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How to Get a Mentor For Your Business

Written by Sharon Lechter on . Posted in mentoring

get a mentor for your businessAs an entrepreneur, you undoubtedly understand the value that comes when you get a mentor for your business. Having a seasoned mentor offers a multitude of advantages to help you navigate what may be uncharted waters for you. But, have you considered if the gender of your mentor might impact your course?

Clearly, there are both successful women and men in this world. When looking at what makes them successful, there are a number of traits that are common among leaders, regardless of gender. But, all people have individual gifts, and some of those gifts can be attributed to the nature of your gender.

What Should You Consider?

When looking to get a mentor for your business, you naturally want to consider your desired goals and how you want a mentor to guide and teach you. You will want to get a mentor for your business that has already accomplished something similar to what you intend to accomplish yourself. If they have sailed the seas ahead of you, there is a better chance they have successfully navigated through waves of experience and the connections that would also help you realize your potential.

Male Or Female?

So, can it make a difference if you choose male or female mentors? There are a couple of ways of thinking on this. Some people might say that a male mentor is good if you want to get connected and increase your visibility or if you need sponsorship. You might also hear that women mentors are more approachable and able to help bridge the male/female gap internally because they have likely done it themselves.

Perhaps you are familiar with situations or circumstances that would provide evidence of the descriptions above. I have referenced many times how science shows us that the brains of men and women work differently. But, do these molds hold true in every circumstance? Not necessarily. When all is said and done, I believe who you choose as your mentor depends on your comfort level with them and your particular goals.

What Matters Most

In my career, I have had mentors and I have been a mentor. From my experiences, I have found that it is best to find an advisor with whom you can connect and are proud to work with. Most importantly, your mentor should have the experience necessary to help you ride the current of running your business. They should be your lookout as you steer the course toward personal and business success. So, in choosing a mentor, whether they are women or men truly depends on what works best for you. Successful mentors come from all walks of life. The real matter at hand is choosing a mentor wisely and then fostering that relationship. The right mentor can make all the difference in the world.

How to Motivate Your Employees

Written by admin on . Posted in teamwork

motivate your employeesHow do you motivate your employees when people are motivated in different ways? Dr. Isaura Gonzalez, guest blogger, explains the simple answer:

Ask them!

Of course, this may seem to you like an obvious approach. Or, you might be wondering if this will cause more issues because you expect to get as many different answers as you have employees. And, you also might be thinking if it’s really worth your time to manage everyone’s needs when you already have a lot on your plate to keep your business thriving.

It Takes People

What is important to realize is that your business can only go so far on its own devices. Businesses are made up of people. And those people need to stay motivated and engaged to be effective and productive members of your business community. Taking the time to understand your employees’ needs will go a long way and produce numerous benefits to your company’s success.

Survey Says…

When you reach out to your employees, I suggest doing so via an anonymous survey. Include multiple choice options and questions that require open-ended answers. This will increase the likeliness of honest, open responses. Remember, you will have your outliers…those who feel a cruise vacation is due just because they show up to work every day. And you will also have employees who are completely satisfied with doing their work for the good of the company and are happy enough just to get a paycheck for their contributions.

Most employees, however, are somewhere in the middle. They understand that they have a job to do, but they also appreciate being appreciated and receiving recognition for a job well done.

Fore!

This may sound like an odd analogy, but I like to equate the issue of employee motivation with a golf swing. You can look good, and you can have all the right equipment. But, if you don’t step up to the tee and provide a decent follow through, your ball will go in the totally wrong direction. It’s the same with how you motivate your employees. If you give the impression that you care, but don’t provide follow through in ways that are meaningful to your team, they won’t help drive your business to the next level.

So, my advice to you is to talk to your employees. Find out who they are and what is important to them. Make work fun and provide opportunities for personal and professional growth. Be flexible. Empower your team. Reward them. In turn, they will help you and your business get that coveted hole in one.

Specific Social Media Goals For Nonprofits

Written by Sharon Lechter on . Posted in social media

Are the specific social media goals for nonprofits the same as for those in the for-profit sector?

Everyone has accesspecific social media goalss to the same tools for online marketing. Social media, in all its platforms, is available to everyone. But, as I’ve said before, which social media outlet you should use all depends on your goals. Your goals depend on your overall plan.

Your Plan In Action

Let’s say, for example, that your particular nonprofit is planning a large fundraising campaign. For many nonprofits, Facebook is currently the preferred social network. Chances are, then, this is where you may want to start, as well. But, you should not exclude your efforts to one social media outlet. Other channels are growing engagement quickly and may soon overtake Facebook. So, it is important to keep watch on trends and adjust your strategy accordingly.

Three-Part Strategy

Steven Shattuck, at Hubspot, recommends a three-part content strategy for nonprofits. He suggests dividing your focus evenly between Appreciation, Advocacy, and Appeals. With this approach, a nonprofit needs to nurture their community, respect and advocate for their cause, and reach out and ask for help in closely even doses. If you’re focusing on asking for donations 100% of the time, it is likely you won’t have the same appeal to your targeted audience.

As I have discussed before, using visuals, stories, videos, and questions are all “attraction” tactics that lead to engagement. Being connected to other relevant communities, causes, and new items will help to amplify impact. Which brings us full circle. The end result depends on the business plan around social media, and good planning determines good results.

If you are interested in learning more, I recommend taking a look at a recent online article that highlights specific social media goals for nonprofits. It is definitely worth the read.

What It Takes To Be An Effective Professional Speaker

Written by Sharon Lechter on . Posted in public speaking

As a professional speaker, I am fortunate to have the opportunity to make presentations all over the world. This experience has taught me a few things about what it takes to be an effective professional speaker.

Many people think that if you are an expert in your field, then that qualifies you to share your knowledge with others in a group setting. While knowing your content is absolutely imperative, it is only part of the equation of being a sought after professional speaker.

professional speakerThe other key component is to have confidence. Not only must you know your subject matter well, but you must also deliver your content with poise and authority. When you step up to the mic, your personality and your message both need to shine through in order to engage your audience.

Having the confidence to get up in front of an audience isn’t always easy. The truth is that most public speakers get nervous. We all get butterflies from time to time. But that flutter in your gut will dissipate if you have confidence in what you are saying and how you are going to say it.

Here are a few tips on gaining confidence as a professional speaker:

  • Be prepared. Practicing your speech several times can help you feel more comfortable with your content and your delivery. Know your material inside out, so you can be flexible if you happen to get sidetracked.
  • Don’t rely on having your entire presentation outline written on your slides. It will appear you are merely reading, not presenting.
  • If you need some pointers on making presentations, join organization that give you the opportunity to practice and get feedback, such as Toastmasters or Dale Carnegie courses.
  • Watch successful speakers and pull some good ideas that work for you.
  • Honor your audience. Look for friendly faces and people whose body language is reinforcing you. Your job is to make a difference. If you focus on giving instead of getting, you will relax, and your confidence will show through.
  • Consider humor. Many speakers have one liners at the ready in the event that things fall off track or you see people getting distracted. Appropriate jokes are engaging, and people will respond.  Laughing also helps you relax and connect with your audience.
  • Be real. Yes, you are the expert that everyone came to see. But your audience will relate to you much more if you show your human side.

Focusing on these confidence-building tips is the most important part of delivering your presentation. The preparation you do ahead of time will help to ensure greater success when it’s time to address your audience. Do your homework, and you will see how effective a professional speaker you can be.

Using PR Digital Reach To Amplify Influence

Written by Sharon Lechter on . Posted in marketing, social media

PR Digital ReachWe’ve all seen social media posts that go viral.  Whether a cute cat video, political positioning, or a part of a company’s clever product campaign, these posts get thousands of views and are shared and forwarded by a multitude of followers. It’s one of those crazy phenomena in today’s digital world. Needless to say, we all want to know how we can get this kind of PR digital reach for our own brand.

The Magic Formula

In my experience, there is no single approach that will work for everyone. And it takes more than a great reputation to bring in results. You may be an expert in your field or have a large following, but that is no guarantee that your PR digital reach will come automatically. So, if you’re looking for a magic formula, you’ll have to dig a little deeper to develop your digital strategy.

Getting Down to Business

Establishing your online marketing presence is serious work. My strategy for PR digital reach results involves taking a tactical business approach. Together with my team, we create a mini business plan. Starting with our business goals and the ideal prospect profile, we look at several key areas:
  • Finding and creating link worthy content
  • Writing content with the specific goal of increasing our exposure
  • Promoting our content across platforms for increased reach and visibility.

Critical Connections

Link building has been a mainstay since the beginning. When you are successful in building connections with relevant and meaningful sites, your visibility has a better chance of increasing. Working with a dedicated team of PR and Digital SEO specialists is critical, as well. PR digital strategists are experts in these outreach optimization strategies. They also know how to both identify and associate with the influencers online and working with a team will keep you focused on working ON your business, rather than IN your business.

Content is Key

Creating meaningful content that is optimized around relevant trending keywords is essential. Knowing where your audience lives is also vital. Just publishing 8-10 random blog posts a month on arbitrary platforms won’t get you desired results. You need to devise an effective SEO strategy that will propel your brand into the forefront.

On my website, for example, I include a mix of blogs from my perspective, as well as those from guest bloggers whose business philosophies complement my own. We write blog topics with keywords that are carefully chosen to maximize SEO. I also cross-promote these blogs regularly on social media platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn to further expand my digital PR reach.

Care and Feeding of PR Digital Reach

There are people waiting to hear from you that can benefit from your message. Amplifying your influence is a continuous process that is most successful when monitored and nurtured. It’s not a one-and-done proposition. By taking a well-planned business approach–and staying on top of your efforts on a monthly basis–you can have greater success with your PR digital reach.

Author and Keynote Speaker | Entrepreneurship for Kids

Written by admin on . Posted in Financial Advice

author and keynote speakerAuthor and keynote speaker Sharon Lechter has served her life teaching others about money and is committed to teaching kids about entrepreneurship through her YOUTHpreneur and ThriveTime programs. But, what can you do now to help your own children? Dr. Isaura Gonzalez, guest blogger, explains:

All Too Familiar

“No, you can’t have that! We can’t afford it.” I am sure you have probably heard this phrase when shopping. Or if you are a parent, you may have uttered these words yourself in response to your kids’ begging for something they wanted. It’s a lesson in finances that some kids learn early: Those who have, can; those who don’t, can’t. This is an entrée into reality that can be taken a couple of different ways. Approached properly, though, you can guide your children to a different way of thinking.

A Different Approach

Here is an experience that occurred with my own children:

A few years ago, while walking through the mall with my 4 children then, 7, 6, 5 and 2, a conversation ensued about careers as career day was slowly creeping upon us. My oldest boldly declared, “Mami, I’m going to be a Neurosurgeon!” My youngest son announced that he wanted to be a paleontologist, after he becomes a plastic surgeon and a race car driver. My daughter, the youngest, squealed in delight that she wanted to be “just like Mommy!”

But, my middle son had not said a word. I asked him, “Julian, what do you want to be when you grow up?” He looked me squarely in the eyes and with bold confidence proclaimed, “A millionaire!” He proceeded to methodically tell me his plan on how he was going to merge his educational pursuit with his entrepreneurial spirit to make his millions. My oldest son then piped in and exclaimed that he wanted to be a millionaire, too!

Needless to say, that day laid the foundation for many talks to come about entrepreneurship and episodes of “Shark Tank”. My kids also got to know Sharon through my association with her and delighted every time they heard her voice on the phone. “It’s Sharon, and she’s talking about money!”

Having The Talk

I bring up this story not to focus on money as the most important thing in life. Clearly, there are priorities like family, education, and helping others that are all part of having a positive impact in this world. But, there is definitely something to be said about encouraging entrepreneurship with our children.

In my house, we simultaneously combine emphasizing the need for financial independence through building assets so that our children can have the money they need to live, do the work they want, and contribute to society.

Teaching kids about entrepreneurship shows them that they can have a world of choices that do not have to be adversely affected by economic circumstances beyond our control. Entrepreneurship should be taught as a choice that can lead to financial freedom and financial empowerment, not just a means to an end.

When will you start your conversation with your kids? My son, Julian, would say it’s never too early to start!

building a business plan

Building A Business Plan

Written by Sharon Lechter on . Posted in marketing

Business owners speak passionately about their ideas each and every day as they engage others in their vision and growth. Although they have the vision and the passion, capturing it together in a business plan is often a daunting task. One of the most critical parts of building a business plan is the competitive analysis. In the competitive analysis, we are able to show off how our business can have impact as well as financial upside for potential partners and investors.

Plan To Make A Difference

Making a difference is a big motivator for entrepreneurs and can be a key factor for your business success. By building a business plan around that competitive advantage that you bring to the table, you provide get clarity not only in how you will be successful, but also how you will make a difference.

In your business plan’s competitive analysis, include an industry overview, as well as what you have learned from your research on the trends in the industry. You can start by taking into consideration who is doing what, and why. By looking at the reasons behind both successful and unsuccessful ventures, you can also identify the gaps. By making a simple grid that shows who your competition is, what their strategies are, and why what they are doing matters, you can begin to get clarity on how to position your particular business offering in the place of most potential.

Know Your Competition

Analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of the competition also gives you an opportunity to showcase how you stand out in the crowd. To be successful, a business needs to be visible in addition to standing out. It’s not enough to be great… you must also get noticed.

Getting The Job Done

Investors and the marketplace will flock to businesses that have a meaningful competitive advantage and have done the hard work to clarify it, protect it, and communicate it. By doing the work in this section of the business plan, your business will be better positioned to attract support and take the lead in the marketplace.

Keynote Speaker | Resonating With Women

Written by Sharon Lechter on . Posted in mentoring, public speaking

keynote speakerMany people are drawn to successful speakers as mentors with a goal of becoming a keynote speaker themselves. Women often think that, to be successful as a keynote speaker, they need a new and novel idea or unique credentials to stand out in the crowd of potential speakers.

My experience is different. I am honored to be a sought after keynote speaker and to be respected for my credentials. However, my path to that success is built upon authenticity and impact. It’s about content that matters and changes lives. And it’s about being willing to be authentic, vulnerable and bold. The reality is that women have an edge in this arena. Traditionally, men are chosen to educate and reinforce ideas, processes, and technology. But, as women, we have an advantage in addressing reality and doing it with confidence and transparency.

Take, for example, my involvement as Chief Abundance Officer at EBW2020. Our mission in this movement is to empower a billion, yes a BILLION, women by the year 2020. We have aligned with many women globally who are successful speakers and powerful role models.

One such woman is Holly Dowling, a global keynote speaker and dynamic master facilitator. Featured on our EBW2020 website, Holly speaks to being authentic and transparent as well as about the impact that real talk has on all people, especially women, where each presentation has huge impact. On her own website, Holly is described as “passionate about the privilege of leading others with love, authenticity, and a touch of sass, while sharing a message of courage and fortitude when faced with seemingly insurmountable odds.” There is no question that Holly embodies the spirit of leadership and energy that women are drawn to and can learn from in their own life’s mission.

To access more info and the opportunity for live mentorship from me and other incredible team members at EBW2020, visit www.ebw2020.com/events. Why not?

How To Write a Press Release That Gets Picked Up

Written by Sharon Lechter on . Posted in writing

how to write a press releaseEarlier this month, I wrote about the key success factors for how to write a press release that gets noticed. Simply applying these factors, however, doesn’t necessarily guarantee that your press release will get picked up. Even if you have done all the right things, there are other elements that can cause your press release to be ignored. And, as a result, your important information doesn’t get shared.

What Could Go Wrong?

Reporters and editors are inundated with press releases every day. They have to pick and choose carefully what may or may not be newsworthy. If your press release doesn’t have the right stuff, it can potentially be tossed in the proverbial circular file. Capturing the attention of journalists—in a positive way—is the key.

Here are the top three reasons that your press release may not get picked up:

Press Release Saboteur #1: It’s not news

Is it really news or just important to you? Brainstorm with your team about new story angles to make your announcement meaningful to reporters. Ways to make sure this happens is to address conflict and controversy (conflict is always newsworthy), appeal to the emotion of readers, or include interesting information about a newsworthy famous person.

Press Release Saboteur # 2: It’s poorly written or not “worth reading”

Come up with a catchy headline and run it by several people who have the same profile as your desired readers. Remember that reporters look at thousands of releases and yours has to stop them in their tracks. Also, take the time to check your grammar, spelling etc. Typos and lazy writing does not go over well with journalists.

Press Release Saboteur #3: You aren’t being strategic

Your press release has to be timely. You don’t want to release your news in the middle of a huge news day when reporters are focused on a national crisis or other such story. Also, no one cares about old news. Stay fresh. And while you’re at it, include a personal element in your press release. Make it relevant and real to your audience. This includes the journalists who can make or break your opportunity to be heard.

While there are never guarantees to making sure your press release will get the attention you desire, one thing is for certain:  If you don’t follow the proper dos and don’ts on how to write a press release, you are dooming yourself from the start. But, if you try the suggestions listed here and in my previous blog post, you will be setting yourself up for better success.

I Need a Mentor on the Path to Success

Written by Sharon Lechter on . Posted in mentoring

I need a mentorRegardless of where you are in life, having someone to help you along the way can make a huge difference in your endeavors. This is just as true for top executives as it is for entrepreneurs who are just starting out. What I am continually impressed by is the number of people who say to me, I need a mentor. It is a great testament to the forward thinking and common sense of those who know what it takes to be successful.

But what often requires some explanation is what the role of a mentor is and how a mentor differs from an advisor. There is a critical distinction between the two, and it should be noted how we can all benefit from them both.

Mentor vs. Advisor

What you need from a mentor and/or an advisor depends on what an individual or organizational needs. Let’s take the role of an advisor, for example. In short, advisors direct people. They give advice based on their experience and their expertise. A highly respected real estate agent, for instance, is an advisor. They help you make decisions in situations surrounding real estate transactions and investments.

Now, let’s contrast that definition with that of a mentor. A mentor is different because they not only offer advice, but they also help to guide your journey, assuring that you personally choose the right path for your situation. If you want to grow in income, leadership and business, you’ll need mentors to help get you to the next level.

Being a mentor provides a unique opportunity for the right person. Not everyone can mentor, but almost everyone would benefit from having one. In my own life, I have often said I need a mentor and have benefitted from the guidance of many amazing mentors over the years. My mentors have been those whom I have personally sought out, have specifically chosen, or just have been fortunate enough to engage.

Where to Find a Mentor

So, where can you find a mentor? As I have mentioned before, this will depend on your goals. You need to have some clarity about what you’re after. Then, you need to look to others who have been where you want to go and directly reach out to them. One of the great pleasures afforded to successful people is the ability to share and help others find their way, too. If you ask, you are likely to get a positive response.

A perfect opportunity to see mentors in action and to connect with mentors is at my Abundance Live program with EBW 2020, coming up next month in Austin, TX. This event attracts an elite group of entrepreneurs coming together to support each others’ success. To mentor and influence, not to advise. What a great example this is as a place to be mentored by rich content and to seek out specific individuals you may want to have as mentors yourself.

In various aspects of life and business, mentors and advisors are both needed. If you are getting the advice you need, and you are surrounded by experts, it’s time to introduce a mentor, a guide; someone that will assist in your taking things to the next level.

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ABOUT

Sharon Lechter has combined her expertise as a CPA and an international bestselling author with her unmatched passion for financial literacy and entrepreneurship to inspire change for individuals and businesses across the globe for over 30 years.

Credited as the genius behind the Rich Dad brand, Sharon’s current partnership with the Napoleon Hill Foundation uniquely positions her as a stand out in the personal development industry. As a driving force behind these two mega brands, Sharon has demonstrated her entrepreneurial vision and business expertise while empowering audiences with messages of hope and prosperity.

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