Six Ways Reading Fiction Makes Us Better Marketers

Six Ways Reading Fiction Makes Us Better Marketers

Business owners and entrepreneurs are always doing research behind the scenes to get a leg up on the marketing tools and strategies that will help them reach more people. We comb the internet for insights on the next big social media platform and what kinds of content are performing best. We have our favorite trade publications and podcasts to keep up with industry trends. We also fill our bookshelves with the newest thought leadership in sales and marketing, productivity, business strategy, leadership and whatever else is abuzz in our networking circles. While all of these resources get at important information we can use to make better decisions for our own projects, they have their limitations.

 

Pure storytelling, also known as fiction, often gets pushed down to the lowest priority in the TBR list. We wait for a literal rainy day or an airplane trip to “read for pleasure.” But diving into those made-up worlds of fantasy, romance, mystery and suspense (or a character-driven classic) will make more of an impact on your marketing skills than you might expect. In fact, we have a few readers on our team of marketing nerds!

 

Successful marketing is all about telling an interesting and relatable story through the various mediums at your disposal; reading more fiction will help you sharpen the communication tools in your marketing toolkit.

1. Growth Through Creativity

First of all, there are a ton of work performance and life benefits to be gained by simply letting our minds wander. But with the help of a well-written story, you can learn more about human interaction, visit faraway places and pick up turns of phrase you’ve never heard before. By seeing the world (even a made-up one) through someone else’s eyes, your subconscious mind gains a deeper understanding of how others outside of yourself interact with the world and each other.

2. Improved Communication

As you plow through a work of creative writing, your brain absorbs new ways to communicate more clearly. You may expand your vocabulary, discover more precise ways of stating ideas or create more connections between related concepts. Each of these benefits creates neural pathways that will improve your own written and verbal communication. As you develop an appetite for good books, you may notice your speech patterns shift and your written communications coming more easily, in a more concise fashion. 

3. Developed Cultural Awareness

You’ve probably noticed that empathy is becoming just as much of a hot topic in marketing as authenticity was just a few years ago. Reading works by authors of different backgrounds featuring characters with different identities and personalities is an effective way to socialize yourself with points of view that are different from your own. You may even catch glimpses into historical and cultural perspectives that still play a role in society today. If you’re more of a fantasy buff, that’s valuable too! Reading about dragons and wizards may not directly emulate reality, but allowing yourself to understand a completely different culture will open your mind to other possible experiences. With each read, your muscle memory for empathy will grow stronger..

4. Better Concentration and Focus

One of the first things we develop as young readers is a greater attention span for concentration and focus. That benefit still applies for adults! As a business owner, you are constantly bombarded by notifications and distractions that can keep you from working on the important things—like client work and your marketing materials. Regular reading will strengthen your defenses against the day-to-day noise so you can stay focused and do higher quality work in less time. The best stories will pull you in and keep you spellbound until the very last page; when you can work with that kind of dedication, your clients will notice a difference!

5. A Stronger Connection with Others

Reading brings us closer together with others who share similar interests and read the same books! No matter what genres or authors you gravitate to, chances are you will find others sooner or later who share that appreciation. Imagine kicking off a conversation with “I was just reading this great detective novel...have you read any good mysteries lately?” instead of the same old “What brings you to this networking event?” You will find yourself having more interesting conversations and getting to know people on a deeper level to ultimately build stronger relationships. Last, your new connections might be more likely to remember you for your insightful comments!

6. Becoming a Better Storyteller 

The bottom line is that reading more stories will help you become a better storyteller. As you read, you will experience different ways to be engaged as a reader and you’ll be able to emulate those strategies with your own storytelling. Just like watching presentations and going to conferences can inspire your own public speaking skills, reading fiction can help you create content that tells a more compelling story.

 

Marketing is all about telling a story that makes your audience feel something strongly enough to take action. So to be a successful marketer, you need to be able to tell your story in an appealing way, connect with your audience, focus on your clients, understand their point of view, communicate clearly and be creative at the same time. Reading books by master storytellers will teach you those things in a fun and interesting way, with all the benefits of relaxation and daydreaming. So, what’s the last book you read for fun?

 

This article originally appeared on Forbes.

 

BONUS Fiction Reading List for Entrepreneurs

Compiled by the @ revenue team

 

Animal Farm - George Orwell

Dune - Frank Herbert

The Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas

Siddhartha - Herman Hesse

The Fountainhead - Ayn Rand

The Circle - Dave Eggers

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance - Robert M. Pirsig

The Old Man and the Sea (or really any Hemmingway) 

The Alchemist - Paulo Coelho

The Hobbit or LOTR - JRR Tolkien

Ready Player One - Ernest Cline

Ender’s Game - Orson Scott Card

Watership Down - Richard Adams

The Taming of the Shrew - Shakespeare

Murder on the Orient Express - Agatha Christie

About A Boy - Nick Hornby

A Study in Scarlet - Arthur Conan Doyle

If On a Winter's Night A Traveler - Italo Calvino

The Great Gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerald

The Life of Pi - Yann Martel

The Prince - Niccolo Machiavelli

Don Quixote - Miguel de Cervantes

Catch 22 - Joseph Heller

Word Virus - William S. Burroughs

The Reluctant Fundamentalist - Mohsin Hamid

Snow Crash - Neal Stephenson

The Night Circus - Erin Morgenstern

A Wrinkle in Time - Madeleine L’Engle

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn - Betty Smith


Productivity Tips for #EntrepreneurLife in 2020: Eat the Frog

If we could sum up 2020 in one quote, it might be this one by Herbert Hoover: “About the time we can make the ends meet, somebody moves the ends.” This feeling of endlessly chasing a moving target, treading water or running in place was already a familiar part of the entrepreneurial experience. As a marketing and sales agency that works primarily with small businesses, we’ve picked up some tricks over the years to create structure out of chaos and forge ahead into productivity. 

2020 has taught us some new things about doing business in uncertain times, but when it comes to productivity, some of our tried-and-true basic principles have come through with the best results. Our answer to Herbert Hoover’s pithy proverb is this one by Mark Twain: “Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.” This is our classic antidote to procrastination at the @revenue office, and we pride ourselves on being adept and graceful frog-eaters. But in the time of big pivots bringing a deluge of new and daunting tasks, sometimes we find a few more frogs hanging around on our to-do lists than usual. Can you relate?

We’ve seen many successful entrepreneurs and business owners adapt this frog-eating concept into a philosophy that keeps them on track and focused. So how does it work? For me, it gets broken down into these simple steps:

Step 1: Create a list of to-dos. I am a major list creator, so much so that I sometimes have lists of what lists I have. Each morning, as I set out to start my work day, I create an all-encompassing list of things to do. This list is primarily focused on the goals for that day, but often includes larger projects that I can complete in stages. The key is to make your list as comprehensive as possible first.

Step 2: Prioritize your list. Once your list has been created, you want to take a few moments and prioritize it. I generally categorize my list into things I can complete today, those that are deadline focused, those that are in stages and those that arenʼt deadline focused but would be great to accomplish as soon as possible. Once you have a priority in mind, you know where you need to spend your time.

Step 3: Read your list. Read it, and as you do so, mark the items that make you groan vs the items that are relatively simple to complete and donʼt bother you much.

Step 4: Biggest Groan = Frog. Inevitably, there will be one item on your list that you simply do not want to do. Perhaps when you were reading your list you were trying to imagine ways to procrastinate it. You will know what that one thing on your list is. For me, it’s often something to do with cash flow. I just simply hate reviewing accounting and financials. Iʼd much rather spend my time on fun marketing projects and writing.

Step 5: Eat the Frog. As Twain said, the key to having a positive day is to eat a frog first. That biggest groan on your list—do it first. Get it out of the way and the rest of your list will be no big deal.

Mark Twain knew what he was talking about! We use the frog-eating method every day to stay on task. The feeling when you accomplish that thing you were dreading is a natural high that keeps you going all day. Just take a few minutes every morning to prioritize your task list, and when the frogs come to call, you’ll know what to do.


The Times They Are A-Changing: Managing Fear

By Emily Lonigro

Do you feel something is changing? I do. It’s everywhere and I can’t quite name it yet. It feels deep and systemic, something much bigger than just me or you. Are you feeling it too?

During the past 2 months, I’ve been feeling this big change coming and I’ve been working on managing fear. It’s like an undercurrent to every conversation I’ve had. Usually, I can turn up my entrepreneurial mojo and crank out a ton of work and just blast full steam ahead with a singular goal, and I’ve been doing that for about 4 weeks solid now. I’ve done it a million times over the past 15 years — you know how exciting it is to think up a new plan and start the wheels in motion. It’s the part of my job that I love the most.

This time, something is different, and it’s not just me this time. I’ve been talking to foundations, our competition, partner agencies, B Corp CEOs, women in my network, clients, and really anyone I can get for 15 minutes. Everyone is saying the same thing: something feels different and we’re not sure what it is.

I’m not sure either. But here are a few things I do know and I’m hearing from everyone else:

1. There is a clear shift to bring more purpose and intention into our day.

We don’t separate work and life. It’s one big thing and it can be overwhelming. The things we do and say make us who we are, so when one of those pieces doesn’t jive with the rest, we face big problems like self-doubt, anxiety, and anger. When you’re in charge of things, like a business, this can become extremely messy. Finding the right people to talk to, whether a network or a paid advisor is the way through. Because the only way out is through.

I’m seeing more consultants and small advisory practices focusing on self-care, mindfulness, and bringing intention and meaning to clients’ lives. There has been a big focus on the rise of the entrepreneur and the startup, the leader who grinds all day and has a singular vision of success through disruption. Are we getting burned out? Are we spending all of our time working and forgetting about what binds us together as human beings? Or are just spending too much time on Instagram?

I hear a collective need for coming back to mission, purpose, intent, and meaning, especially in the business world. There’s a desire to work less and experience more.

2. We are getting used to working and living in a climate of uncertainty.

The uncertain political climate destroys my business. When we didn’t have a budget in Illinois for a few years, almost all of our work dried up with our biggest client. We know the same happened for a lot of our consultant friends and nonprofits lost funding and resources across the board.

This new political uncertainty that we are all witnessing every day is something else. It is changing our spending habits; we’re less likely to sign up for something for a longer term. We’re hoarding cash because we’re waiting for the other shoe to drop. We are hearing about a coming recession, and we’re all wondering what’s going to happen.

Most of my competitors are talking about this. Some of them are digging in, some are getting out, and some are changing. We’re wondering what’s going to happen to our business and a lot of us are making pivots in our service lines and pricing structures to get ahead of it. We’re taking bets.

What does this mean? It means we’re realizing that business, as usual, isn’t working as usual and it’s up to us to keep things moving and for the betterment of our communities. This climate of uncertainty is designed to separate us and keep us alone and scared. I think a lot of us are at the point where we recognize: “yes, those people in charge of policy and big business are bananas crazy, but I need to keep my enterprise going to support my staff and family, so I’m going to keep going and do what I need to do to do that.” We recognize we are part of a system and we’re better of joining forces than going it alone. So let those crazies be crazy and let’s stand for something more.

3. We are slowly getting over being afraid.

I don’t know about you, but I used to be afraid almost all the time up until maybe a few months ago when I got to a breaking point. I finally realized that all of this worrying about uncertainty and what I SHOULD be doing wasn’t making my life any better. In fact, it was killing me.

Thinking back to when I started my business in 2004, I did that because I was tired of selling people crap based on the fear of not being good enough, or having some “other” person take everything away, or the fear of not keeping up or missing out. I rebelled against that idea in marketing, but most of everyone else didn’t. And marketing embraced it. So part of the issue why we’re all feeling like we’re falling behind because we let the marketing get to us.

This fear and anxiety is created by marketers, either deliberately or accidentally. It’s why we love and hate Facebook and why we are addicted to knee-jerk spending on Amazon. It’s a quick fix to a bigger problem: we’re afraid. We’re buying things that fix it for a moment, but in the long term we’ll just end up deeper in debt and at the mercy of the 1%.

I’m seeing a new trend emerging: one of fearlessness. Slowly, I’m seeing more honest questions, more support networks, and more authentic marketing that’s about creating real conversations.

I’m not sure what will be the result of all this, but I do know there is a new way and an old way. The old way is based on exclusion, fear, and profit. The new way is based on collaboration, honesty, and impact.

This is where I’m really excited. I know that the methods of design thinking, when used deliberately and inclusively are perfect for getting at the heart of the matter. It’s not always easy, but the results are always honest and insightful. This has been our practice for a long time now — extending far beyond branding and web development — and I think we’re in the right place at the right time to help more people make real change.

For us, this is the path that’s unfolding: our practice is about uncovering truths, defining a path forward, and inspiring and including. It’s less about the things we produce and more about teaching the tools and practices that help make the world better.

I created this model for to you get a sense of where you are in this uncertain time. Is your org or business responding or reacting? Is it from fear or inspiration?

 

[button style="red" float="left" margin="" size="small" link="https://www.limeredstudio.com/download/6779/" target=""]Click here to download my FEAR or INSPIRATION, RESPOND or REACT Worksheet[/button]


What My DiSC Profile Taught Me About Myself

By Kevin Drolet

Recently, I retook my DiSC Profile test. It’s been over 12 years since my last one and my hopes weren’t too high. In the past, profile tests like DiSC have made me curious but also seemed like too much work to apply in real life. I remember the last time I took the assessment, it was only briefly gone over by the trainer. Our group had a laugh at finding out “who we really were” but didn’t go much deeper than that. My manager even hid his because he didn’t want us to learn how different his behavioral styles were inside and outside of work. In reality, we laughed a bit too much when this test really could have improved our team's communication. Including and especially my manager’s communication challenges!

This time the experience was not the same. To go through the profile was like stepping out of myself and looking back into how “Kevin” behaves. So much of it was dead on the mark it was scary. Granted it wasn’t perfect, but having this kind of honest feedback was eye-opening. Feedback is something we crave as growing professionals but rarely get. Here is what happened from looking at my reflection in the DiSC reality mirror.

I changed. After many years of success in sales and digital marketing, starting my own successful digital media company, raising a child and dedicating myself to consistent martial arts - I had changed my behavioral style. While I had thought of myself one way - I had really transformed into another behavioral style. Thinking that I was communicating as a S (Supportive style), which tends to be calm and steady, when really I was more of a D (Dominate style), someone that can be more blunt and to the point. These are totally opposite and I can immediately think of several examples where I got myself into trouble.

I had to let go. Understanding how I thought about myself and how others perceive me was illuminating. Let’s face it, our ego and self-identity is important but when in a sales situation it’s all about the other person. By highlighting where I had some challenges in my communication style, I’m able to adapt and adjust.

It reminded me of a recent experience when my agency client called me to say the client we were doing work for didn’t appreciate my tone in a meeting. In fact, the client was really mad and I was in jeopardy of losing an account. In the meeting, I told a truth about the shortcomings of the client’s website and acquisition strategy. I thought I had been the supportive “S” in that meeting - helpful calm and providing good information. In fact, I was a high D, insisting they change their silly ways and stop wasting money. To make matter worse I didn’t understand the behavioral styles of the clients - including know what would set them off. I was lucky enough to be able to apologize and my agency client forgave me.

Using the right key to open the right lock. This is the most powerful lesson I learned through DiSC training. We all have different personalities and views of the world. When looking at it through the eyes of DiSC, you are able to identify and understand someone else’s perspective and communicate to them so they will best receive that information. Let’s face it, the golden rule is dead. You don’t need to treat others how you want to be treated but instead how THEY want to be treated.

Remember, there is no “right” profile. Instead what is right is the better we understand ourselves and understand each other, the better we communicate and have successful conversations, relationships, and clients. That’s why we use a powerful tool called CrystalKnows. It allows us to identify and understand someone’s DiSC type before we go to a meeting or send that email. With templates customized by personality, powerful insights to help plan your meetings and tools to clarify your communication, CrystalKnows takes our DiSC communication to a whole new level. Start your free trial today.


Manufacturing the Future: A New Sales Landscape

Globally the manufacturing industry has undergone a massive transformation in the past decade. Recessions choked demand, employment continues to fall and the floors and lines don’t have the same consistent flow of work to be done. With all of the nuances between each manufactured product and the manufacturers themselves, what is to be done to start to right the ship and save one of the most critical industries to America’s economy?

While I won’t wax poetic about inventory management or the technological advances on the floor, there is one aspect of manufacturing that lies at the root of its stability and growth. Sales. From small plants to those that sprawl for miles, this one critical function of the organization has been left unattended to. When it comes to advancements that the rest of the business world has already adopted, implemented and reaps the ROI on that manufacturers have done little to change. So what’s the problem?

For decades manufacturing companies have been in constant bidding wars, filling out painful RFPs and letting their prices be driven so low. In doing so, they have trained the market how to treat them, and how not to treat them as sales professionals. With painfully slim margins and a lack of true human connection in the sales process, the manufacturing sales rep is often no more than a bid fetcher, hoping that they are cents less than the other guys, and quickly moving on to the next bid.

It’s time to shift...and fast. In my studies and client cases, when we empower the sales staff to embrace a more proactive, soft and nurturing, relationship-based sales process certain things begin to shift.

Accountability: When you give your team members the processes and tools to get results they get a surge of ownership. They don’t feel as if they’re a victim to the bids and can own their numbers and results...and exceed them.

Bigger Orders: In the process of building relationships reps will typically increase their client's orders by 15-30% over the course of 2 years. It takes knowing the right questions to ask to uncover hidden needs and pain points of client's to really make this kind of impact.

Authentic Relationships: Ever had an order go out late or wrong? We all have, and it hurts every time. But if your team has the experience to and education to build a real relationship of honesty and trust with your customers, you are way less likely to lose the client when a mistake happens.

Client Retention: If your sales team is spending time putting together 100 bids a day and only getting a 3% return, how effective is your process? What if you were able to cut out that 93% of time wasters and create powerful relationships with clients that are GOOD for your business, that are invested in the relationship they have with you and are even willing to refer you business? By cutting out that 93% of the bidding that sucks time, energy, and let’s face it, the will to live out of your team, you get to build a client book of evangelists. Do that.

Talent Acquisition: Sales talent can be hard to find, and in the manufacturing world you are up against a wall when it comes to matching the technical acumen with the sales skills, and these rarely show up on the first day polished and ready to go. Having a consultative sales process that empowers your staff is going to result in the things good salespeople want: personal development, more commission, a more enjoyable work experience and the thrill of winning that BIG client.

All of these things sound great right? Well, they don’t show up magically. The shift has to come from the top - and that means that you, the business owner, must learn how to sell. They will not follow if you don’t lead. And I will tell you, it’s not a workshop kind of lesson. As you embrace a new way of processing sales, understanding the why behind decision making and showing that you are walking the walk it will allow you to hold your team accountable because you will become a credible messenger.

The big question is...are you ready for change? Are you ready for more revenue? And will you be the catalyst or a bystander in the future of your company?

Now is the time to solidify the profit of your company. Let’s find 15 minutes to chat - it might just make you millions.

Click here to schedule https://atrevenuecalendar.as.me/Disco


Your Values, Your Business. Yes, You Can Build A Dream Business Based On What You Value Most.

When we begin a conversation with a client, we’ll typically ask: “What type of business do you think is right for you?”

Mind you, it’s not that we expect that individual to have everything figured out. Some people may know what they want, but may not look at the reality that accompanies that. Others aren’t sure at all but do know they want to control their own destiny. No matter where you’re coming in, we’ll typically take a more introspective approach and encourage you to ask deeper questions internally about your lifestyle before choosing a business.

Now, why do you think we would be so interested in what you value and the life you want to have? Yes, these are important but what does that have to do with owning a business?

Know The Business Behind The Business

Think about this: If you’re going to be a successful owner, you’re going to be heavily involved in that business for at least the next 10 years and probably more. If the organization doesn’t match up with your values and lifestyle, you may have some buyer’s remorse.

To illustrate how buyer’s remorse could happen, let’s say that you’re intensely passionate about a product or service – we’ll use dogs as an example. Since you have such a love of dogs, you figure that owning a pet store franchise is your true calling.

Sounds like a terrific fit, doesn’t it? Not so fast.

You may have a love of animals, but we still have to talk about what you will be doing as a business owner. In this case, you may be spending a great deal of time involved with inventory management, stocking shelves and a host of other responsibilities that take you away from playing with the puppies.

Doing what you love has to align with business responsibilities, which makes it crucial to take a hard look at each franchise opportunity to ensure your perception meets reality. This involves a series of deep questions that can force you to give careful consideration to why you want to become an owner and what you want out of the business. Because once you’ve addressed these questions, you’re ready to pursue an opportunity on your terms, based on what you value most.

4 Deep Questions Before You “Jump”

  • What are your strengths?
    When you think back to times in your career where you’ve been promoted, why was that? How did that happen? Was there something about that type of work that energized you?
  • What type of work environment and style do you prefer?
    Do you like working with people or independently? Are you a teacher? An organizer? Are you motivated by sales? Do you dread event planning? Do you believe you can thrive in a customer-facing role or do you see yourself as more of an operational leader behind the scenes?
  • What do you like to do most?
    Believe it or not, one of the areas we look to as evidence of what you enjoy is your prior education. What did you go to school for, even if it’s nothing to do with what you currently do today? That shows a degree of passion.
  • What does your family situation and schedule look like?
    Make no mistake – this is a big one. If you have a spouse and children, how would owning a business change your current situation at home? What are you willing to give up?
    Is your family on board with this commitment? There’s going to be a ramp up period to get the business running strong enough that you can pay yourself the salary that you want, including minimum expenses. It may take 12-24 months to turn a profit – are you comfortable with that? If so, is it because your spouse is working and can take some of the pressure off? Is it based on savings that you have or through an SBA loan?

You know your strengths, your work style, your greatest passion, and have a loving family that’s got your back for the next 12-24 months to pursue the next exciting chapter of your career in business ownership. That’s great – but there’s still one more vital component to your success that we can’t neglect – an outside perspective from a highly experienced franchise consultant who can help guide you to the right franchise opportunity that aligns just right with your values. That’s where organizations like On Pace and @revenue come in - we’re here for you!


How We Inspire Clients To Tackle Sales In The Office And In The Field!

Sales cannot stop once the contract gets signed!

Your sales process is part of your brand, part of your culture and the lasting impression that people take from your business. At @revenue, we know that creating a powerful process that both your sales team and your internal team can follow will allow not only for more sales but greater customer service and increased value per client!

 

If your business is ready for powerful growth, it's time we talked. 312.720.1399 x1

 


Stay Inspired

This poem has always been close to my heart. When the gremlins of fear and failure begin to sneak in, it keeps me grounded and reminds me of why I am here. Tell us, what poem keeps you inspired?

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine as children do. It's not just in some of us; it is in everyone. And as we let our own lights shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."

MARIANNE WILLIAMSON

author, lecturer


3 Reasons YOU Should be on Stage

There you are,  sitting in yet another conference listening to a speaker review something that you have heard 100 times before and all you can think is, ‘Good GRIEF!’ (I assume you watched the Peanuts as a child, too), ‘I have so much more powerful information to share, things that would actually give this audience some REAL value!’ Well...let me give you 3 reasons why you should get yourself together and get on the next stage.

**Please do NOT remove the current speaker from stage - let’s find you one of your own!**

  1. The more you have a microphone in your hand the more of an expert you are.

Listen, the raw truth is that no one is going to call you an expert until you say it first. There is no ‘authority fairy’ that is just waiting for you to reach a magical point of experience, education or innovation to give you your set of wings. You have to take the leap.

On a physiological level, the simple appearance of being on stage (in front of a room speaking with authority) creates a subconscious understanding that you have information to give and that you are an authority. The more often you are seen on a screen, stage or in print the more people know and begin trust you. As you start that relationship, with 10 or 2,000 people at a time, you have an opportunity to connect with them much more quickly and deeply when it is time for the next step.

  1.   The Bloom Effect

In this content-heavy world, we are all looking for opportunities to create effective blogs, articles, videos, newsletters, and on and on. With one speaking engagement, you can use that single event to spread your marketing message wide.

  • Post on your site
  • Write your speech and a blog at the same time
  • Video your speech and create 5-7 short burst videos
  • Spread through your social media
  • Engage with other organization’s social media, website, event programs
  • Cross promote with other speakers at the event
  • Etc.
  1. Be the Change

If you are not in business to change the world and make it a better place, this is not for you. For those of you that have the vision, that truly believe that what you do has a major impact on your client’s lives, you need to plant the seed. Our organization is focused on changing the lives of SMBs through providing them with the profit they need to care for their families, invest in their communities and create abundance for others. If that is truly what we are here to do and we keep it under wraps, we have failed tremendously.

This is why we take stages with a message of professional love. We tell the stories that give people a reason to care. We create empathy, provide tools to foster change and lift others up around us. If you were to apply those ideas to your business and look at your impact through a community if not worldwide filter, what would your keynote speech be?

Not sure where to start? Let’s find some time to chat...who knows, the next ‘chat’ you have might be on stage!  

marie@atrevenue.com


Dream Bigger

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.

Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.

It is our light, not our darkness

That most frightens us.

We ask ourselves

Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?

Actually, who are you not to be?

Your playing small

Does not serve the world.

-By Marianne Williamson

‘Marie, I have something to tell you,’ my client began, ‘when I started dreaming about my business and setting goals I was stretching to see myself at 400k in my first year. I thought I was calculating something wrong when I saw that I had booked 800k, but when I realized that I would have more than a million dollars of business on the books before my year was even close to its end I got…’ He took a deep breath, ‘I got scared.’

Sounds like a great problem to have, right? We all roll our eyes at those who tell us that their businesses have grown too quickly, but epic growth not only brings with it a bevy of technical issues but a lot of emotional issues that we aren’t prepared for.

Questions come flying through our brains like:

  • Does this mean that I should expand my business?
  • Should I raise my rates?
  • Do I want a bigger business?

And the truth is, this can be a scary and lonely place to be.

I would like to offer you two words that can greatly impact your future, wherever you are in your journey. Dream Bigger. If your goal, your dream, your plan doesn’t stretch you, make you uneasy or is something that you could do in your sleep, you aren’t dreaming big enough. If you don’t feel a little nervous when you review your goals every month (not your numbers), you are playing too small.

The next part of Marianne Williamson’s poem goes on to say that “we are all meant to shine like children do”, and there is so much truth in that. If your business doesn’t light you up, if you aren’t on fire, take some time and reassess why the heck you are working so hard.

How do you know when your dream is big enough? Gut check time.

  1. What impact would achieving this goal have on my life? If there is no true impact...push further.
  2. How does this align with my values? If your goal doesn’t allow you to exemplify your values (ex. It’s more than just a number) or the impact of your goal on you financially doesn’t allow you to achieve a personal goal that matches your values it’s time to realign.
  3. When you take time to put your goals into actionable steps, can it be done with little to no effort? You should want a little sweat to happen on your way to your dream, it makes it more thrilling to achieve.

This year, I had to realign personal goals this when my whole life suddenly changed; my partner suddenly died. I had to learn how to dream again, how to figure out what will bring me joy, abundance or peace when my dreams were suddenly and uncontrollably altered and out of my control. Learning to dream big is a practice, a muscle, a gift you must work on for yourself.