Business Coaching Archive

You’re Thinking About Competition All Wrong

Posted February 1, 2017 By Callie

If you shiver at the word competition, thanks to ridiculous marketers who advise you to steer clear of what they call saturated niches – think again. The more competition you have in your niche, the better it is for you in building your business and promoting your product.

When you see lots of competition in your niche, it means that many people are buying in that niche. That’s not a bad thing for you. There are some reasons why you may need to change your thinking about competition.

It gets your adrenaline pumping. If you’re building a business and have several other marketers on your heels who are winning contests, promoting like crazy and who are challenging your sales quotients, it’s a great way to get energized!

A good challenge never hurt anyone – and even if the competition is ahead for a moment, you can make a comeback by getting yourself motivated and keyed up to kick them to the curb.

Let them make the mistakes. By spying on your competition, you can find out what works – and what doesn’t – for them. It’s a great way to adjust your own efforts so you don’t have to spin your wheels on something that’s been tried and is obviously unsuccessful.

Or, perhaps a promotion or launch from the competition is unsuccessful, but you think you can make it better by tweaking and adding your own touches to the idea. Make sure you don’t plagiarize. It doesn’t matter that they got the idea first – if you can improve on it, so much the better – as long as your stuff is 100% unique.

Competition helps you work and spend smarter. By observing others, you can monitor your own business to see where time and dollars can be saved. Some of their improvements may be great and some better left alone.

The competition may have spent money over something that seemed like a good idea at the time, but falls flat in actual implementation. Better them than you. Keep an eye out for their transparent commentary online.

Competition helps you know your target market. By watching the competition, you’ll be better able to zero in on your ideal customer rather than reaching far and wide to find an audience.

You’ll find ways to relate to an audience that your competition may have missed along the way and be able to better narrow down your customer base. When your time and efforts are more precise, you reap larger benefits.

Aside from the obvious learning from the competition what works and what doesn’t, you can establish relationships with them that let you share the bounty. Joint ventures, interviews, product reviews and social media sites are great ways to establish working relationships with other marketers and give and take to both your advantages.

You Can’t Sell Based on What People Say They Want

Posted January 29, 2017 By Callie

How many times have you heard people talk about sales copy and swear they can’t stand hyped up sales pages? Problem is, it’s those very pages that convert the highest – so someone’s either lying or unaware that deep down, hype is what makes them eager to buy.

The word hype is often thought to be derogatory and false, but there’s a difference between hype and lies. Hype can sell an idea and fire people up to buy – whereas lies only hurt you in the long run and turn people off forever.

So, the middle road is to offer a great deal, make it worth their while and make them pleased with the end results. People may say they don’t purchase from hyped up sales copy, but statistics show that’s not true.

Most people are drawn to online sales copy because it represents a dream or a vision they have and they end up willing to take a chance on the product – if it’s presented properly.

Hype can be something or some way that you do things. It’s either specifically a type of promotion or a way of promoting things with an exaggerated method. This is typical of what online entrepreneurs attempt to do when promoting products.

The thing to be careful about is that we’re not promoting blatant lies. It’s okay to grab an audience’s attention with bold and colorful prose as long as it doesn’t lead them to pay hard earned money for a product that’s not worth the time and effort that it took to write the hype.

People may say they don’t want to read through hype in a sales letter, but statistics show that most people buy based on information they received through the promotion – and sales letters in particular.

There are reams of information and research which show that consumers want to be coaxed into making good decisions by reading, listening to or viewing data that can make a difference in their future success, personal goals or in some way, transform them into the person they want to be.

Hype shouldn’t be about lies or misinformation, but should reflect the true value within the product you’re selling. Presenting it in a sales letter designed to attract and convince the audience to purchase is a tried and proven way to boost your sales and gain an audience you can depend on to purchase more from your site.

If in doubt, take a look at how the honest and successful online gurus promote their products. Chances are, you’ll find some sales copy which could be considered hype by some. Look at the value offered and decide for yourself.

Study the Technical Skills You Need to Succeed

Posted January 26, 2017 By Callie

Technical skills that are needed in online marketing, are often the one element that causes many people to turn and run away. It feels overwhelming and insurmountable. But you shouldn’t feel like you have to be able to operate everything all at once – don’t make this harder than it has to be.

Even if you have the money to outsource most of your marketing needs, it’s imperative that you know a bit about what’s happening when you outsource so that you’ll know if you’re getting your money’s worth and if what you requested is actually what you’re getting.

Other things you might think you need to outsource are really very simple and only need a few minutes to learn how. There are so many ways to get the help you need to perform some of the technical skills that will make you successful.

The learning process is never over if you’re an Internet entrepreneur. There are some specific basics you need to know so you’ll understand how to perform some of the online marketing techniques that are vital to your success.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) isn’t difficult, but if you’re new to the fray you may be intimidated by some of the phrases such as this. Much has been written (and videos produced) about this subject. Just do a bit of research to learn everything you need to know about SEO – and stay on top of it, because it’s always changing.

Pay Per Click Marketing is a technique that’s an important one to know about because it actually involves your money and sales. As with SEO, much is out there, both on the Internet and beyond which can help you learn this important facet of your business.

Organization of your data is crucial. There are many programs and apps available (some free) that can help you organize and retrieve information in a click or two. There are also ways to retrieve old data that may be in archives. Learn all you can about this important skill.

Website and page design can be outsourced. In the beginning you don’t have to spend lots of money on a professional web site designer. There’s a plethora of templates and basic help that will help you design a pretty good-looking site.

You simply need to understand a few basics such as color and how to design a layout using a grid template. But once you have money, make sure you hire someone to do the job for you.

Social media ins and outs are something you need to master. Believe it or not, social media sites have technical aspects you need to understand if you’re to make a success of your online business.

Most are little nuances that simply add to the social media experience. Lots of videos and tutorials exist about how to take the most advantage of social media sites such as FaceBook, Twitter and Reddit.

You don’t have to be a technical wizard to understand and use the workings of the Internet, but you do need to know how to install a blog, run an ad and write and send autoresponders – just to name a few. Take advantage of all of the information online and you’ll be good to go.

Stop Quitting on Small Milestones

Posted January 23, 2017 By Callie

There’s nothing worse than someone who begs to be taught how Internet marketing works, has others show them the ropes, and then quits on the implementation of those ideas.

Many new entrepreneurs come into the business looking to make huge amounts of money at first and forget about or quit planning the small goals that are going to take them to the top.

They want immediate gratification, but don’t want to waste time on the small stuff that sets them up for a better and more profitable success. When you’re concentrating on future endeavors, it’s easy to overlook the small ones that can set you up as a person who celebrates the small achievements.

Every goal realized is a good one to celebrate and pat yourself on the back for. Enjoy each and every moment of success that’s working to get you to the top. Celebrating small goals and milestones is a way to keep yourself motivated.

You don’t have to go overboard, but designating milestones that you believe are significant enough to celebrate is a good way to keep you working toward the next – and onward to ultimate success as a business owner.

Don’t make the milestones too far apart – or too close together so they seem insignificant. If you wait too long to reach a goal, you may lose interest or momentum. Try to plan on reaching small goals at intervals no longer than two weeks apart.

Make your milestones known to others. Let others celebrate your achievements with you and they’ll relate to you in ways that will make them get to know you and want to see what you’re all about and to purchase what you have to offer.

One of the major milestones to plan for is your first full year in business. Not many reach that important goal – and it deserves celebrating in a big way. New marketers will be in awe that you saw it through and encouraged by your determination.

The gurus will realize what you’ve given to get here to this monumental achievement and likely give you the kudos you deserve, especially if you’re making traction with your accomplishments.

Visualize the small milestones as bricks and one placed on top of the other will eventually lead you to the “building” encompassing all your hard work and meeting goals – even the small ones.

Eventually, you’ll be able to better plan the small and the large milestones and also have more knowledge of how to balance them. You’ll feel a greater sense of accomplishment when you reach the finish line if you recognize them along the way.

Systemize Your Business for Increased Earning Power

Posted January 20, 2017 By Callie

Being a hands-on entrepreneur is thrilling (if not a little overwhelming) at first. As you get your business off the ground, you become used to doing everything yourself.

Even when you start outsourcing to freelance individuals, you sometimes keep a tight leash on them to the point that you’re continuing to waste valuable time you could spend elsewhere.

When you’re too directly involved with the microscopic tasks of your business as it grows, your growth slows to a halt. Plus, you’re unable to free yourself from the day-to-day operations of the company, which means no sick time, no vacations – and no reward for your efforts!

As you grow your business, there will be tasks that it no longer pays for you to do yourself. You’ll end up losing money by trying to handle everything on your own. There is a great way to continually build a business if you systemize as much of it as you can.

What You Gain from Systemizing Your Business

It might cost you some money up front when you set your system in place. But you end up gaining a lot more than you spend. Implement the systemized process as early on as possible, so that you’re free to work on more profitable areas of your business.

The responsibility of making sure that the entire business runs smoothly is taken off your shoulders with systemization. Rather than losing money, a system can actually help keep your expenses lower and more manageable.

This will make a difference in your end result financially. One way that a lot of businesses lose money is by having overly capable people doing tasks that someone else can do at a lower cost.

For example, if you have a guy who makes $25 an hour do a task that someone else could do for $15 an hour, you will have lost $10 per hour for every hour the higher paid person works on the task.

If you’re the one that’s handling a task that someone else could easily do, then you’re losing profit by being hands-on in that area. You want results with your business, but you should find the cheapest, most efficient way to accomplish these results.

How do you know if you should systemize your business? That’s easy. Ask yourself this question. Am I feeling overwhelmed with menial tasks that take me away from more important areas?

If the answer is yes, then it’s time to start analyzing the automation potential your company has – as well as seeing what can be outsourced to other professionals. Don’t look at it as, “I don’t want to pay someone to do something I can do myself.”

Instead, think of it like, “I’ll pay someone to do this because I know I can increase profits if I’m freed up to focus on marketing and product creation.” Is the cost of what you’re outsourcing going to be worth the return you get? If not, then it might be something that should remain in-house.

How to Decide If You Should Systemize Your Business

Every area of your business has the potential to be systemized, depending on what the tasks are. The more often you do a task in your business, the greater the need for systemization.

Can you imagine a popular chip company that filled each bag of chips by hand? No conveyor belts, no machines to seal the bags or move them off the belt. The cost of running the business would skyrocket. You’d have to double the amount of manpower you had on the floor.

Take a look around your business to see what areas have a lot of tasks that have to be completed every day. These are usually some pretty mundane things that don’t require a lot of thinking.

For example, you might have a high volume of people who need help downloading the product they just bought. That’s a task that can be outsourced to a virtual assistant.

Or you might think of the time you’d need to spend learning how to set up an affiliate system and decide that paying the company to do it for you is worth it, since you could be focused on other money making projects while that’s being done.

By systemizing, you give yourself back time and money. Your business will tend to have fewer glitches during operation and you can improve the way that your business interacts with people.

Maybe you manually deliver every product to your customers online. Using a shopping cart systemizes your business, automatically delivering download links, capturing the customer’s name and email address, and adding them to your email autoresponder.

If you systemize, you can relax knowing that you don’t have to be there every single second of the day to ensure that everything is being done properly. Sometimes, business owners decide to systemize based on the complexity of the task versus how often it needs to be done.

Systems are a means of taking your place when you’re not there or are otherwise busy. Most business owners don’t realize that systemizing does more than free up time and make things run more efficiently.

It also makes your business more valuable. Think about it. If you have to be there in order for it to run, that means that once you need to do anything outside of work, everything will grind to a halt.

The business will become worthless if it’s not functional. You want to set it up in a way so that you can walk out the door, take some time off – and everything can run as usual.

Another reason to systemize is if you’re starting to notice that you’re letting your customers down. If you can’t handle the influx of customer service emails, then do your customers a favor and outsource it to a ticket system or a virtual assistant who can prioritize and handle that for you.

Once you’ve made the decision to systemize, you’ll want to decide which particular parts of your business you’re going to do that with. Some business owners choose to systemize only small portions while others choose to systemize anything that they possibly can.

Deciding whether or not this is right for you will depend on the system that you choose. Some of the systems are fairly simple and easy to implement. The simpler the system is, the less costly it will be.

However, you might be better off paying more for a high grade system – even if it costs more – because usually the more the system costs, the more benefits it offers a company to use it.

The System You Currently Use

There are a lot of businesses that do things a certain way because it’s been handed down from generation to generation. Nothing has changed or updated in the many years of doing business – even if it takes more time and effort.

Then there are businesses that had to start on a shoestring budget, so they had to keep the costs to a bare minimum. The owner had to devise a system that could work on the limited budget that was available.

Here’s the good news. Some of those limited budget plans and ways of running your business are good just the way they are. If something is working okay for you and getting the job done and you have good client satisfaction, then you don’t have to make any changes just for the sake of change.

Remember that systemizing a business is always done for a purpose. Some of these reasons could be for improving operations, offering better customer service, making an increased profit, following new guidelines and creating more productivity.

If what you have can’t be markedly improved on in any of those areas, then you should leave it alone. Take some time and pay attention to how each of your systems operates.

Write down how each area of your business performs and how it’s possible that it might be better handled. For example, if you have a business with hundreds of incoming emails every day, but only one person responding to them, you can bet that your business can improve its customer service if you add a more efficient system.

Once you have an overall picture of how your systems are operating, you’ll be able to see which ones could be changed to make your business more efficient. Even if you can’t make all of the changes that you’d like to make at once, start by making the changes that you can.

Choose which area of your business should be systemized first based on the burden it’s causing or the profit potential it has, and go with that one. Establishing a system that works right for your business might involve some trial and error – but the improvements will be worth it in the long run.

The Main Parts of Your Business to Focus Systemization On

Ordering and inventory is a good place to check for potential automation. If you have tangible products, then you’ll be handling orders as well as inventory at some point.

This can take a lot of time – unless you have automated delivery systems in place and automated inventory checkers. This allows your computer systems to do the time consuming tasks that can really add to your hours.

You save money by having a system that can handle anything you need to keep in stock. When you make a sale, you need to make sure that your business is systemized.

For example, if you have an online business and you sell information products, every time you make a sale, you have to send it out. If you’re only selling one or two of these a day, then it’s not a big deal.

But as your business grows, you could get hundreds of orders every day. To take the time to manually send out each order would not only keep you chained to your computer, but it wouldn’t be a very efficient way of doing business.

Plus, you have to take into account how the customer feels. If you might not answer the order for a digital product for 2-3 hours, your customer will feel frustrated that you don’t have an automated system in place to send them the product instantly.

Handling the money is another area of automation to consider. By systemizing your business, you can set it up so that when a customer orders, the system takes the payment and sends the product.

This frees you up to continue to make other items or to work on different tasks. You have to have a way to keep track of all kinds of payment options. You need to know what amounts come in and what amounts go out.

If you can’t find the record of someone who says they bought your product, but now they want a refund, you could lose money by being forced to trust that customer’s word if they don’t have proof of purchase. Or you could risk damaging your business reputation by refusing.

When you systemize, every order is documented, as are the refunds. Having a system in place can keep up with payroll, with the deposits you make for the company, petty cash and with the company expenses that you have to pay and more.

Keeping up with invoices and making sure that your employees are paid correctly falls under a system that handles the money. So you want to make sure that whatever you use for that is systemized.

Customer service is an area that you really do need to make sure you systemize. Without happy customers, your business will suffer. You want to make sure that from the moment a customer contacts your company, they experience a convenient and easy way to get their needs met.

This won’t happen if you have a ticket system that alerts you to high priority situations, or a virtual assistant who handles incoming customer communication as it occurs.

With systemization, you can have a cordial, professional greeting that your customers receive on autopilot, letting them know you received their inquiry.

You always want to make sure that you’re continuing to generate interest and income for your business. This means that you have to keep those leads coming in for future profits.

You can’t do that unless you’re reaching out. If you’re trying to do everything yourself or you’re having others do it manually, you could miss out on reaching more potential customers.

You have to bring in customers to keep your business thriving. By systemizing the lead generation process, you can be acquiring new business while you work on other things.

Even when your business is closed for the day, and you’ve taken off to recover from an illness or to have a day out with your family, a systemized tool such as an autoresponder opt in form paired with an online ad campaign can let your business keep working automatically for you.

You can systemize in other areas of how you brand yourself and connect to your audience, too. There are tools that help you schedule content, run ads, and launch new deals to your customers – without you having to be there helping it all unfold.

Implementing the System

Change can be a difficult thing for people to embrace. Whether it’s you struggling with the new and improved system, or your customers having to get used to a new way of interacting with you, be aware that there may be an adjustment period.

Make sure that when you systemize your business, you let your audience know how it works. Take the time to explain the changes and why it will be beneficial for everyone if it’s done this way.

When you set up or arrange to have your system in place, pick a day of the week and a season that you’re not scrambling to complete a project. You don’t want to add any unnecessary stress if you can help it.

Everyone who needs to use the system needs to understand how to operate it. Confusion can cause a lot of setbacks and you don’t want that. It might take you or your outsourcers a few days or weeks to get the hang of a new system.

Allow time for this. Don’t implement something the day before a brand new launch – where you and your customers will experience a lot of frustration if there are glitches or confusion happening.

Once your system is set up and operational, you’ll want to do periodic spot checks to make sure that it’s working the way that you want it work. If it’s causing more time and hassle because it’s too complicated, then obviously, the system isn’t working for you.

Systemizing a business is intended to make life easier for you as you run your company. If it doesn’t do that, then it needs to be tweaked or changed. Sometimes there’s a simple fix, and other times, you have to chalk it up to a loss and find a replacement.

The goal with systemizing your business is ultimately increased profits. Every change you make, you should analyze the return you expect to get from the new way of doing things.

For instance, if you hire a virtual assistant part time and pay her $20,000 a year, then you should expect to see your profits shoot up more than $20,000 per year because she’s now handling the drudge work and you’re able to focus on money making efforts.

Sometimes, an entire area of your business can’t be automated. But a portion of it can. You need to map out the entire process of each area of your business and see if there’s anything you can plug in to automate a portion of that task.

For example, with blogging – you may want daily content for your blog because the traffic it generates leads to more opt in subscribers, and ultimately, higher profit margins when you have products to sell to your list.

You might use two areas of automation for this one task. First, you outsource the writing to a freelance ghostwriter. And second, you use the built in scheduler tool on WordPress to post the blog for you. There are even tools that can add the blog link and message to social media accounts for you.

Not all of the blogging process is automated. You still do the brainstorming, add your unique personalization to the content, and upload the item to your blog. But even those can eventually be automated if you find your own talents to be more profitable if you focus on product creation and let a virtual assistant handle the daily blog tasks.

Don’t be afraid to let go of control of your business. It’s a necessary part of the growth process. Find people and tools that you can trust – and don’t be afraid to replace them if you find they’re not working for you.

Start Looking Forward to Failures

Posted January 20, 2017 By Callie

Have you been so terrified of failing, that you feel it’s preventing you from moving forward – or even getting started with your online efforts? For scientists and medical researchers, failure can be a good thing.

It means another vital experiment has been eliminated and they can move on to the next. Sometimes, it’s just a numbers game – you have to have a certain amount of failed experiments before you arrive at the one that’s going to make a difference.

It’s safe to say that everyone who has become a great success have a few failures under their belts. The difference between them and those who aren’t successful is that the successful learned from their failures – and the others simply accepted failure and gave up.

What doesn’t work is in the past – and what does work can propel you on to future success. You may have never thought of looking at failure as a good thing, but when you fail, it means you’re working hard on your business endeavors and tweaking your system so that it will eventually run like a well-oiled machine.

And what worked for one entrepreneur may not work for another. Find your niche and develop it rather than being a copycat to others. When you give yourself permission to succeed – you also give yourself permission to fail.

As you try new things and ideas, not all of them will come to fruition, but now you know what works and what doesn’t. It’s the only way to know for sure. And the more you try and fail, the more likely it is that you’ll hit the jackpot along the way and that one of your ideas and endeavors will take off.

Some top entrepreneurs agree that if you succeed in everything you try, then you’re failing in the big picture because you’re not taking enough risks. The very nature of an entrepreneur means that risks need to be taken.

Many are sure to fall by the wayside – as you can see in the pop up businesses in Silicon Valley. There are huge successes there – but, look closely and you’ll see many dreams failed and abandoned.

Those who stuck with it rose beyond the failures and are the big successes you hear about. One thing that’s imperative to remember about failure is that there are two types: Honorable and Incompetent.

Honorable failure means you attempted honestly to try a new or different way to do things and the attempt failed. Incompetent failure means you failed because you didn’t put enough effort or action into the attempt at success.

When Thomas Edison tried time and again to invent electricity, he had numerous failures – but when people asked him why he had so many failures before he found a method that worked, he said that he didn’t consider the experiments to be failures – they were simply discoveries of methods which didn’t work.

Keep trying and look forward to those failures – they’re what will eventually point you in the direction of success. Plus, it makes you more of an expert in marketing because you’ll be able to say what works, and what doesn’t.

Spying on fellow marketers? Is that ethical? Yes, it is – and it’s perfectly acceptable to take a peek at which products other marketers are promoting – and how. By keeping abreast of others’ promotions, leaderboards in contests and who is doing the most promotions in your particular niche, you’re giving yourself more knowledge to plan ahead.

When you see other marketers who are consistently ahead in contest leaderboards and are promoting products in your niche, you’ll know how to reach out to them, what to offer and how to gauge your commissions, bonuses, create contests and much more.

Keep in mind that others marketers are likely spying on you – or will be – especially if you’re one of the leaders in your niche. There are several ways to get to know your fellow marketers and get into their minds to see what they’re planning.

One is to get on their mailing list and social media accounts such as Twitter and Facebook. These simple acts are very effective methods of staying up to date on the competition and assessing how to gauge your own social media sites.

After you’re better informed about their products and promotions, you can offer fantastic perks to them such as contests, free bonus reports, increased commission and much more.

So your research can benefit everyone. You’ll want to become respected by others – to cause other marketers to want to become your affiliate. Remember that other marketers will be spying on you, so always be truthful about your earnings and your marketing strategies. If you engage in black hat promotions, fess up before they find out.

When you set yourself up with other affiliates, you’re increasing the likelihood of more traffic to your site – and more conversions as a result. Chances are that your affiliates’ target audiences are much the same as yours – only gathered with different methods.

You can learn so much from watching your affiliates’ strategies about what to do next in your own business. Forums and blog posts are great ways to get to know prospective affiliates and get their scoop on marketing methods and strategies.

Also, make sure you join in on any podcasts and interviews, watch their videos and join in their contests. Invite others to your own podcasts and interviews – and make the subject matter interesting with some engaging discussions.

By joining and getting to know each other, you’ll find many who are receptive to you and your common thread of interest and can join together to create affiliate programs that are worth your while.

When you look at the amount of content required – on a daily basis – for your online business, it can be overwhelming, especially if you think you have to do it all by yourself.

What often happens is newbies get skimpy. They slap up the minimum amount of content required. This fails to help you build trust and relationships with others – you need content – with personality – and a lot of it.

You’ll need content for all aspects of your online business – info products, blog posts, social networking posts, email autoresponders, opt-in reports, bonus reports, product reviews, sales copy and much more.

But, there are ways to lighten the load if you’re willing to use them. They’re the methods that the gurus use and they work if you do it right. You’ll be able to lighten the overwhelming amount of content necessary to grow your online business and get the most from your time, effort and money.

Plan your content meticulously. Without a content plan, you’ll be frustrated and won’t get the most out of your time devoted to the content. Your plan should include an outline of all of the content you’ll need for a certain time period, what you want to include in the content and a deadline for getting it out there.

Don’t rush the plan. Take your time and make sure it’s right. It’s better to do one thought provoking blog post each week than to slap up seven posts that are light on personality, details or value.

Writing and editing is something some marketers hate about this part of their online businesses and they outsource it to more qualified writers. Even though you plan to outsource, you should still know some writing and editing basics so that you’ll know if you’re getting what you need (and your money’s worth) from the writers.

It’s good to have a working relationship with a writer that you trust and who knows your style and is familiar with what you require. Look for someone whose portfolio or talent enables them to speak “for” you online with minimal tweaking.

Outsourcing will certainly lighten the overwhelming amount of content needed for your business. There are freelance writers who specialize in writing online content. Just make sure you don’t go for the cheapest writer or you’ll end up putting more time into it than if you did it yourself. Choose one who is recommended and who has some experience.
The great go-to resource for online entrepreneurs is private label rights content and you can find PLR on just about any subject. They’re remarkably inexpensive and can be purchased in bundles. You can then change the writing to reflect your own subject matter or ideas – and put your name on it to use online.

Before you hand your content assignments over to someone else, make sure you’ve thoroughly researched the subject and are very clear about what you want. You may want to offer websites or other writings for research and inspiration.

Don’t be overwhelmed at the amount of content needed for your business – just be creative and find different ways and means to get what you want for the least amount of effort.

Having a healthy self-esteem means that you have confidence. You feel sure in what you can do. You like who you are as a person and you respect yourself. It means that you can see the value of being you.

Self-esteem is important because how you view yourself guides what you believe and how you feel. It also impacts how others feel about you. Unfortunately, there are leeches that can latch onto your self-esteem and drain it dry.

You want to protect yourself against these kinds of people, and sometimes, that means making the difficult decision to distance yourself from people who are close to you.

The Negative Leech

This is a leech that can be found in conversations. You can recognize it because this leech will try to make you feel bad about yourself. The words sound okay, but are said in such a way that they erode how you feel about yourself.

An example of a conversation leech would be, “Your dress is beautiful. It would look better on you if you’d lose a few pounds.” This is the sucker punch conversation.

The first part of it was kind and so you were relaxed and open. The blow came next – and many people are caught off guard. It affects the self-esteem because we internalize it, making what was said about us – instead of the person who said it.

You can get rid of leeches like this by saying in return, “That’s kind of personal. Why would you say something like that?” A leech can only walk away with your self-esteem if you allow it.

People who tell you that you’re ugly, or fat or stupid or worthless are self-esteem leeches. Don’t give them another second of your time. Don’t put up with these types of comments.

You’re not their beliefs. Those statements are a reflection of them, not you. But what’s worse than those kinds of negative leeches is when we become our own negative leech.

We tell ourselves that we’re ugly or fat or stupid or worthless. We erode our self-esteem ourselves. No one is born with this kind of self-talk. We learn it from a self-esteem leech.

Once you adopt their behaviors and you’re saying this kind of stuff in your head every time you have to make a decision, you find your quality of life deteriorating rapidly.

The Social Media Leech

This has become a huge leech and it’s growing bigger and sucking the self-esteem from millions of people. Social media opened the door for so many people to become leeches.

They bully and they tear down others, they drain away at the self-esteem of others in order to build themselves up. They say snarky comments to people that sting way down deep.

Most people take the comments of perfect strangers to heart and don’t take the time to recognize the comments for what they were – the attitude and actions from someone who doesn’t have the capacity for online maturity.

You have to ignore comments that try to tear you down on your social media sites. There are many people who consider themselves expert trolls – whose sole purpose is to cause friction online. It’s their form of entertainment.

Social media can be a self-esteem leach if it causes you to look at someone else’s life and wish that were your life. What you need to remember is that social media presents a false balance of life to the world.

You only get a peek at it. The perfect house, the perfect family, the smiles and laughter and heavily edited photos don’t show the true picture. Don’t let these false representations tear down your self-esteem.

A lot of social media is embellished because people find it easier to present a better version of their lives – and it often greatly differs from reality. Keep in mind that many people are too self-conscious to speak up about the sad side of their lives.

The Mistake Leech

You wouldn’t be human if you didn’t make mistakes. Some people make a lot of little mistakes, while others make mistakes that are pretty big. But you must realize that the mistakes that you’ve made do not define who you are.

They’re not a picture of your future. Mistakes are simply something that happened that can offer you the opportunity to learn from the situation. The leech presents itself in this area by not allowing you to move on.

When we make mistakes, it’s often those closest to us who won’t let it go. They remind you of your mistake and it can feel like they’re rubbing your nose in it. They remind you how you tried to start a business and failed, how you ruined your finances, how they warned you that the guy or girl you were crazy about was bad news.

These mistake leeches can be hard to take, but even more so when you’re the one putting the mistake leech on yourself. You remind yourself about how you failed.

How you wish you hadn’t done what you did. Get rid of this self-esteem leech once and for all by telling yourself that it’s over and you’re moving on into the right direction.

Tell others the same thing if they keep bringing it up. Don’t drag your mistakes around with you and don’t let others pile them on you, either. Take a firm stance against having the past thrown in your face to knock you down as you try to better your life.

The Approval Seeker Leech

Some people have a laid back personality. Others have a more forceful personality. Both can have strengths to offer. But the problem arises when someone with a stronger personality decides what your life should or shouldn’t be.

They try to make it so that you have to seek their approval in every aspect of your life. When you try to do something on your own, they’re quick to tell you why that won’t work and how it’s not smart of you to attempt it.

What this does is erode your self-esteem until you’re driven to come to them for advice and help with whatever you want to do in life. These kinds of leeches keep you dependent on them for your happiness (and theirs) and you surrender control of your life to them in return.

You don’t need approval to be who you are and to live the kind of life you’ve always wanted. Your actions are your own and you’re smart enough to reach for your dreams without having to seek approval.

If you don’t know the way that you should go, take a deep breath and relax. You will learn. You are capable. You don’t need anyone else’s stamp of approval for your path.

The Comparison Leech

This nasty leech is one that we put on ourselves and we all have trouble with this one. It can erode self-esteem pretty quickly and leave you feeling unhappy with your life – even if you have a pretty good one.

This leech makes you feel like you’re not doing a good enough job with handling your life because it fails to measure up to someone else’s. Even a multi millionaire can suffer from this as he compares himself to a multi billionaire.

The comparison leech piles on us when we feel jealous of someone else. We can experience jealously because they appear to have a partner or spouse who treats them better.

We can feel jealously because their house is nicer. Their car is newer. Their clothes are more expensive. Maybe they have a better job. Perhaps they can afford to do home renovations that you wish you could do.

They get to take lavish vacations to places that you’ve dreamed of going. This kind of comparison robs you of living your life. You don’t know what’s going on in someone else’s life and looking at it from the outside can often give you a distorted view.

It could be that you have more freedom than they do. That you’re not in debt like they are, that you’re not dealing with the emotional situations they’re hiding from the world. You never know what’s truly going on with someone else.

Get rid of this leech by recognizing and being grateful for the good that you have in your own life. Refuse to allow negative feelings to tower over someone else’s seemingly good fortune.

The What Others Think of You Leech

This leech steals self-esteem. We assume that people are thinking thoughts about us that are less than kind. We believe that they’re having conversations and our names are cropping up.

In these conversations, nothing good is being said. They’re surely discussing the way that we look. They’re talking about how poor our products are. They’re discussing rumors they’ve heard about us.

Believing this makes us feel self-conscious and awkward. It robs us of what could be beautiful friendships and new opportunities because we shy away from these people or we keep them at arm’s length – afraid to say or do something that will give them more fuel to think about us or talk about us negatively.

You can get rid of this leech by realizing that other people really aren’t dwelling on you or your life. Everyone is far too busy to keep up with someone else’s life. They have all they can handle with their own.

So don’t let yourself dwell on what you think others are saying. Worst-case scenario, you’re right – they are ridiculing you. So what? Other peoples’ opinions have no place in your life.

The Perfectionism Leech

This is the leech that will not allow you room to truly live. When you allow this leech to attach to your life, you don’t leave room for much good because what happens is this leech brings with it the waiting game.

You have to wait until everything is perfect for you to make that move personally or professionally. You don’t take chances with new ideas or ventures because perfectionism doesn’t welcome mistakes.

You can begin to develop an all or nothing mentality. Perfectionism is a terrible leech because it can leave you feeling bruised inwardly. You’ll beat yourself up every time you make a mistake.

And since you will make mistakes as long as you’re breathing, you’ll go through life thinking that you’ll never be able to do anything right. The perfectionism leech will convince you that you will never be good enough.

You’ll walk around believing that you’re a failure before you even attempt to do anything. This leech keeps many people stuck in a life of wanting more but never having it because you would have to risk failure.

The Drama Leech

These are leeches that take from you, destroy your self-esteem and make you absolutely miserable. Many people are familiar with these leeches in their personal life.

They understand that people who take and never give back aren’t good for them. With a drama leech, whatever is going on their life is absolutely the most important thing – and you must help them deal with it immediately.

You have to put your personal or professional life on hold in order to bolster them up, and keep them from going under. If you do, you get sucked in every time they need you.

This destroys your self-esteem when it reaches the point to where you can’t be there every time they need you because it’s impacting your life negatively. Your significant other isn’t happy about the amount of time the drama takes you away.

You miss work or you can’t concentrate on work because the drama leech is wrecking your time or taking over your thoughts. Your boss tells you that you’re just not cutting it at work any more, or a business partner feels let down by your lack of focus and commitment.

To deal with this leech, you have to understand that for some people, drama is a lifestyle. While it may be true that they have problems, even a ton of problems, if you’re always the one that rescues them, you’ve entered into a co-dependent relationship.

This drama usually comes from toxic friends or family – but it can also be people in your professional life – and if you don’t rush in to rescue them, they turn on you.

They’ll say that you’re not doing enough to help them. You’re not loaning them money, holding their hand, rushing over every time they call. They’ll slap ugly labels on you or tear you down.

You don’t have enough empathy. You’re mean. You don’t love them enough. How can you be so selfish? When they say negative things about you, you can begin to believe the problem is you.

Especially if you’re dealing with several family members or professional acquaintances in a group who are drama leeches, it can be a big drain on you emotionally and physically.

When you’re always putting out fires for others and you realize someone is leaning on you too much, put your foot down and become unavailable so that they’re forced to handle things themselves – or find someone else to turn to instead of you.

Yes, they’ll be frustrated in you. They may even lash out. But that’s because they’re not comfortable handling their own life obstacles. You don’t want to enable them anymore.

The Disempowerment Leech

When your self-esteem is strong, you can speak boldly and with confidence about who you are and what you do or want from life. Disempowerment happens when others don’t value what you do or what you want.

For example, for the person who wants to go to an Ivy League college, for someone else to say, “Oh they let anyone in there now” devalues your hard work and effort.

It steals your sense of accomplishment and pride. But you can also put this leech on yourself. For example, if you’ve always wanted to run an online crafts business and someone asks you want you do, if you downplay it, that can begin to deplete your self esteem.

Don’t downplay your accomplishments or make light of your hard work. The problem that this leech causes with your self-esteem is that it can affect your perspective.

You can recognize if you’re disempowering yourself by how you speak about yourself or your life. If you say, “I wish I could start my own business,” this is a disempowering way of thinking. Instead, change that to “I am starting my own business.”

The Conforming Leech

This is the leech that looks at how things have been done and doesn’t see a way to do it any differently. Its strength is found in tradition, in the way that things have always been done instead of the way that things can be done better.

This leech erodes your self-esteem by insinuating that your ideas are foolish – that there’s no way they’ll work because no one else has ever been able to accomplish that.

You can talk yourself out of trying anything if you allow the conforming leech to dictate what you do or don’t do in life. You might hear this referred to as the road not traveled.

The reason the road isn’t taken and new ventures sometimes don’t get off the ground is because people are afraid to stand out – afraid to run with an idea that others say can’t be done or is different from the norm.

When you have an idea and you tell yourself that it’s foolish or you allow others to convince you that it’s foolish, your self-esteem takes a hit because you can start to believe that you’re not as smart as others who’ve found success.

Start believing in innovation again. That’s how life changes for the better. Stop putting limitations on yourself and free yourself from all of the chains that bind you.

Quit Seeking a Support System

Posted January 11, 2017 By Callie

Are you someone who almost can’t do a thing with your business without running to another marketer to clear it first? This isn’t elementary school – you’re a grown entrepreneur, and you have to take full responsibility for your trials and errors – but you also get to claim your successes.

You have to eventually know that there’s no one out there who will support you like you. When you became a solo entrepreneur, you chose the life of taking responsibility for your own success or failure.

While it’s okay to ask for help when you need it (especially when it comes to technological issues), you also have to seek help and knowledge on your own so you’ll learn how to discover solutions when no one’s available.

You don’t want to be known as one of those newbies who emails everyone about basic issues that are already discussed online for free. This happens routinely, and it’s not fair to the marketer whose time you’re wasting, when a simple Google search for a “how to” video would show you clearly what steps are involved for your trouble shooting issue.

Learning about and solving problems is the best way to create knowledge that will stay with you forever. That doesn’t mean you can’t have a supportive mentor or a go-to person that you seek advice from, but all of the advice and coddling in the world isn’t going to help you unless you help yourself.

Are you the personality type that quits and runs at the first sign of trouble? Or, perhaps you give up when you’ve gone through everyone on your go-to list for help. Panic sets in and you think you’re never going to figure out a problem or make it to the next level in your business.

This is the time when you need to stop. Walk away from the problem for awhile and do something else. Many times our brains become overloaded with information and statistics and need to be rebooted to catch the signal again.

Rather than criticizing and letting negative self-talk convince you that you’re dumb or inept because you can’t solve a problem, try boosting your self-esteem. There are several good ways to do that, including reading about people you admire.

It can be someone in history or someone in your family or group of friends. What do they do when they have a problem to solve? Chances are, they took action – by gathering knowledge they needed to find a solution or starting all over.

Validate yourself. Think of all of the positive things you’ve done in the past to garner admiration from others. You’ll likely find that many people admire you and look to you for their own support.

Ask yourself what you need. What do you need at this moment to help you find a solution to your problem? It may be that your body needs energy or your brain needs a rest. Give yourself what you need to complete goals and realize ultimate success.

Most of all – realize that you’re not perfect. You’ll make mistakes and you’ll seek help from others. Just don’t forget that the buck stops with you and only you can fulfill the dreams and goals you envision for your future.