Arrogant Confidence or Grateful Confidence?

If you are an expert entrepreneur, you most certainly share how-to information with your audience, and not matter what your area of expertise is – financial, health and wellness, business or life coaching – or if you are an artist, musician or teacher, this simple (but huge) tip about confidence applies to you.

You’ve certainly heard that being seen as confident is important to stand out as a leader in your niche, to grow your client base and to attract more followers. But there are two kinds of confidence. There is confidence based on arrogance and confidence based on gratitude, and you have probably been in the proximity of both.

Confidence based on arrogance is obvious. Chances are you’ve experienced this at a conference or seminar where a speaker was operating from a place of arrogant confidence. You could probably sense an energy about that person that made you want to bolt out of the room. It was obvious that he or she was focused inward. I hope they notice how good I look and how smart I am. Ugh.

Confidence based on gratitude, on the other hand is quite the opposite. You have likely been around someone who made you feel that their focus was completely on you, that they had your best interests in mind. This is someone who calmly knows that they have knowledge or experience that can serve others and they feel grateful than they can be of service. Confidence based on gratitude is focused outwards. How can I best serve this audience? I’m so grateful that I can help.

So the tip is this. When creating marketing campaigns, products or programs – or when speaking in front of a live audience – ask this question of yourself. Am I making this about me or about them?

That’s it. Simple, but powerful.

Asking that question should be the practice of expert entrepreneurs, because it helps to steer your confidence towards gratitude, rather than arrogance. Because here’s the thing. Arrogant confidence repels, while grateful confidence attracts.

Yep. Simple, but huge, right?

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If you’re interested in spending time with women entrepreneurs who exude grateful confidence, you might want to join us in Italy next June on the Italy Retreat for Women Entrepreneurs 2013: Embracing Your Renaissance Spirit. It’s amazing! CLICK HERE

Are You Collaborating in Excess?

To collaborate or not collaborate. That is the question. At least it is in this article.

Today, we expert entrepreneurs, are constantly encouraged to form collaborations, such as joint venture business partnerships with other experts in order to grow our list, expand our reach, form more relationships, etc.

I’m all for it! But not at the expense of flying solo.

There is no substitute for stepping out alone to create products, programs and/or events that are specifically branded to you. When you create a signature event, for example, people begin to associate that event with you. Put simply, you stand out as a leader and people remember your name.

The truth is that many entrepreneurs avoid creating their own signature programs and events because flying solo involves risk, and it’s the fear of risk that holds people back. I know first hand that stepping out into the spotlight means taking full responsibility for both the success or failure of a venture. But it’s the only way to be seen and respected as a leading expert in your niche market.

So the take-away from this article – and video – is a question that only you can answer. Are you collaborating in excess? If the answer is yes, begin to think about a product, program or event that you might brand as exclusively yours. Perhaps you’ll hold a workshop or a seminar – or even a retreat in Italy!

Collaborations are wonderful. But nothing can replace the benefit to your business, the sense of accomplishment and unlimited rewards of stepping out into the spotlight alone.

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Interesting in joining some amazing women entrepreneurs in Italy next June? Find out how at TheItalyRetreat.com.

Define Your Brand by Hosting a Retreat

Have you ever thought about hosting your own retreat? Actually, a retreat is one of the best ways to define your unique brand.

As an expert entrepreneur, you probably already realize that creating a brand that sets you apart from others in your niche market is essential in order to take your business from good to extraordinary – as in “outside the ordinary”. A retreat is a terrific way to do exactly that.

Unfortunately, today people use the word retreat to describe virtually any kind workshop, seminar or conference. But a retreat is not your ordinary workshop – far from it.

A retreat is specifically defined as a quiet or secluded place in which one can rest and relax, and/or a period of seclusion for the purposes of prayer, meditation, etc. So when you combine your area of expertise with the framework of a retreat, you create a way to help your participants “unplug” (sometimes literally their iPhones, iPads and various other devices!) while at the same time providing a learning experience. The combination is what sets a retreat apart from other seminars and conferences, and this is where your unique branding comes in.

The more you stand out as unique in your market, the more attention you get and the more memorable you become. In markets that are saturated this is even more important – and that’s why a retreat is an ideal platform for your brand.

Retreats attract attention, because people are drawn to rest and relaxation – especially in today’s world. The idea of rest and relaxation combined with a learning experience in a particular setting (especially a beautiful one) is memorable. And the possibilities are endless: a fitness retreat on a beach in Hawaii, a writers’ retreat in the mountains of North Carolina, an artists’ retreat in the south of France, a retreat for women entrepreneurs in Italy (how could I not mention that one!).

The key is combining the concept of a retreat with your content. That’s it. Well, that’s not all of it, of course. There’s a lot of careful planning and organizing and researching that goes into hosting a retreat. But it all begins with combining the idea of rest and relaxation with a learning experience in your specific area of expertise. What a wonderful way to strengthen your unique brand and create an event for your clients that is beneficial – and unforgettable!

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Want to know about hosting your own retreat? Join me on Wednesday, August 8th for a free webinar, 5 Steps to Designing, Branding and Hosting Your Own Signature Retreat

Exchanging Your Integrity for an Exercise in Mindset? Really?

Have you noticed the “mindset messages” aimed at us expert entrepreneurs lately? Mindset, as in how your thinking affects your business, and expert entrepreneurs, as in those of us who help others with how-to information in a specific niche market.

I’m going to preface my comments by stating that I’m a firm believer in the power of our thoughts – the ability that each of us holds to shape our own destiny by shifting our mindset. However, there is a specific mindset strategy being promoted these days that is frequently misunderstood and misused – and it can chip away at your integrity in a flash.

It’s the “act as if” strategy – an exercise that helps to put your mind in a state of abundance so that you attract – and notice – the possibilities before you. Basically, you act as if you already have the finances that you desire, the home that you want, the success that you wish to reach in your business, etc. The idea is that as you practice the “act as if” exercise you’ll move closer towards achieving these things that you desire, because you’ve put yourself in the right mindset.

That’s an abbreviated explanation, of course. You can google “act as if exercises” to know more details.

Here’s where the integrity issue comes in.

There are countless entrepreneurs today – I’m fairly certain you know some – who have stretched the exercise into real life. They pretend to have more clients that they actually have, more money than they actually make and more materials possessions than they actually posses. And that’s when a helpful exercise turns into an integrity stealer. (Renting or borrowing an expensive car to use in marketing photos or videos (implying it’s yours) has become very popular – seriously?)

Here’s the thing. Integrity is precious, and you should be protecting yours at all costs. Once it’s been compromised – once people perceive you as a fake – there’s no turning back. So there’s an important something that you might use to balance “acting as if”. It’s called “celebrating what is” and, as an expert entrepreneur, it can be a powerful practice  of integrity in your business.

Here are a few specific ways that you might practice celebrating what is:

  • Be transparent: Allow clients to see your flaws. Purposefully point out some imperfections or, better yet, have a good laugh over them! That doesn’t mean that you should go overboard by revealing every skeleton in your closet, but it does mean that when you are appropriately “real”, people will feel your humanity, and be drawn to it,
  • Share your mistakes. Pretending that entrepreneurship has been a stroll  in the park for you won’t attract customers. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Share your mistakes – and (very importantly) how you learned from them – and potential clients will identify with you. Plus, when you share specifics about how you overcame obstacles, that’s a  powerful marketing message!
  • Let go of envy. Acting as if you’re further along in your practice that you really are usually stems from plain old ugly envy. Look, we’ve all experienced that feeling from time to time. The key is to counteract it immediately by purposefully letting go of it. Shift your negative thoughts to kindness, imagine it dissipating in your mind, or just take a moment to breathe and get present.
  • Walk your talk. It’s as simple as that. Do what you say you’re going to do. It’s easy to get caught up in what you’re seeing other entrepreneurs doing – even if it’s against your better judgment. (I know this one first hand!). So a simple question you might ask yourself from time to time is, “What would my mom say?” For many of us, that little reality check is all it takes.

That fact is, your clients and potential clients are already on alert for the phony baloney stuff. Most are proceeding with caution before they invest in products and programs because all of us have been bamboozled (such a great word) at one time or another, right? What a terrible feeling! So when the people in your niche market find someone like you, someone who shows up with integrity in her business – who doesn’t pretend to be something she isn’t – they breath a sigh of relief. And they become your loyal clients and customers. The kind that money can’t possibly buy.

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Speaking of celebrating things, the Italy Retreat for Women Entrepreneurs 2013 is now open for early-bird enrollment! You’ll save $1,000 and you can choose installment payments if you’d like! Act now … this offer is limited time only! http://theitalyretreat.com

So You Want More People at Your Event? Are You Sure?

CLICK TO READ THE NEWEST POST: Exchanging Your Integrity for an Exercise in Mindset? Really?

Is more really better? Now there’s a question for us expert entrepreneurs to contemplate.

There’s so much emphasis today on growing your list, selling more products, getting more people come to your live events. Of course we’ve all heard about “missing the forest because of the trees”, but I often wonder if a lot of entrepreneurs are missing the tree because of the forest – or missing the sunflower because of the field.

Here in central Italy in the summertime you’ll find fields bursting with sunflowers. It’s a spectacular site to see thousands of golden-yellow faces all turning towards the sun at once. Breath-taking really. But even more incredible is what’s happening up close, if you take the time to notice.

Did you know …

  • A sunflower (girasole in Italian) looks like one huge flower, but the center is actually made up of hundreds of tiny flowers that will mature into seeds.
  • Those wonderful yellow “petals” we see are actually leaves that protect the center of the head while the sunflower is growing. Isn’t that cool?
  • As the sunflower matures, it points east each morning to face the sunrise. Throughout the day motor cells in the sunflower’s stem move the head to face the sun (for maximum exposure) and by evening the sunflower is pointing west – it’s moved 180 degrees!
  • Overnight the sunflower resets to face east, waiting for the sun to rise, and when the head is completely mature, the stem become fixed so the sunflower faces only east.

Wow, wow, wow … talk about incredible!

So now let’s turn those sunflowers (pun intended) to us entrepreneurs.

When you see your clients up close, you’re able to notice an amazing individual with unique characteristics, attributes and desires. Each has something special to share, to contribute and to express. Yet, too often today the specialness of the individual is overlooked for the power and excitement of the collective – for the impact of the golden field.

Don’t get me wrong. Filling your event with hundreds or thousands of participants is a rush, and the energy of the many can be a amazing thing to experience – not just as a presenter, but as a participant. But the larger the group, the most difficult it is to get a sense of the individual. I know first hand, because I’ve spoken to, and trained, large audiences of many, and small groups of few.

That great thing about working with small groups or individual clients, is that when they become inspired by you to fully realize their own unique gifts and talents – as they turn their faces to the sun – you get to watch it happen up close. Amazing.

So the “sunflower lesson” for us entrepreneurial experts is to create products and programs for both the many and the few. And to celebrate both with equal enthusiasm.

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Speaking of celebrating things, the Italy Retreat for Women Entrepreneurs 2013 is now open for early-bird enrollment! You’ll save $1,000 and you can choose installment payments if you’d like! Act now … this offer is limited time only! http://theitalyretreat.com

How to Raise Your Prices by Adding More “Flavor”

Of course you should raise your prices … if you’re adding more “flavor” to your products, programs or services, that is.

The other day I ate the most wonderful watermelon – wow! It was a surprise to my taste buds! I realized that it had been years since I’d eaten a watermelon with such flavor. So many fruits and vegetables today are mass produced in a way that they’ve lost their flavor, but this watermelon had come straight from field to table. Yum!

I don’t know about you, but I would be willing to pay more for a watermelon that has such flavor – that is such a high quality. And the same applies to your offers.

So many expert entrepreneurs today are focused on mass production. How many units can I sell? How many copies of my book can I get people to buy? How many people can I cram into my event? Of course, high numbers can be a very good thing, but never, EVER at the expense of quality. Particularly if you’re interested in raising your prices.

When you add “flavor” to your products, programs, services and events – in other words, when you focus on making things even better – that’s when your product becomes more valuable to your clients. For me, adding more flavor means putting my attention on the details: How can I make that download more visually appealing? How might I make my audio recordings clearer? What experiences might I add to the Italy Retreat for Women Entrepreneurs to make the event even more transformational?

When you do that – when you pay more attention to “bettering the details” – that’s when it’s time to consider raising your prices.

So here’s your “watermelon challenge”. Take a close look at your offers and decide where you might add more “flavor” to raise the quality of that product, program, service or event. Because the more you crank up the quality level, the more valuable that product or program becomes to your clients.

The result? You’ll be able to charge higher fees – and your clients will be pleasantly surprised – just as I was with the taste of that wonderful watermelon.

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Pamela Haack’s Italy Retreat for Women Entrepreneurs 2013 is now open for early-bird enrollment. Save $1,000 by enrolling NOW before this limited-time offer goes away!