This content is restricted to subscribers
Communication is one of those essential life skills that you learn through trial and error. Do people hear you? Are you confident in telling your story? Are you aware of your ineffective communication, if any?
Of all the skill sets necessary to be a success, communication ranks high. Think about it. Communication is the only way for us to share concepts, ideas, feelings or plans. It is how we tell others about ourselves. If you own a business, you communicate to attract the attention of new customers and support current customers. Communication is the currency of sales. Doesn’t that powerful thought makes you stop a moment?
If communication is related to financial success, then effective communication skills have a higher perceived value. Is one of your goals to be a financial success? A 1988 survey by D.B. Curtis indicated that the most valued skills in the “contemporary job market” are communication skills; this was based on the survey responses of 1,000 personnel managers.
Then how would you improve the way you talk to your customers, especially if you follow up on sales or speak with clients regularly.
Following-up shows others that they matter to you when you return phone calls promptly and allow time to talk and share. If you get an e-mail inquiry or complaint, respond to it quickly. If you receive a text asking a question, answer it right away.
- Your responses shape others’ opinions about your business or service.
- Your responsiveness sparks a positive emotional connection.
How you respond shapes their opinions of you and the reputation of your business. When you have a good reputation, you’ll find more opportunities. You’ll attract more customers. You’ll get repeat business from the customers you have. You’ll see invitations to joint ventures.
In short, you’re the strength of your reputation will allow you to get closer to your financial goals. What helped build that good reputation? It was your excellent communication skills built around a program of prompt follow through.
Success is achievable when you communicate efficiently and effectively. The seven primary communication skills include:
- Having empathy
- Showing respect
- Being open-minded
- Conveying confidence
- Providing feedback
- Having congruent body language
This content is restricted to subscribers
Successful entrepreneurs share several common features and traits, often developed through practice and perseverance. More than likely, you already have some of these traits if you explored becoming an entrepreneur.
- They Are Fearless – Few people are fearless. Most of us entrepreneurs, however, learn to push through boundaries and accomplish results through the fear. Fearless refers to being bold, spunky, and courageous. When my colleagues learned I wanted to train parents to help each other through coaching, they concurred that the need was great. The idea of peer-to-parent-coaching was bantered about through many discussions.
- They Make Actionable Plans – An entrepreneur makes plans that are actionable. Making plans, setting goals – that’s just part of the process. Doing is more important than any of that. When ACPI was discussed as a viable business, I had interviewed six people who had successful businesses, and their advice moved me forward to take action and devise a solid plan.
- They Understand Cash Flow – New entrepreneurs think that income is an indicator of success. However, the truth is that businesses fail even with adequate cash flow. Cash flow management is a critical element in running a successful business. Work hard to understand cash flow needs to be consistent, and also develop an additional financial account for backup. Believe me, just knowing an amount is set aside for emergencies, will keep you from being overly stressed. You will feel creative and excited to see the business evolve.
- They Know It’s Not About Them – You’ve heard the cliche before - the customer is always first. A new entrepreneur feels this and learns to separate his wants and desires from the customers’ desires. The customer should drive your products, services, and even price point more than your passions and dreams.
- They Aren’t Afraid to Self-Promote – As an entrepreneur, you have to let go of shyness and promote yourself. Become the expert. Be known as the “go to” person in your niche, You can’t get there if you are too afraid to be a self-promoter. Tip: Create something valuable that you’re proud of and it’ll be easy to promote it.
- They Take Action – Entrepreneurs are doers in addition to being people with good ideas. They know how to put ideas into action. They’re good at identifying opportunities, being innovative, and creating value to implement the ideas. To take action you need a clear vision, and you must be willing to overcome obstacles that get in your way.
- They Understand That Change is Inevitable (and good) – Every business that exists today will not be here tomorrow. Think how the past technology as VHS tapes have evolved. They don’t exist now, but businesses that kept their eye on the future adapted and started creating other types of storage like DVDs.
- They Listen – One skill that a successful entrepreneur has is the ability to listen to what their audience is saying. Open your ears and listen to other people’s ideas, listen to their criticisms and their desires.
- They Keep Learning – Knowing how to research and evaluate the market, their customers and competitors is a very important skill that they have honed. It will help them avoid making errors, and they’ll know how to best promote it.
Developing an entrepreneurial mindset and building your personal, business skills move you forward to fully embrace success.
My ideal client is between 35 and 65. She may be married or divorced with one or two children. She is middle class, educated, and lives in a middle-to-upper class neighborhood.
She has always been financially independent. She owns her own business or would like to have a part-time business of her own. She is discerning with money, though will rarely spend it on herself unless it’s for a practical reason.
She makes lists and likes to be able to cross everything off her list, even though there is often more there than she can achieve. She compares her achievements to others as a way of gauging her worth. She often is overcritical of herself and lacks compassion for herself, though finds it for others.
She grew up in an environment where she had to take on responsibilities too early, which forced her to put aside her creative, spontaneous side and lose touch with her own needs and intuition. As a result, she is an over-responsible, independent, strong adult. She is dependable and tries to be there for others, whether it is in her best interest or not. She is overly loyal and often takes care of others because she feels like she should because nice people do that.
She follows the rules. She lives a lot in her own head and is afraid of making the wrong decision. She is a thinker and analyzer. As a result, she has lost touch with her own feelings and needs.
She has difficulty setting boundaries with others until circumstances become extreme. When she does set a boundary, she feels guilty and often softens the boundary or changes it to suit the other person. She says “yes” when she doesn’t want to, then feels resentful. She doesn’t have a good sense of self-worth and therefore has difficulty honoring herself.
She’s unaware of her own values and using them as a way of navigating life or making decisions. She makes decisions out of fear or guilt. Only when she feels she’s been pushed too far will she get angry and lash out or finally give herself what she wants.
She is a busy person who experiences free-floating anxiety during quiet moments. She tries to get out of these feelings by staying busy, eating, or distracting herself with Internet activities. She is afraid to feel “negative” feelings for fear they will lead to something bad or shut her down completely. She is knowledgeable about positive thinking and feels guilty or fearful if she isn't thinking constructively.
She has a spiritual reference (God, the Universe, Spirit, Higher Self) and may engage in a spiritual practice. She has trouble with meditation because her mind is constantly busy. She loves self-help books, psychology, and spirituality (especially relationship books, Law of Attraction, and codependency). She loves to read or learn about these things so she can fix her problems. When an issue arises, a book or self-help source soothes her. She feels in control of the problem.
She is afraid to let go of control. She has difficulty relaxing and will often need to eat, drink, or distract herself with Internet use to relax.
She is constantly thinking about the future and the next moment. She’d like to have more fun or nurturing activities, but can’t give herself permission or justify them. She often feels overwhelmed and drained. Her feelings seem to vacillate between anxious and depressed.
She can be found working on her computer either from home or at coffee shops, running errands, and taking care of the people in her life. She enjoys bookstores and self-growth classes. She has a creative side, though it is undeveloped and not given priority. She has a worldly cause she believes in that she may or may not be aware of yet. She enjoys people and has friends, but doesn’t make relationships a priority – this can be because of lack of time or lack of energy.
She has difficulty trusting or being intimate with men. She often attracts untrustworthy or needy men. (Or this could describe her relationship to a husband.)
Her greatest desire is to learn to love herself. She realizes she doesn’t treat herself well and wants to change. Yet she feels caught in shame or guilt when taking steps toward this.
She is tired of feeling anxious and depressed. She wants to feel better about herself and her relationships but does not know how, despite the self-help books.
She is attracted to my sense of self-acceptance, non-judgment, safety, optimism, and trust in myself and a Higher Power for my safety and future.
She is ready to work with me because she sees my story and wants the balance and security I’ve achieved within myself. She feels seen and safe.
I offer her a place to begin to get to know her own feelings and emotions without fear. I show her how to feel her feelings in a way that will allow, heal them, and lead her to hear her own Inner Voice. She feels encouraged to listen to and take action toward her own needs and self-care. She experiences more self-love, self-compassion, and self-trust.
She feels more settled in her body and is able to feel good about herself and her decisions. When she makes a mistake, she sees the growth and good without shame. Though life may present her challenges, she feels more confident in herself and in life to take care of her. She is able to be with others in a way that allows her to be real and unafraid. She is able to lovingly set boundaries. Her relationship with herself and others are healthier because she is different inside. She now honors herself and is able to present with others in a way that honors them.
New ideas and desires arise in her as a result. She is more in touch with her body, needs, and emotions. She knows more of what she needs and where her limits are. She knows herself and how to take care of herself under stress. She has the resources, tools, and knowledge to handle her life. She can hear own Inner Voice and feels empowered to take risks towards what she desires.