Mindset Impacts Everything

Mindset impacts everything. Our thoughts, energy and most of all, the actions we take.

More than 30 years ago, Carol Dweck and her colleagues became interested in people’s attitudes about failure. After studying the behavior of thousands of students, Dr. Dweck coined the terms “fixed mindset” and “growth mindset” to describe the underlying beliefs people have about learning and intelligence. What is a growth mindset vs a fixed mindset? Glad you asked!

  • Growth Mindset: Intelligence can be developed
  • Fixed Mindset: Intelligence is static; “fixed trait.”

 

Growth Mindset

  1. Embrace challenges
  2. Persist in the face of setbacks
  3. See effort as the path to mastery
  4. Learn from criticism
  5. Find lessons and inspiration in the success of others

Individuals who believe their talents can be developed (through hard work, good strategies, and input from others.) As a result, they achieve more success because they worry less about looking smart and they put more energy into learning.

Fixed Mindset

  1. Avoid challenges
  2. Give up easily
  3. See effort as fruitless
  4. Ignore useful negative feedback
  5. Feel threatened by the success of others

Those with a fixed mindset spend their time documenting their intelligence or talent instead of developing them. Excessive concern with looking smart keeps you from making bold, visionary moves. If you’re afraid of making mistakes, you’ll never learn on the job and your whole approach becomes defensive.

-H3-

Whether you’re aware of it or not, you keep a running account of what’s happening, what it means, and what you should so. Our minds are constantly monitoring and interpreting. That’s just how we stay on track. Mindset frames the running account of what is taking place. It guides the whole interpretation process.

The fixed mindset creates an internal dialogue that is focused on judging. And people react with feelings of anxiety, depression, or anger. Or superiority. “This means I’m a loser.” “This means I’m a better person than they are.” “This means I’m a bad wife.” “This means my partner is selfish.”

An internal monologue of a growth mindset person is not about judging themselves or others. They listen for learning and constructive action: “What can I learn from this?” “How can I improve?” “How can I help my partner do this better?”

Change Your Mindset

Changing from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset is not like surgery; you can’t remove a fixed mindset and replace it with a growth mindset. You must work on nurturing a positive, growth mindset. These are tips from Dr. Dweck, herself:

  1. Learn to hear your fixed mindset, “voice.”

As you face criticism, you might feel yourself getting angry at the person giving you feedback. The other person might be giving constructive feedback, but you hear “I’m really disappointed in you. I thought you were capable but now I see you’re not.”

  1. Recognize that you have a choice.

How you interpret challenges, setbacks, and criticism is your choice. You can choose to interpret them as signs to ramp up your strategies, stretch yourself and expand your abilities.

  1. Take the growth mindset action.

As you approach a challenge, choose to say: “I think I can learn to with time and effort.” “If I don’t try, I automatically fail.” “If I don’t take responsibility, I can’t fix it. Let me listen and learn what I can.”

Practice hearing both voices, and practice acting on a growth mindset. Nurturing a positive, growth mindset creates profound changes in your personal life and determines your ceiling of success. Your Mind is a garden, your thoughts are the seeds. You can grow flowers, or you can grow weeds.

Need help nurturing that mindset contact me today!

Small Steps, Big Changes -The “Magic” Formula to Success

There is no elevator to success; you have to take the stairs. I love that saying by Zig Ziglar. I get questions all the time about the “shortcuts” and “magic formula” or my “secret sauce” to success.

For example: “What is the quickest way to…” or “What is the one trick that will…”   Here is the thing…there is no shortcut, no secret to success. Sorry, they don’t exist…not for your business, not for your relationships, not for anything that is worthwhile.

If you want to succeed at something stop focusing on why everyone else appears to be succeeding except for you. Don’t assume everyone that is successful knows some “secret” that you don’t.

I know it’s easier to look at others and think those who achieve high levels of success are simply more intelligent, received a hand up, or are simply luckier than the people in the second group. I get it, it makes people feel better to rationalize another person’s success. But let’s be real here, it is hard work that got somebody in a position to be offered an opportunity. And even then, it is not the opportunity that makes a person, it is what you do with those opportunities that make or break you.

Are you ready to be accountable and take one step at a time? I don’t have a “one thing” answer for you but I do have the general formula.

The “Magic” Formula

  1. Decide

Decide what you want. Consider what you want to achieve. Set S.M.A.R.T goals that motivate you and write them down to make them feel tangible. By setting Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-bound goals you can measure and take pride in the achievement of those goals. You will be able to see the forward progress in what might otherwise feel like a long pointless grind.

  1. Commit

Doing things carelessly is the mother of everything that can go wrong. When you want your project to succeed, you invest yourself in it fully. “The difference between ‘involvement’ and ‘commitment’ is like an eggs-and-ham breakfast: the chicken was ‘involved’ – the pig was ‘committed’.” You can’t afford to only be involved; being involved means you’re not committed enough, and if you’re not committed enough, that thing you’ve been working on, won’t see the light of day. Don’t chicken out.

  1. Consistent

Be determined and most important, consistent. Fully dedicate yourself to your goal. Consistency is about building small empowering habits and rituals that you partake in every single day that keep you focused on your highest priorities and goals. It essentially comes down to your ability to hold yourself accountable for the daily choices you make, with no excuses and no complaints. You and you alone are accountable for what you do and what you fail to do. All responsibility lies solely in your hands. Do the work not for an hour, a day, a week or a month…but every day, every step, until you reach your goal.

Taking everything, we have discussed into account, it’s clear that the key to success is deciding, committing, and consistency-in-action.

When you commit yourself to performing an activity or task at the same time every day without fail, you are at that moment building an empowering habit that will over time blossom and help you get the desired outcomes you are after.

There is no elevator to success. You must take the stairs, to gain the strength and momentum to take that giant leap. Need more help finding that perfect magic formula to help you in your business? Contact me today…

Comfort Zone-Where Dreams Go To Die

We have seen the inspirational quotes encouraging us to get out and do something different—something we wouldn’t normally do. One of my favorites is, “Life Begins at the End of Your Comfort Zone,” by Neale Donald Walsch.

We know it’s important to push the boundaries of our comfort zone, and that when we do, it’s kind of a big deal. But what is the “comfort zone” exactly? Why is it that we tend to get comfortable with the familiar and our routines? What benefit do we obtain from breaking out of our comfort zone?

There’s actually a lot of science that explains why it’s so hard to break out of our comfort zone, and why it’s good for us when we do it. With a little understanding and a few adjustments, we can break away from our routines and do great things. Let’s get started!

Optimal Anxiety

The idea of the comfort zone dates back to 1908, with a classic psychology experiment by Robert M. Yerkes and John D. Dodson. They found that a state of relative comfort created a steady level of performance.

If you’re a go-getter like me, looking to make the magic happen, you are looking to maximize performance. We need a state of relative anxiety—a space where our stress levels are slightly higher than normal. This space is called “Optimal Anxiety,” and it’s just outside our comfort zone. Can you think of a time when you operated within “optimal anxiety?”

However, too much anxiety and our performance drops off sharply! Anyone who has ever pushed themselves to get to the next level, knows that when you really challenge yourself, you can turn out amazing results. More than a few studies support this idea. However, pushing too hard can actually cause a negative effect. Reinforcing our natural tendency to return to an anxiety neutral state, the “comfort zone.” This fine line between optimal anxiety and too much anxiety is why it’s so hard to kick our brains out of the comfort zone.

Breaking Free

So we learned that optimal anxiety is that place where your mental productivity and performance reach their peak. What’s the incentive to pushing ourselves to that next level? Here is what you get once you’re able to step outside of your comfort zone:

Productivity

Comfort kills productivity because without the sense of unease that comes with deadlines and expectations, we tend to do the minimum required to get by. We lose the drive and ambition to do more and learn new things. Pushing personal boundaries helps you hit your stride sooner, get more done, and find smarter ways to work.

Flexibility

You’ll have an easier time dealing with new and unexpected changes. By taking risks in a controlled fashion and challenging yourself to things you normally wouldn’t do, you experience uncertainty in a controlled, manageable environment. Choosing to live outside your comfort zone better prepares you for when life changes force you out of it.

Creativity

Seeking new experiences, learning new skills, and opening the door to new ideas inspire us and educate us in a way that nothing else can. Trying new things can make us reflect on our old ideas and where they clash with our new knowledge, and inspire us to learn more and challenge our biases, our tendency to only seek out information we already agree with. A positive, uncomfortable experience can help us brainstorm, see old problems in a new light, and tackle the challenges we face with new energy.

The benefits you get after stepping outside of your comfort zone have a domino effect throughout your personal and professional life. There’s an overall self-improvement you get through broadening your horizons: the skills you’re learning, the new foods you’re trying and the new avenues you’re exploring.

Once you begin stepping out of your comfort zone, it does get easier. You become accustomed to that state of optimal anxiety. It becomes normal to you, and you’re willing to push farther before your performance falls off. As you challenge yourself, your comfort zone adjusts so what was difficult, and anxiety-inducing becomes easier as you repeat it.

Contact Alpine Small Business Solutions to discuss what we can take off your plate to help you reach your level of optimal anxiety.

9 Ways to Increase Efficiency at Work

We are always trying to fit more in to every day. We are overscheduled, overworked, and busy being busy. This working style adds to our stress and anxiety of life every day. If this is not managed, it can get out of control and start to have the opposite effect-you will get less done. It is time to maximize your efforts and declutter the rest. These nine tips can make every day a little easier, and honestly more fun.

  1. Take Breaks!

If you are sitting at your desk for eight hours straight, you are exhausting your mind, eyes, and body. You must take some time to look away. Walk down the hall. Give your body and mind some time to refresh. When you are just pushing through something to get it done, you usually aren’t at your best. That five-minute break can usually be enough to refresh you to think more clearly. Break up the work; break up your sitting time. Trust me on this one…it will make a difference in how you feel.

  1. Focus Time.

We are all guilty of it. We all have tried to “multitask.” It doesn’t work. You cannot do your best on more than one task at a time. Limit your distractions for periods of “focus time.” Set a timer for 50 minutes, close all the distractions (other open programs, emails, phone etc.), and just work on that one thing for the 50 minutes. Then take a 10-minute break. You can check in on your distractions, walk away, or get a drink, but take that break. Those uninterrupted focus periods allow you to put all your efforts in to one spot. You will get more done just working on that one thing. You can then come back to that task for the next focused period or move on, whatever the case will be, but give you undivided attention to a task for a set period.

  1. Done Is Better Than Perfect.

We sometimes all get hung up on the details that don’t really matter. You have to find that line where is this really going to improve the final product, or are you spending more time on something that isn’t important at this phase. Let go of the image of perfect. You can always tweak and improve, so make sure you are not crossing a line of perfection that isn’t being efficient.

  1. Schedule Your Phone and Email Time.

Calls and emails are the biggest distraction for many people. You can spend a lot of time just putting out the fires that come in on email and take that unexpected call. It also means that you didn’t get your tasks for the day completed with focused, uninterrupted time. Find the time best for you and schedule in your day an hour here and there to just return emails and calls. You can use a focus period just to respond to email.

  1. Value Each Minute.

You used your focused time, and you rocked it. You spent 37 minutes that you had booked 50 minutes for. Great! That doesn’t mean that you get to waste those 13 minutes. Quit thinking that everything has to be done on the hour, half hour, or 15-minute increment. I know you have other things on your to-do list. Continue on with something else productive.

  1. Increase Your Weak Point.

We all have a time of the day that is the slump. Some people are early morning people, some of late night people, some are guaranteed to be napping after lunch. Know where your weak point is and plan for it. If you are an afternoon slump person, know it and own it! Prepare for it by having that cup of coffee, or schedule your passion project during that time. If you aren’t prepping and working on something you don’t want to do at that time, you will not work efficiently.

  1. No!

This one sounds easy. Say no to things that you shouldn’t be doing, but that isn’t always the case when you work on client work. If it is part of your job, you can’t just say I won’t do it. But do you have a team mate who is better suited? Can you trade a task? For those things that you can say no to, remember it is ok to say no. Don’t accept work you can’t deliver on. Don’t set yourself up to not be able to keep your word. This goes hand-in-hand with setting expectations.

  1. Set Deadlines.

They say however long you give yourself to do something is how long it will take. Put a little pressure on yourself to get things done. You might surprise yourself what watching the clock will do for you. Set a deadline for yourself to wrap up a project and hold yourself to it.

*Bonus Tip* Track your time. We talked about times and setting focus periods, but doing some basic analytics around where you spend your time can be very eye opening. Find where you are losing time and work on it!

9. I know this doesn’t sound like it is increasing your efficiency if you aren’t working, but truly it is. If you aren’t avoiding burnout and exhaustion, you are not functioning at your best. Make sure you take the time off and walk away to be with your friend and family. Engage in the hobby that you love. Take care of yourself. Remind yourself of the things you love so when you are at work, you can have the desire to go do these things. The more efficient you are at work, the more you can enjoy your off time. For more ideas contact me today!

The 5 Barriers of Delegation and How to Overcome Them

As a leader and entrepreneur, you will find one of the biggest challenges to be delegating tasks. In 2013, Stanford University conducted a survey which exposed the fact that 37% of chief executives struggle and are working to improve on delegation skills. Outlined are five disadvantages that might be keeping you from reaching your delegation goals. To overcome these barriers, we must first identify them.

  1. It Takes Time & Mentoring

We all know that time is money, and we are always looking for ways to save time and be more efficient in what we do. Those voices in your head are telling you that you don’t have the time to adequately explain or teach the skills for the task at hand to your team member. The good news is, delegating task actually saves time. It might take holding their hand and teaching them all the nitty gritty at first, but once they have it down, that is one less task on your plate in which you can focus your efforts on more important business goals.

  1. Loss of Control

Admit it, we can all be a bit of a control freak at times. Many business owners have a long history of making things happen with their own skill and determination. Even though business owners think they can do the task better, your business will not be successful if there’s a leader micromanaging everything. A way to overcome this is by providing planned accountability amongst your team members, which will calm your anxiety. Besides, you may find out that one of your team members discovers a new, more efficient method of completing the task at hand!

  1. Delegating Yourself Out of a Job or Losing Tasks You Enjoy

Another barrier business owners may come across is the fear that you are going to train yourself out of a job. Or maybe there’s a reoccurring task that you enjoy but you offloaded it to a team member. This is a great problem to have! Now that you have less on your plate you can move to a higher position, take on more challenging tasks, or focus on those business development plans you never had the time for. You will also be rewarded by seeing others succeed because of your coaching.

  1. Lack of Confidence/Faith in Your Team

Leaders may be hesitant to delegate tasks because they don’t have confidence or faith in their team members. It’s okay to feel this way, but it’s something you must overcome for successful delegation. Start small, take small risks and set your team up for success. Successes early on will give you the courage to delegate more and more in which you can gradually increase the complexity of tasks assigned. Be sure to thoroughly prep your team because the more prepared they are, the less worried you will be! Additionally, your team may lack the confidence in themselves, or they are worried they won’t do well. By starting small together, you can inspire confidence and trust side by side.

  1. Asking for Help is a Sign of Weakness

Asking for help sucks, and you might feel like it’s a sign of weakness, when really it is a sign of strength and trust. We are only human, and we can’t do everything by ourselves. Often it is fear that fuels this anxiety: Fear of over-stepping. Fear of appearing too needy. Fear of imposing. Fear of revealing our struggle and having people realize we don’t have it all together after all. When we support other people to be more successful, we discover opportunities for collaboration that ultimately enable us to be more successful ourselves. Besides, didn’t you hire a team of talented people? Leverage their capabilities, you will be surprised!

To tackle the fear and uncertainty associated with delegation, you need to lay the groundwork for success. Clarify the work that needs to be delegated. Which tasks can realistically be handled by other team members? Also determine the tasks that must be done by you, and only you. Be sure to communicate with your team the objectives and goals of each task so they know what is expected of them and how it fits in with the larger picture. Be sure to set deadlines and milestones and/or the frequency of checking up on their work. Be open with communication and make sure that your team understands they can turn to you and that it is ok to ask questions and further guidance.

Have some tasks you need to delegate-Let’s talk!

9 Brain Foods That Will Improve Your Productivity at Work

Did you know that the foods you eat could have a significant impact on your brain and motivation? Eating the right foods throughout the day can increase brainpower, motivation and overall productivity by 20%. I know it may not seem like much, but it is a significant increase! If you’ve noticed you’ve been a little more sluggish at work lately, consider adding these superfoods to your daily diet. I’ve also included a couple simple recipes that combines these super foods together!

  1. Eggs

Eggs are one of the best nutritional foods you can eat. Eggs are high in choline, which is a nutrient that studies have shown to improve memory. Eggs sell a variety of vitamins but most notably B5 and B12. These vitamins release energy from food and assist with brain nervous system function. Eggs also have vitamin A which plays a critical role in maintaining healthy vision, neurological function, healthy skin, and more.

As if eggs couldn’t seem more nutritionally rich, they are an excellent source of protein that can help sustain energy levels and stave off hunger throughout the day.

  1. Greek Yogurt

All yogurts are excellent sources of calcium, potassium, protein, zinc, and vitamins B6 and B12. However Greek yogurt contains probiotic cultures and is lower in lactose and has twice the protein content of regular yogurts. Additionally, in a small study, researchers at UCLA found that eating probiotic yogurt twice a day can reduce activity in the part of your brain that registers pain and emotion. Scientists have also begun to draw links between consuming probiotics and thinking fewer sad thoughts

  1. Salmon

Fatty fishes are excellent for promoting productivity! Salmon, however, is the best of them all. Salmon has high omega-3 fatty acids content, which is useful for improving memory and mental performance. These fatty acids can help depression and fatigue, which can both inhibit productivity immensely. Fish has also been proven to improve concentration and your overall mood. Other fatty fish include trout, mackerel, herring, sardines, pilchards, and kipper. Although eating freshly prepared fish is the best method, a fish oil supplement can be taken to achieve a similar result.

  1. Raw Almonds

Raw almonds are among the healthiest of tree nuts. Almonds rank highest in protein, fiber, calcium, vitamin E, riboflavin and niacin content. The fiber, protein and fat content of almonds means it only takes a handful to keep you feeling full and satisfied to hold you over until lunch time! Why raw almonds? Both raw and roasted almonds pack a high dose of nutrients and minerals. However, raw almonds have more naturally occurring beneficial fats—which are lost in the roasting process.

  1. Avocado

Avocados are a natural stimulant for promoting blood flow. Consistent blood flow through your heart and brain fires up your brain cells. This is another healthy, fiber packed fat that improves your overall focus. The best part? There’s so many delicious ways to prepare an avocado but their buttery flavor is amazing on their own!

  1. Blueberries

Antioxidant-rich foods are exceptional for increasing memory. Not only will blueberries help your brain function in the workplace today, it will help to prevent Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s in the future. The antioxidants in blueberries stimulate the flow of blood and oxygen to the brain – and keeps the mind fresh. Generally, the darker the berry is, the higher antioxidant property it contains, which means more productivity-boosting ingredients.

  1. Matcha Green Tea

Green tea is a natural energy enhancer and it comes without the negative side effects of other energy sources, such as the caffeine crash you get from coffee or energy drinks. However, the best (and more delicious) way to consume green tea is Matcha. Matcha is unique because it’s the entire leaf ground into a fine powder then made into a creamy tea, whereas other teas the leaves are steeped in hot water. By consuming the leaf as a whole, it provides fiber and polyphenols, a family of powerful antioxidants. It’s also a lot tastier—green tea ice cream is made from Matcha and if you haven’t tried it, I highly recommend it.

  1. Bananas

Glucose turns into energy, and bananas are some of the best resources for that energy-inducing ingredient. A single banana holds the daily amount of glucose your body needs, and it’s a much healthier way to get it than excessive carbs and cane sugars. Bananas are also filling, which means that you’ll be able to focus better between meals if you snack on this rather than something else. Bananas are also a great source of potassium which helps blood pressure, anxiety and stress and helps to enhance muscle strength, metabolism, water balance, electrolytic functions, and nervous system.

  1. Water

Finally, water. Now I know this isn’t a food, but it is important to mention that the amount of water intake significantly influences your health and productivity. Our body is made up of over 70% water and throughout the day, the water in our body slowly depletes. If you don’t drink enough water to replenish the lost liquid, your brain and other functions suffer the consequences. By devoting the energy to ensure you are drinking at least 8 glasses of water per day will give your brain the fuel it needs to be more focused and think more clearly.

Give these foods a go and see if you have noticed an improvement in your productivity. I certainly have! Below are links to a couple of my favorite recipes that combine several of these foods and are super easy to make!

Greek yogurt with honey, almonds, blueberries, and granola (I prefer sliced or slivered almonds)

Avocado toast with sunny side up egg

 

6 Tools To Boost Your Business’s Efficiency

Entrepreneurs from all walks of life are all asking the same question, “How can we, the business (or as individuals), be more efficient at what we do?” With modern technology there is a wide variety of tools that has made previously tedious and daunting tasks a breeze! So many tools, in fact, that it’s easy to get overwhelmed figuring out which ones best suit your business. Unfortunately, not all tools are made equal so it’s important to evaluate the features of each. I have outlined a few of my personal favorites that have worked incredibly well for me and my business and I hope they do the same for you. The tools mentioned below range from free to costing a fair sum of money. As previously stated, not all tools are made equal and in the past, I have found myself getting “stuck” in that place of free, but sometimes it isn’t always the best.

1.Asana

I have tried many task/project manager tools and Asana is hands down THE BEST. They have a free basic plan that works well for small teams, but depending on the features you are after and the tasks you encounter daily, one of the upgraded plan options may work better for your team.

Asana is fast, intuitive, and easy to manipulate. Asana’s arrangement features, and user interface make it easy to navigate, prioritize, and organize. My favorite part is that it takes the form of a check list and you can mark tasks completed as you go. You can also schedule reoccurring tasks on any given interval whether that be every x amount of days, weekly, monthly, bi-monthly, etc.

Asana also makes it easy to communicate with your team on projects since there are notes and comment sections for each project.

2.WorkflowMax

How does having 626 hours of your time back sound? AMAZING? That’s what I thought. On average, that’s how much time WorkflowMax saves its clients — along with $22,000 per year. This tool is perfect for businesses and freelancers whose services are very much dependent on time. Without much effort at all, businesses can track time spent on various tasks and remain accountable for their work.

WorkflowMax allows users to create professional, instant quotes for potential clients, then invoice them later with equally professional-looking forms. Users can even build timelines for special projects and view productivity analytics within the program. You can even integrate add-ons such as Xero to completely customize it to your needs.

3.Slack

Ever come up with an idea, but everyone’s’ calendars are already packed for the day? Plus, haven’t we established how much we all hate meetings? Slack is an amazing tool to help you stay in touch with your team, it’s a simple app without a lot of pizazz, but packs a punch in the productivity timeline.

Another one of my favorite tools—Slack is the most popular and best tools for communicating with your team by giving your team members a workspace with organized and accessible conversations. Slack also includes a searchable archive of teams conversations so everyone has access to the answers they need.

3.Active Campaign

My new favorite tool is ActiveCampaign. It is a hidden gem in the marketing automation world! They’re one of the most affordable providers for small businesses and their software is exceptionally well-designed. What’s surprising is the fact very few people have heard of them! Unlike other marketing automation tools, I have used, I have yet to have an idea that ActiveCampaign won’t allow me to build. It may not be free, but the pricing is incredibly generous for the quality product you receive. Active Campaign for email marketing with its robust marketing automation and multi-dimensional segmentation, makes it super simple for building funnels—love, love, love it!

4.Leadpages

Running a special? Offering a new product or service? Whatever it may be, you can easily create targeted lead pages and track their results without redesigning your website. With over 160 plus free mobile-responsive templates, you can easily create multiple versions of pages to optimize your landing page success rate. Another great thing about Leadpages is that you can easily integrate it with over 40 tools and platforms!

 

5.Google Docs

If Google Docs isn’t already part of your everyday workflow then it definitely needs to be! It’s free, easy, allows for easy collaborations and file sharing and it has it’s own version of Word, Excel and Powerpoint all with cloud storage.

6.Groove

Groove is a great option to quickly and easily set up all the customer service options you’d want in one place. It focuses on helping small business grow and makes it easy for teams to work out of internally. If more extensive programs like Zendesk are too much for your business, this is a great option to keep your customer service simple and effective.

If you haven’t tried these already, I hope you give some of these a go and see what they can do for your business! Feel free to let me know what your favorite tools are!

7 Benefits of LinkedIn Blog Publishing & Why Every Online Business Owner Should be Using it

Sure, you understand the importance of content marketing to build your business, but if you’re not publishing on LinkedIn you’re missing out on major benefits. It’s not just another content publishing tool. It’s one of the best content publishing tools, offering many rich rewards to marketers who are smart enough to take advantage of it. Here are several reasons you need to begin publishing on LinkedIn today:

  1. Easy to reach a tailored audience. Everyone on LinkedIn is either a current professional or aspiring professional seeking out career and industry related content. What other content publishing site offers that degree of audience specialization? You’ll be able to publish content to an audience ready to consume it, giving you a high ROI for the time spent crafting LinkedIn posts.
  2. Reap content marketing rewards of a business blog in a fraction of the time linkedin eventcommitment. While it’s usually recommended businesses maintain a blog, it’s not always feasible for every company. In those situations, publishing to LinkedIn is a great alternative. Employees can publish from their LinkedIn pages and then share to the company page to gain benefits of content marketing with less of a time commitment than maintaining a company blog.
  3. Establish your influence in your industry. Consistently publishing quality posts will showcase your knowledge in your industry. Posts will link back to your profile and recent posts will be shown on your profile, which will help connect your professional insights to your LinkedIn profile. It’s a simple way to show, not tell, your expertise.
  4. Humanize your company. Recruit various employees, from the company CEO to entry level staff, to craft blog posts to then share from your company’s page. The different writing styles will not only provide variety, but the different voices will humanize your organization and cause the posts to look less self-serving.
  5. Access to a litmus test for your company blog. Granted, your LinkedIn audience is likely different than your company blog audience. But if a post really resonates with LinkedIn followers, it’s a good indicator the information and/or topic will resonate with followers of your company’s blog.
  6. Gives you something to offer in LinkedIn Groups. Members of LinkedIn Groups are expected to provide value to the group, which can be achieved through offering quality LinkedIn posts. Sharing of great content is an effective way to strengthen your connection with group members.
  7. Move potential audiences to view posts. Some consumers of content hesitate to LinkedInview a blog post given the high volume of spam posts and not secure websites on the Internet. Posts published on LinkedIn are published on LinkedIn-meaning there is no risk for readers they will end up on a spam site or gain a virus from an insecure website. And since everything people publish is linked back to their account, there’s a lower amount of poor quality work. Consumers can be more likely to view a post on LinkedIn given the spam-free and higher quality nature of its posts.

Okay, so now you’re ready to take advantage of LinkedIn blog publishing. But how do you generate ideas? Try one of these strategies:

  1. Read posts from top influencers in your industry. As you read articles, ask questions such as, “What important pieces of information did they leave out?” or “What’s a unique perspective I can take on the same topic?” Translate the answers into posts of your own.
  2. Analyze your post metrics to see what topics most resonate with audience. Generate more posts on those topics. People love stats. Use this to your advantage.
  3. Do an old fashioned brainstorm. Start with a broad topic (such as social media) and spend five to ten minutes writing anything that comes to mind. Set the paper aside and look at it again later with fresh eyes. Pick the best ideas and turn them into posts.
  4. Repurpose old company content. Use what you’ve already created, such as website blog posts or newsletters, and tailor it to LinkedIn blog publishing.

Ready to take advantage of LinkedIn Blog Publishing, but don’t have the time or knowledge necessary to write posts consistently? Alpine Small Business Solutions is here for you! We’d love to help you with this, or any aspect of small business building. Just give us a call or shoot us an email today.

A Virtual Assistant Guide to Writing a Great Client Proposal

There is nothing more exciting than having that first phone call or email from a potential client. Someone out there has heard what you offer and they want to seek your expertise. Now you have to seal the deal and make them want to sign a contract for you. Every virtual assistant has a slightly different way of doing business. Personally, once I have a short introductory conversation with my new potential client, I tell them I will follow up with a proposal. If you remember to include all of these elements in your next proposal, you will rock their socks off!

Make sure you get all the pertinent information you need from the client to really know how you can best help them. Use the proposal to show your understanding of their needs. Below is a breakdown of what a proposal should include:

  1. Introduction

Every good virtual assistant should have a great proposal. This is your way of saying, “This is why I am amazing, and you should work with me.” Your first statement should be the hook; a statement introducing yourself and referring back to any previous conversations.

  1. Connect

Next you should connect with them by referencing something special about their company without making it too cheesy. Talk about something that excites you about what they offer and why you look forward to supporting their business.

  1. Body


Now let’s get down to the fundamentals of the proposal. This is where you will outline exactly what they are going to receive in a way that makes it irresistible to them. As a virtual assistant a lot of what you are doing for them is taking their stress away. You are clearing their plate and giving them the confidence to hand this off to you, which is going to be the best thing for their business. This is the perfect opportunity for you to truly show them what you have that will benefit them and why they should choose you. Most businesses will look at several other virtual assistants, so you will want to be professional and confidant in your proposal. Make this part easy on them. Tell them exactly what they are going to get and let them see the benefit of it and what they can expect from you.

Make sure you clearly state your goals and why someone would want to work with you. Don’t forget the details that they want to know. You will want to include your hours, payment rates, terms and termination, and confidentiality.

  1. Sell Yourself

sell-yourselfThis is a chance for you to describe what you and your business are about, stand for, offer, and can contribute. Make sure you weave in full information about your business so they get a great picture of you as well.

Some people like to include bits of their portfolio. If you feel this is something you would like to do, make sure you sell your strengths to the client around the particular job. Learning how to highlight your most attractive abilities for the specific needs of an individual client is an invaluable skill.

  1. Upsell Your Package

Personally, I always like to think to the future. I will add an “upsell” plan in the proposal, showing my client a complimentary service I provide that matches the one they have asked about. I give them the price and ideas of what it would look like, saying that it would be a great add-on down the road. Who knows, maybe they will want to add it from the start!

  1. Conclusion

Tie it all together. Create a sincere conclusion saying how excited you are that they have come to you and why you would be such a great fit. A good closing paragraph might look something like this: “I believe we are a good match and if you feel the same, let’s move on to the next steps.”

Obviously make sure this is the best representation of yourself. Use a visually appealing structured layout. First impression is everything: your proposal should be pleasing, crisp, and well-organized.

Make sure you send any relevant welcome information you have along with your proposal.

Most important, make sure you are being true to yourself and the type of business you want to create. What makes your proposal different from every other freelancer or virtual assistant? You need to make yours standout in a professional but charismatic way. Don’t take a client that is not a good match for you. And remember, you are the boss now.

If you’re ready to create a great proposal for new clients, but could use some guidance, we’re here for you! We can assist with any aspect of business building and strategy. Simply shoot us an email or give us a call today.

The Dirty Truths Nobody Told You About Hosting a Virtual Summit

All this talk about hosting a virtual summit has you excited. What you don’t know are the dirty truths most people fail to mention. If you dive into a virtual summit without being prepared, you will end up in over your head. Virtual Summits take months of planning and organizing to successfully execute. I can’t stress enough that you won’t be able to complete a virtual summit by yourself. You will drive yourself crazy without some additional support!

Here are a few areas that we know from experience it is great to bring in another set of eyes on.

#1 Test Equipment in Advance

This seems like a no-brainer but as a small business owner, it’s easy to put the equipment aside, forget about it and worry about all the other things on your to-do list. Then when push comes to shove, you set up last minute only to find out– %$#@! Technical difficulties! Please get your video, microphone, and programs all set-up well in advance and practice using them with friends and coworkers! That way if you come across any issues you can call over your techie friends to help you set it up and you’ll know how everything works before the big day comes. It is best to make sure you are super confident in the technology. You don’t want technology to be a stressor when you are trying to rock it!

#2 Customer Support

Summits aren’t an evening task. They take time. You will be out of office for a good period of time so who is going to hold down the fort and answer to those emails while you’re away? What all the offers or details you are selling? The people trying to connect but are having trouble? Someone needs to be on call for customer support. Your people want answers! Have help with your customer service, and make sure that person is in the loop of the product/service so they can best help your audience. Your customer support team is the first touch to the business. Make it great! Be sure to plan for this well in advance so you can relax during your summit and not worry whether your business will still be there when you get back!

#3 Design/Marketing Campaign & Promotion

Let’s face it, you’re not a jack of all trades, and you are definitely not a designer! Designing and digital marketing are really in-depth processes, and when they are done right, it is very successful! Leave this to the pros to help promote your virtual summit. This will be the face of your summit and you want to look professional and have eye-catching branding and design.

#4 Website & eCommerce

You will be busy planning content for your upcoming interviews and you’re not about to dive into all that code jumble! It is important that your summit/membership website and ecommerce for both are all set up and running correctly well in advance. Find a developer who can support you and execute this correctly. The last thing you need is frustrated customers who can’t buy your All-Access Pass which means lost revenue for you!

#5 Schedule Planning and Organizer

Different States, Countries, and Time zones – Oh my! The number of guests you will be interviewing during your summit may be shocking. Four to Five speakers will not suffice. Expect to be interviewing around 25-30 people in your industry. Trying to schedule and plan interviews with this number of people from all around the world is no task for you! Let someone else take this lead and set up these meetings for you.

#6 The Aftermath

Congrats you successfully made it through your summit, which means you get to jump right back into your normal routine. WRONG! You still need to consider sending out thank you notes to all the speakers and make sure your all-access pass members have sufficient customer support. Did they get their log-in information? Can they log-in? Can they access the content? This is where a customer support specialist will aid you otherwise you will lose your mind trying to answer all the tickets. Not to mention the thank-you letters…that’s 30 letters you need to write! Maybe that is best handed off to an assistant who can help execute those letters.

Whew! Exhausted yet? This is what I am saying, you need to enlist help to make sure the overall summit is outstanding and you look amazing. Make sure you have the right team in place to manage that-you can always contact us at Alpine Small Business Solutions.