Month: September 2014

Escape Your 9-5: How to Create an Exit Strategy

I have to give a disclaimer that this post is NOT intended to encourage you to quit your job and dive right into the world of entrepreneurship.  Before you do that, you must have a solid plan in place, and each individual’s situation will be different because there are different factors to be considered. Mogul in the Making - How to Create an Exit Strategy How many times have you said to yourself "This is it...this is the year I finally quit my job and work for myself full time?".  If you are currently working a 9-5 and building your business on the side, you know that it can be extremely difficult to juggle both (trust me, I've been there). If you are serious about making the leap and pursuing your entrepreneurial goals, there are some things that you will need to do to prepare yourself for the big change.  The most important of those things is to create an exit strategy, or plan to help you smoothly transition from employee to BOSS! Below, I outline 6 things to do when creating your exit strategy:

Set a date 

Setting a date gives you something concrete to work towards.  It’s not enough to just say, “I’m going to it my job in a few months…or next year”.  Put a date on it so that you will remain focused and working toward that very specific goal. SMART – Specific. Measurable. Attainable.

Create a Nest Egg 

You will want to make sure you save up enough money for you to survive on while you are building your business. As a rule of thumb, you should have a least 6 months of expenses saved while you are growing your business, just in case you do not get that influx of clients right away.  Also, factor in your marketing and monthly business expenses.
  • How much money do you need each month to cover your personal expenses?
  • How much money do you estimate you will need each month to cover the operational expenses of your business?
  • How much money will you need for one-time start-up expenses, such as incorporation fees, or new equipment?

Dream Job

Get the ball rolling

Start working on gaining clients and building a solid business foundation NOW. When your exit date rolls around, maybe you will be confident enough to actually follow through with it if you are already seeing results in your business.

Start Down-Sizing

Train yourself to live on the bare minimum while you are in transition.  As mentioned before, you will need to sacrifice now so that you will be able to live the type of lifestyle you desire in the future.  If you begin to down-size while you are working in bringing in an income, it will not be such a shock to your system when you are forced to do it down the line.

Start paying down debt

The last thing you need is a cloud of debt hanging over your head while you are building your business.  This will undoubtedly create stress and pressure, which may cause you to lose focus of your goals.  Mounting bills will make you want to abandon your business for the stability of a consistent and guaranteed paycheck.

Focus on the bigger picture

What is your ultimate goal? Make sure you consider the long-term effects of the decision that you are about to make.  Do you see your business as something that you can do for years to come, or is this something you’re thinking of doing as a quick money maker? How long will you give yourself to make the business work before you consider returning to work? Are you going to jump ship when things get rough?  How will this decision affect your family?  There are a lot of things to consider before taking the big leap.  Make sure you weigh all of your options carefully, think things through, and are confident that you are making the right decision for YOU. Remember, businesses are not built in a day.  They are built step-by-step. You have everything inside of you that you need to be successful.  Step up to the plate, stop playing small, decide what you want, create your plan, put your plan into action, and follow through with persistence.

Do you have an exit strategy in place? How much time, or what date have you set, for you to pursue your business full time? Leave a comment below.

To Your Prosperity and Success, Nikola Ahaiwe Business Success Coach | Marketing Strategist | Motivational Speaker Nikola Ahaiwe           P.S. Follow me on Facebook and Twitter for more valuable business tips, resources, and tools! If you found this post helpful in any way, don’t forget to share it with your network!

Want to join a group of savvy, like-minded female entrepreneurs doing BIG things in their business? Join the Mogul in the Making Mastermind Group on Facebook by clicking here.

   

MITM Entrepreneur Spotlight: Cherise B. Thomas

Today's MITM entrepreneur spotlight features Image and Style Expert Cherise B. Thomas, founder of White Diamond Image Consulting, a company that specializes in defining and enhancing their clients' personal and professional image.  Through her unique process called "The Diamond Life", Cherise and her team ensure that their clients have the tools, resources, and relationships in place to make a smooth, head-to-toe style transition to look and feel their best at all times. Check out her story...

Cherise Beasley

Name: Cherise B

Location: Atlanta Ga

Name of Business: White Diamond Image Consulting

Years in Business: 20 years as an entrepreneur in the Beauty Industry 11 years in my Studio Location

Are you a full or part time business owner?

Fulltime

Why did you start your business?

I always loved looking and feeling good. I love fashion, image, style and I knew owning my own salon and image consulting business would allow me to create an environment for me to share my gift with other women and empower them to look, feel, and do their Best. Image and Style Expert Cherise Beasley

What has been the most rewarding aspect of having your own business?

Helping other women reach their fullest potential in their personal and business lives.

What are your biggest challenges? 

For many years it was creating a solid, long lasting committed team of beauty professionals. I’ve finally recognized how to attract and create what I want by identifying and sticking to my standards.

What is the best business advice you’ve ever received?

Know your value and trust in it.  Keep business and personal separate.

Do you have a team or are you a one man/woman show?

I have a team. Image and Style Expert Cherise Beasley  

Where do you see your biz in the next 5 years?

I see my business going successfully global in the next 6 months.  I see taking my Signature event on a 5 city tour within the next year. I see a country wide tour within the next 2-3 years and setting up solid networks globally within the next 5 years.

What advice would you give to other Moguls in the Making?

First,  always respect others and their journey. Invite them to share their unique perspective and expertise with you.  Treat others only as you would want to be treated. Seek out a mentor.  Study, research and work hands-on in your industry. Commit yourself to do the small things daily that will keep you focused on your goals.  Affirm yourself. Speak what you want to yourself all day everyday until it's easy for you to speak it to others. If you don't love it and it doesn't love you, LET IT GO!! Commit to Looking and Feeling your Best daily.  Never settle for less. You are worth the best!!

For more information on Cherise B. and White Diamond Image Consulting, check her out online:

www.whitediamondimageconsulting.com

www.cheriseb.com

If you would like to be featured in the MITM Entrepreneur Spotlight, please email your request to info@nikolaahaiwe.com

To Your Prosperity and Success, Nikola Ahaiwe Business Success Coach | Marketing Strategist | Motivational Speaker Nikola Ahaiwe           P.S. Follow me on Facebook and Twitter for more valuable business tips, resources, and tools! If you found this post helpful in any way, don’t forget to share it with your network! Want to join a group of savvy, like-minded female entrepreneurs doing BIG things in their business? Join the Mogul in the Making Mastermind Group here.

5 Steps to Reaching Your Business’ Income Goals

So, you have a great business idea, you're very passionate about what you do, and you're working your tail off to make this dream of being a successful entrepreneur a reality.  There is only ONE slight problem: you're not making any money. Yikes! How to Reach Your Business' Financial Goals Although money may not be the only driving force behind starting your own business, let's be honest, it's an important one.  After all, you need money to pay your bills, support your family, and to create the lifestyle that you desire...and deserve! So how do you get on track to reaching your business' income goals? I've outline the 5 step action plan for you below:

Determine how much money you would like to make monthly

Set a specific, and realistic dollar amount.  How much can you truly expect to make in a given month.  How much do you need to earn to live the type of lifestyle that you truly desire? What do you need the money for: bills, savings, supporting family, vacations, etc. Factor all of those things in when determining your ideal monthly income.

 Create a detailed and specific plan on how you will reach this goal.

Start by asking yourself these very important questions:
  • How many days/hours per week do you want to work?
  • How many clients do you want to work with each week?
  • What is the average fee you need to charge to reach your income target? (Really break these down, especially if you offer multiple services/products)
  • Who is your target market/ideal client and how will you consistently place yourself in front of them?

Put it all on paper

Write the answers to all of the questions down on a sheet of paper. Example (let’s say you are a business coach): I want to coach 25 individuals at an average fee of $350 per month, so I gross $8750 per month.  My ideal client is a creative service-based entrepreneur who earn more than $60k per year.

Place your written statement somewhere that you will see it constantly

Read it aloud twice daily…first thing when you wake up in the morning and again just before you go to bed.  Constantly filling your mind with the things that you want, and actually "hearing" these desires, will keep you focused and dedicated to reaching your goal.

Make it happen

One of my favorite quotes is from the book, Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill.   It says “Wishing will not bring riches.  But desiring riches with a state of mind that becomes an obsession, then planning definite ways and means to acquire riches, and backing those plans with persistence which does not recognize failure, will bring riches.”  This means, once you decide how much you want to make, you will have to become almost obsessed in your mission to get it, make a solid plan to get it, and do not let failure be an option. There is a difference between wishing for something and being open and ready to receive it.  You cannot be ready to reach your income goals until you believe without a shadow of a doubt that it is possible for you to reach those goals.

What steps are you currently taking to consistently meet your business' income goals? If you're not reaching those goals, what do you think is holding you back? Leave a comment below.

To Your Prosperity and Success, Nikola Ahaiwe Business Success Coach | Marketing Strategist | Motivational Speaker Nikola Ahaiwe           P.S. Follow me on Facebook and Twitter for more valuable business tips, resources, and tools! If you found this post helpful in any way, don’t forget to share it with your network!

MITM Entrepreneur Spotlight: Amanda Loveland

Have you ever met someone who's personality was so magnetic that, after just one conversation, you felt that their happiness and energy seemed to immediately rub off on you?  That was my encounter with Amanda Loveland, founder of With Love, LLC.  If you watch any of her videos, follow her on social media, or have had the pleasure of meeting her in person, you'll know exactly what I am talking about! Amanda is passionate about helping people build and grow businesses that make a difference in the world...oh yea, and making money while they're at it!  She is well known for her unconventional approach to business that fosters dramatic and consistent results for her clients in record time. She is certified as a Dream Builder Coach through the Life Mastery Institute and as a Parent Coach through the Parent Coaching Institute. Check out her story...

Amanda Loveland

Name: Amanda Loveland

Location: Sherman Oaks, CA

Business Name: With Love, LLC

Years in Business: 5

Are you a full or part time business owner?

Full time.

Why did you start your business?

I decided to help people make money in their business after years of inconsistent cash flow, struggling to pay bills, and working my tail off for little reward. The defeat that comes after putting so much time, energy and resource into something that you love and seeing it flop is devastating, and I knew there had to be another way. I deeply believe that our income is a direct reflection of how well we’ve learned to serve the world, so the fact that I was making little to no money let me know I hadn’t yet figured it out. So, I made it my mission to impact the world in a positive way while generating an income that created a stable and freeing life for myself and my family. Once I did that, I realized how many other people needed help along that same path, so I started teaching. Amanda Loveland

What has been the most rewarding aspect of having your own business?

I have the privilege of hearing the messages people were born to speak before the rest of world ever gets to hear them. Until the world learns how magnificent you are, I’m the one who learns from you and soaks in every inch of your brilliance. I feel tremendously honored to be a part of the story right at the beginning, and stand next to people while they raise the baby that is their life’s greatest purpose. It’s miraculous.

What are your biggest challenges?

My greatest daily challenge is talking myself out of a second cup of coffee. In business, my greatest challenge is stepping back and allowing my message to spread like wild fire like it is capable of doing. Through my own anxiety, or need for perfect, or doubts of who I am, I slow it down. I know that my message is powerful, but I sometimes doubt myself in the spreading of that message.

What is the best business advice you’ve ever received?

The best advice I’ve ever heard is from my husband, just last week. “I think it’s time you start learning from yourself.” I spend so much time reading, learning, and asking out in the world to make myself the absolute best I can be, and I often need to step back and remember how genius I am, and that I was born to do this. No one else knows the things that I know or does the things that I do, and there’s a reason for that. Amanda Loveland

Do you have a team or are you a one man/woman show?

I have the best team of all time. My awesome assistant is my only regular staff person at this time, and I love her madly. I also bring in people for various projects, like website building (The Brand Gals are the shiz), event support, and graphic design. Crazy important members of my team are my accountability buddies who help me set and push to reach goals, my mastermind team which helps me to overcome my limiting beliefs and brainstorm ideas for business, and my best friends who listen to me vent without telling me to quit. I also consider my clients as being a part of my team – they inspire me every day to get up and keep pushing forward at a wildly fast pace. Without them, I wouldn’t be where I am today, and I’m constantly grateful for them.

Where do you see your biz in the next 5 years?

I see myself on stage in front of thousands of women in their 20s and 30s, spreading my message of being wealthy and changing the world. I also see myself as a published author. And, I imagine myself having an all-inclusive web platform for people desiring to build businesses that change the world, providing them the steps they need to do so along with connections and mentorship to help them along their path. More than anything, I see myself laughing and hugging, a lot.

What advice would you give to other Moguls in the Making?

Find no excuse why the world cannot be changed, and why you cannot do it.  

Amanda will be the guest speaker at tomorrow night's Mogul Meetup, teaching attendees unconventional ways to create MIND-BLOWING financial results in your business.  As a bonus, Amanda will be giving each attendee a copy of her 7-Day Sales Plan workbook to take home and work from the week following the event! Grab your ticket NOW! http://bit.ly/1x75yvK

September Mogul Meetup

For more information on Amanda Loveland, check her out online:

Website | Facebook | Twitter 

If you would like to be featured in the MITM Entrepreneur Spotlight, please email your request to info@nikolaahaiwe.com

To Your Prosperity and Success, Nikola Ahaiwe Business Success Coach | Marketing Strategist | Motivational Speaker Nikola Ahaiwe           P.S. Follow me on Facebook and Twitter for more valuable business tips, resources, and tools! If you found this post helpful in any way, don’t forget to share it with your network!

MITM Entrepreneur Spotlight: Katie Bressack

Today's MITM Entrepreneur Spotlight features Katie Bressack, founder of Balanced Beings,  a health and wellness company specializing in women’s health. Katie's mission is to inspire and support women so that they can live healthy and vibrant lifestyles!  She draws on her own personal health experiences to teach  simple and easy steps to create more wellness in your life. With energy, enthusiasm and passion, Katie motivates and encourages women to take that small step in their life to create a healthier, holistic lifestyle. Check out her story...

Katie Bressack - Health and Wellness Expert

Name: Katie Bressack

Location: Manhattan Beach

Business Name: Balanced Beings

Years in Business: 4 This November!

Are you a full or part time business owner?

Full time.

Why did you start your business?

I was a 28 year old living in New York city with a thriving career and active social network of great family and friends. I was happy, healthy and succeeding in all areas of life, that is until I found myself with a sinus infection. This was not just your run-of-the-mill sinus infection that can be treated with a cycle of antibiotics, but one that lasted for an entire year. Based on my happiness, continual hustle and bustle of city life, and career success at the time, I blindly assumed I was “being healthy” and kind to my body. What I failed to realize was that this perfectionist, type-A city woman was so full of stress, adrenaline and quick–fix medicine that I was unable to recognize that the lifestyle I was living was actually doing more harm than good and would be extremely detrimental and unsustainable in the long-run if I did not make some changes and fast! The first step on my journey to wellness was finding a holistic doctor to guide me through the process. I was fortunate enough to find a doctor that changed my life and I will be forever indebted to her. Her advice ironically enough, was extremely simple: Stop taking medicine that was just masking the symptoms and not actually fixing the problem and more importantly, relax. She gave me a prescription for a neti-pot, probiotics, yoga and meditation. While normally this stubborn New Yorker would have laughed at the idea of relaxation and natural remedies as a solution, I was so desperate to get over this year-long infection that I was willing to try anything. And so with this appointment, I had my “aha” moment with my health. From that day forward I vowed that life is too short to live that type of stress-induced lifestyle and I would never allow myself to get back to that place again. I started incorporating health and wellness into my life through meditation, yoga and an improved healthy diet amongst many other elements. Since then I’ve changed from an illness prone stress case into the woman I am today, and haven’t had a sinus infection for seven years. This experience entirely changed the trajectory of my life. I realized that in order to practice health and wellness regularly, I needed to permanently put myself in an environment that fostered this lifestyle. I decided to quit my high-stress job in New York, move to the South Bay, become a yoga teacher, return to school to become a Holistic Health Coach and launch my own health and wellness consulting business. It took me years to figure out the best way to take care of myself and my health and it is from my own experience that I draw inspiration to help women feel healthier and more joyful in their lives. Katie Bressack - Health and Wellness Expert

What has been the most rewarding aspect of having your own business?

What continues to inspire me is watching my clients transform their lives right in front of my eyes, one day at a time. It is the most incredible feeling to see all of the women I have supported feel so proud and comfortable in their bodies and dedicated to maintaining the new healthy and active lifestyle I’ve worked with them to create. I’ve seen so many of the women complete the program with so much increased confidence that they are willing to take risks they would never have considered before. For example, upon completion of her program, one recent client was so motivated to take life by the horns and not let another minute pass her by, decided to move to London to follow her dreams! It is women like this that drive me to run my business.

What are your biggest challenges?

My biggest challenge is managing all of my ideas! I get inspired so often when I am working with clients or just in a yoga class that I want to implement things right away, but that often gets in the way of growing my business with focus. What I have done is create a document where I can write down all of my ideas and when I have time I look at the list and see what would be the next best step.

What is the best business advice you’ve ever received?

That being busy doesn’t mean your business is growing. I often get stuck in the small every day details but what is most important is the big picture. If I sit at my desk every day writing blogs but I am not meeting new people, then my business might not grow.

Do you have a team or are you a one man/woman show?

One woman show. Katie Bressack - Health and Wellness Expert

Where do you see your biz in the next 5 years?

My online community Thrive In Your Body is flourishing and I have woman all of the world being a part of this online community where we have group calls and an online platform where we will all be supporting one another with our health and wellness journey. I will be holding retreats and my book Thrive In Your Body will be a New York Times Bestseller!

What advice would you give to other Moguls in the Making?

To always listen to your gut and keep moving forward. Set-backs and challenges are important and we learn so much from them and never ever give up!

For more information on Katie Bressack, check her out online at:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

 

If you would like to be featured in the MITM Entrepreneur Spotlight, please email your request to info@nikolaahaiwe.com

To Your Prosperity and Success, Nikola Ahaiwe Business Success Coach | Marketing Strategist | Motivational Speaker Nikola Ahaiwe           P.S. Follow me on Facebook and Twitter for more valuable business tips, resources, and tools! If you found this post helpful in any way, don’t forget to share it with your network!

7 Reasons Your Marketing is NOT Working (…and how to fix it!)

How to Create a Marketing Strategy

When was the last time you sat down and took a thorough look at your marketing plan?  Do you even have a marketing plan, or are you just flying by the seat of your pants, doing whatever you see others doing, or what you think you should be doing? Successfully marketing a business requires clear and concise strategic planning. If you are struggling to attract your ideal clients (you do know who they are, right?), your marketing efforts have not been working, and you’re not making sales, there are a few things that could be happening:

You are the hit it and quit it type

Now before your mind goes somewhere else, let me explain what I mean. If you post information about your business, products, and services in Facebook groups, Google+ communities, etc. (without interacting with the group) you are the hit it and quit it type. People will most likely NOT buy from you because a.) they don’t know you, and b.) you have not formed a relationship with them.  The sales process is an emotional one.  People buy from those that they know, like, and trust.  Yes, your products and services are important, BUT you will make more sales if you form a genuine relationship with your clients and make them feel as if you are the ONLY person with the solution to whatever problem they are having. So, stay away from BUY ME, BUY ME, BUY ME, that is the surest way to repel people away from your business.

You're inconsistent 

You’re really active on social media one week, then there’s crickets the next week OR you started blogging, then you seemed to fall off the face of the planet. Now, you have come to the realization that blogging and social media are NOT the way for you to get clients. WRONG!!! You have to be consistent if you want to see results.  If you do not stick with something long enough, you will never be able to determine whether or not it is working.

You’re not tracking your efforts

How can you determine if something is working or not if you are not tracking your efforts? Do you know where the bulk of your website’s traffic is coming from? Have you installed Google Analytics or another tracking service to check? How did your last few clients find you? You should be keeping some sort of spreadsheet, or come up with a system to track this information so you’ll know what’s working, what’s not working, and where to focus your time, efforts, and marketing/advertising dollars.

Your message is not clear 

What do you offer? What products/services do you provide? Are you clearly articulating that in your marketing message? Make sure that potential clients can easily understand what it is that you do or sell without having to guess or take extra steps to find out. If you offer multiple products/services that do not relate to one another in any way, make sure you separate the two.

You haven’t defined/are not speaking to your target audience

A common mistake that entrepreneurs make is thinking that EVERYONE is their client. While it may be true that any and everyone can use your product or service, when it comes to marketing, you have to speak directly to those clients that you envision yourself working with. How do they speak? Where do they hang out? How much money do they make? The answers to these types of questions will help you determine how to go about reaching them.  When putting together your marketing message, act as if you are talking directly to your ideal client, who is sitting right in front of you.  How would you speak his/her language? If you have not already clearly defined who your ideal client is, I highly suggest that you take a moment to do that before you continue in your marketing efforts.   Knowing this information will save you a lot of time and effort chasing after the wrong clients, and help you begin to attract the right ones!

You’re focusing on YOU, not THEM

Your marketing message should focus on what you can do for your clients. What results will they achieve after working with you? Why should they work with you instead of the competition? Let the answer to these questions be the focal point. Focus on what you can give.Your prices are too low

Your prices are too low

Pricing plays a big part in whether someone decides to use your services, but maybe not in the way that you think. Oftentimes, entrepreneurs will underprice their products/services because they think that is the way to “entice” clients. But, it actually works to the contrary.  It is all about PERCEIVED value.  You have to make sure that your client understands the value of what you do.  That should be reflected in the quality of your marketing materials and what they will receive in working with you. You should know your strengths and be well versed in the benefits of working with you so that you can call attention to it when selling your services. It’s one thing to want money…everyone wants more…but it is something entirely different to be worth more.  Show your clients that you are WORTH more. If you have been struggling with attracting your ideal clients, could use some help creating a strategic marketing plan, and simply aren't making the type of money you would like to be making in your business, we should chat! Email me at info@nikolaahaiwe.com to schedule a 20min complimentary discovery call to see how I can help you reach your business' marketing and financial goals. To Your Prosperity and Success, Nikola Ahaiwe Business Success Coach | Marketing Strategist | Motivational Speaker Nikola Ahaiwe           P.S. Follow me on Facebook and Twitter for more valuable business tips, resources, and tools! If you found this post helpful in any way, don’t forget to share it with your network!

September Mogul Meetup: How to Create MIND-BLOWING Financial Results In Your Biz

 

September Mogul Meetup

Join us for a night of learning, networking, and fun!

Get tickets here.

Not making the kind of money you'd like in your biz? Having trouble reaching your sales and income goals? Join me Tuesday 9.16.14 as I host the September Mogul Meetup at Rush Street Lounge in Culver City! Featured speaker, Amanda Loveland (www.amandaloveland.com), will be teaching you unconventional ways to create MIND-BLOWING financial results in your business! You will learn how to: - Develop your unique sales system to create a constant flow of client opportunities - Set financial goals, and define what you must do every day to achieve them - Sell quickly AND genuinely - Uncover the real reasons people say no, and what you must know to help them overcome it (and say "absolutely, yes!") PLUS... 3 unique tips for growing your business no matter how busy your life is. Each attendee will receive their very own 7-Day Sales Plan workbook to take home and work from the week following the event. Grab your ticket NOW! http://bit.ly/1x75yvK
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