Introducing Our New Referral Rewards Program

Budget-CuttingAs part of my 2013 marketing plan, I decided to devise a plan to reward those who help us grow our business by making it easier for them to grow theirs. So, I analyzed others’ programs, tossed around a few different ideas, and finally …

I’m pleased to announce our brand new Referral Rewards program!

Now, this program is not exclusively for new clients, as I found many such programs to be. Why would I choose to reward new clients and not those who are already contributing to my business success? That made no sense to me. So, instead, I designed it so that Referral Rewards can be included in our initial contract with new clients or as a contract addendum with our existing clients.

I also didn’t want to make the program overly complicated, and I didn’t necessarily see any point in putting an expiration date on it, since there is no limit to my gratitude for those who refer business to me 🙂

As a result, Referral Rewards is literally as simple as 1-2-3! Here’s how it works: (more…)

An Attitude of Gratitude

Wow! Since my last blog post on Thursday, I have been so humbled by the number of people who have chosen to share their own stories of stepping into their full potential by starting a business! (I’ll be sharing these inspiring stories in the days and weeks to come, so stay tuned…)

Many of you have also participated in my online survey, the responses to which are helping me to design and develop entrepreneurial training and masterminding that is relevant, meaningful and uplifting, and for this I say THANK YOU! Thank you for making my task easier 🙂 but more so for playing a valuable role in helping aspiring, new and even established entrepreneurs on the journey that is business ownership. It’s going to be so much more fun taking that journey together, by virtue of the programs I’m developing with your help!

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What a Difference a Year Makes

Last December 11, I posted an entry in this blog in which I announced Tim’s and my plans to pick up stakes and live a life of freedom and travel and writing and photography – and work from wherever life happened to take us. The reality – as is almost always the case – turned out to be just a bit different than what I originally had in mind. But 2010 has been a year of self-discovery and dream fulfillment, nonetheless.

In retrospect, despite the planning and logistics involved, it all seems to have happened while in a walking dream. Would it be a cliche to use the word “surreal”??

We did, of course, sell our home in New Jersey – in 32 days! – almost record time, based on the economic realities of the day. And with just five weeks between signed contract and scheduled closing, we did manage to find a place to live – 600 miles away – in just five days flat, and sell / donate / give away a lot of our excess “stuff” before packing up the moving truck and heading Downeast.

I know … it all sounds so easy, right?

But here’s the previously “untold story” of the big move …

I don’t mind admitting that I had a near meltdown on the actual day of moving. I was so exhausted, and although it LOOKED and FELT like we had been making outstanding progress during those five weeks, the reality of June 2nd was that “WE ARE NEVER GOING TO GET OUT OF THIS HOUSE!” (<<< That’s me wailing at 12 Noon)

Our “leaving the driveway” time had been set for 8 AM and somehow we found ourselves still emptying our Master Bedroom closets and packing up my jewelry in mid-afternoon (how could we have forgotten our clothes and my jewelry???) …

Felix, my traveling companionThe cat had been sedated since 10 AM (we still had hopes of leaving before noon, at that point), and I was casting sidewise glances at his pill bottle myself by 2 o’clock.

Throughout the afternoon, I was still running back-and-forth to our next door neighbor’s house to beg and borrow more boxes (the thousand I bought at Lowe’s not having been sufficient … don’t ask), and I was finally reduced to stuffing the remainder of our things into big green Glad trash bags. If stress were measured on a thermometer, my temperature would have been 212 degrees.

At one point, I begged Tim to just throw the mattress down on the living room floor and “Let’s just leave tomorrow morning!” Cooler heads (OK, Tim’s) prevailed, and we pushed on. I don’t think I’ve ever been more physically and mentally fatigued, although Tim had to be suffering more than I, as he did the lion’s share of the physical labor, in 90+ degree heat and humidity, no less.

Finally pulling away at 4 PM – Felix and me in the Eos and Tim piloting the can’t-fit-so-much-as-another-paperclip-in-here U-Haul – off we went to meet our future. I didn’t cry … OK, well, maybe just a little … but it was all over before we hit the New Jersey Turnpike. And no one knew (until now) except Felix, and he’s the most loyal cat in the world. (You never heard any of this from him, right?)

Owing to the late start, the original plan of a straight drive through was now out of the question. On the third check-in attempt (since the original plan did not include a stopover, I never looked up “pet-friendly hotels”), I decided it would be easiest to just sneak the cat into the motel, which we did. The next morning, he refused to eat the drugged food (loyal AND smart!), so we proceeded undrugged and uneventfully on to Bar Harbor. Well, except for the rain. Thankfully, I had gone ahead and hired people to unload the truck at our new place, after watching Tim struggle through loading a 17-foot moving truck virtually by himself for two full days. Those people were a Godsend, because by the time we arrived, we were just spent – the wind had gone completely out of our sails.

So, after dreaming about it for 21 years and putting every last waking moment of five weeks’ time into moving, we were home, and the main thought in my head was, “Oh my gosh … this is REAL!”

SeinfeldDespite the stutter-step of a 12-days-delayed closing and the very real threat that it would never happen at all (yes, AFTER we were already all settled in Bar Harbor! – but all’s well that ends well, I suppose), the hubs enjoyed (to paraphrase George Costanza), “The Summer of Tim” (c’mon, Seinfeld fans, you know what I’m talking about). This I happily participated in, since it entailed a lot of soaking up the bright sunshine and basking in seaspray along the rocky coast, living mostly like tourists in our new hometown, pursuing our shared interest in photography, and me with my laptop, hard(?) at work in the Adirondack chair on the front porch – every so often glancing up at the peak of Cadillac Mountain and pinching myself to see if it was all real. Yes, it was an idyllic existence that, quite literally, combined business and pleasure – with a decided emphasis on pleasure.

Fall brought on the inevitable realization that I needed to bring “break time” to an end and return to business in a serious way. Luckily, my part-time siesta did no long-term damage to my business or my professional reputation – on the contrary, this entire odyssey seems to have rekindled interest among some of my earliest clients while garnering new supporters, followers, and fans. This whole “following my dreams” and “living life on my own terms” thing seems to be resonating with a lot of people! In my heart of hearts, I think I knew it would.

Lately, however, the uncertainties of renting vs. owning have been weighing on us. Having been homeowners for our entire marriage, we’re finding it a bit disconcerting to have the end of a lease hanging over our heads. And a year goes by a lot faster when you’re counting down the months to potential homelessness. So, now we’re trying to decide: longer term lease or purchase a property here as a home base?

We still plan to travel some, hopefully beginning next year. The transformation of my business to being totally portable is complete, and I couldn’t be happier about that. I’ve taken on several new clients and secured a couple of contracts with previous clients since moving here, and the new business model is working really well for all concerned. So, in that sense, I am “living a life untethered,” as I originally planned. But what a long strange trip it’s been!

Horseback on BeachAs I look back on this year, my wish is that those who may be inspired by my crazy, ongoing story decide to grab the reins of their own life and ride on!

Yes, it’s a leap of faith, but if you don’t have faith in your ability to make your dreams come true, who can do it for you?

The Journey Begins …

I’m new to WordPress, so I’m hoping some of my Facebook friends, LinkedIn connections, and Twitter followers will help me out when need be — but I’m up for the challenge!

Until recently, my business focus has been on the homebuilding industry; however, my intention for some time now has been to expand my efforts to  help all kinds of entrepreneurs — whether they call themselves business owners, consultants, freelancers, independent sales professionals, whatever — to …

  • Start up new ventures
  • Brainstorm new products and services
  • Market to their target audience
  • Harness the power of new media and email marketing, and
  • Get and keep their businesses moving forward

Thus, the new WordPress website!

I will continue to serve the homebuilding industry with strategic marketing solutions and expert sales training / coaching / mentoring programs. But, we live in interesting times, to say the least – and the New Economy has created a huge number of New Entrepreneurs. So, whether you volunteered for duty or were “nudged” into it by circumstance, I’m looking forward to helping you do what I’ve been doing myself for the better part of 25 years now — identify your passion, marry it to your talents, and develop a satisfying business that allows you to live the lifestyle you’ve always wanted.

Is there anything better, really, than life on your terms?