker” is a type of person to whom business and money flows easily simply because of who they are and how they operate in their business.

Raving Fans by Ken Blanchard – The main theme of this book is that it’s easy to build your business when you have Raving Fans and people out there who love your work and love to spread good news about you to others.  This is an excellent book about customer service and doing the things a little differently in your business.

The Go-Giver and Go-Givers Sell More by Bob Burg & John David Mann – Both are some of my all time favorites. The Go-Giver is an easy-read, very compelling parable.  Go-Givers Sell More combines the esssence of The Go-Giver with Burg’s book, Endless Referrals.  The essence of the Go-Giver series is how doing for others comes back to you with such great magnitude, more than you could ever know and that business grows naturally when focusing on the needs of others and taking your needs and agendas out of the equation.

I am happy to announce that the author of The Go-Giver, Go-Givers Sell More and Endless Referrals, Bob Burg will be in Denver on Friday May 7th.  Be sure to reserve your spot today at www.bit.ly/9H9JsF.

(c) 2010 Behind The Moon, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 

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Feel free to share this article in its entirety and include the Bio information below along with live link back to this blog post.  Thank you.

Sabrina Risley founded Behind The Moon, Inc.® in 2003, a Colorado-based networking and referral group organization that sets itself apart with its motto “grow your business by helping others grow theirs.” Behind The Moon offers several networking events across Colorado’s Front Range, as well as referral groups that attract professionals who network to give rather than get.  You will find Sabrina speaking to audiences about effective networking techniques, the power of partnerships, and principles of service and giving as a means to grow a business.  To learn more about Behind The Moon, please visit http://www.BehindTheMoonInc.com

How online forums can boost your business

By Megan Corwin

Did you know that by simply participating in various forums and posting your views, ideas and answering posted questions, even asking questions, can potentially bring new growth and life to your website and business?

Who here today participates in online Forums?
What is an Online Forum?
It’s an online community with an open discussion that allows you to ‘Post’ questions and answers related to a specific topic. You can find Forums online related to any topic under the sun. 
Use Forums to:
~ Post questions (what is the best way to advertise on a tight budget?) and get answers.
~ Establish yourself as a subject matter expert as you post answers and advice.
~ Drive traffic to your website.
Regardless of the subject matter, there is a Forum out there with hundreds or thousands of members ready to give you helpful Tips and Advice to answer your questions.
Using Forums to Promote Your Business
Using online forums, also called message boards, can be a fun way to promote your business in a low key way.
 
Benefits:
You cultivate relationships with others.
You learn about all kinds of topics.
Your marketing message is presented without screaming advertisement.
By answering questions related to your topic, you are positioned as an expert in your field.
 
How to Use a Forum for Promotion:
First, find a forum that is of interest to you and frequented by people in your target market. A great place to start is to go to ezboard.com and search for forums by keywords that reflect your target market. Next, “lurk” or just watch the activity for a few days to get a feel for the tone of the forum.  When you feel confident this is an appropriate place to represent your business, introduce yourself. Often message boards have a ‘New Members’ place to post your first, introductory message.  After you have been welcomed, scan through the topics and post answers to questions others may have about your area of expertise. Repeat daily or weekly.
 
Tips:
Of utmost importance is to have a signature line that is added to the end of each message you post. This is like your calling card, and is what makes this method of business “promotion” so subtle. You may be posting a famous recipe, but everyone who checks it out will see your business name. Most forums have an account setting or options area where you can set up an automatic signature.
Don’t spam Forums by visiting once and posting a promotional message everywhere. It will give you a bad reputation.
Check the regulations of the board to be sure signature lines are allowed. Some forums strictly prohibit marketing of any type.
Revisit your posting frequently to address any replies. Also, add new postings of interest every few days to keep your business in the Forum participants’ eyes.
Message boards and forums can be a very valuable marketing tool. While you’re at it, be sure to check out the fun topics, too!
Contributed by:
 
Megan Corwin is a personal coach who enjoys helping work at home professionals grow their businesses while maintaining an organized household. Download Megan’s free ebook “How to Market Your Small Business Online for FREE”: http://marketonlinefree.wahwoman.com.
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