Do You have a Pot of Gold?

This week’s guest post is by Jan Schochet, CEO and Founder of Work Vibrant, a coaching, mentoring, content and teaching company that focuses helping women entrepreneurs become THE go-to expert in their field.

 Do you have a pot of gold? It’s the key to increasing your income this year.

Sounds kind of fairy tale/folkloric/childlike, doesn’t it?

But you, yes, you—as a now-grown-up business owner, either have or need to have a Pot of Gold of your very own.

What is this crazy Pot of Gold I keep talking about?

It’s your LIST.

One of my friends, Amira, told me the other day, “Oh, I don’t like the idea of ‘List.’  Everyone talks about ‘The List.’ I want another name for it.”

OK, Amira, here it is: Your Pot of Gold at the End of the Rainbow.

That’s what I’m going to call it from now on. (Well, maybe for at least the next 3 or 4 months . . .  )

Why am I being so over-the-top and effusive about Your Pot of Gold?

Because that’s exactly what it is.

Why is The List so important?

Ooops, pardon me. I forgot: Why is Your Pot of Gold so important?

Because, with it, you hold the key—and I do mean The Key—to increasing your income this year.


First, a definition.

Your Pot of Gold/List is the list of names of customers and clients and potential customers and clients who have said “yes” to receiving information from you.

If you’ve ever signed up for a “free download” and had to input your name and email, then you’ve signed up for someone else’s Pot of Gold.

And why do I call it your Pot of Gold? Because . . .

It gives you permission

Permission to contact these customers and prospects about your products or services.

That’s what Seth Godin’s book, Permission Marketing, is all about.
If you haven’t read it, you need to. No kidding.

Godin calls Permission Marketing the new advertising. He writes, “By talking only to volunteers, Permission Marketing guarantees that consumers pay more attention to the marketing message. It serves both customers and marketers in a symbiotic exchange.”

That exchange is the beginning of building a relationship with your “fans” who self-select your product, your viewpoint, your business, and you.

How do you get a Pot of Gold for yourself?

Good question. How do you get a Pot of Gold? Or if you already have one, how do you grow it, so you can grow your business?

You can’t just put anyone’s name on your List. It’s not legal. People have to give you permission to send you emails, which are still the best way to market to people one-on-one.

And you can’t easily send a targeted message to a large number of people in a Facebook post or in a tweet.

You can only send a targeted personal message out with your marketing information via email. And for email, you need permission.

Let me tell you a little story

As you probably guessed, I’ve just got to tell you a story about another one of the fabulous Business Masters whose stories I collected in the project I did in 2005 called “The Family Store.”

It’s a history exhibit of the stores that used to populate downtown Asheville, NC, from 1880-1990, and I spent 4 years researching and interviewing people who owned businesses or the octogenarian children of parents no longer alive who owned such businesses.
One man’s story popped up over and over.

Coleman Zageir (“ZAY-gur”) owned The Man Store from 1922 until 1972. Born in 1894, he passed away in 1975.

But not before he earned the respect and business of almost all the men of Asheville, NC.  How?

He was a nice, quiet, honest and very good businessman. But the one story that surfaced over and over was one just like this one that my brother’s best friend, Chan Gordon, owner of The Captain’s Bookshelf, told me:

Coleman Zageir?  He sold me my first suit. I was 12 years old. I bought it to go to your brother’s bar mitzvah.  Mr. Zageir threw in a shirt and a tie. And he had me forever.

Yep, Mr. Zageir did that type of thing from the time he started in business. He gave away stuff. Not willy-nilly. Not to everyone all the time. Just in the beginning of their possible customer-ship.

And people loved it.

They self-selected his store to be their go-to place for fine men’s wear for generations.

And he grew his Pot of Gold.

Over and over and over.

So much so that the men he did this for have also passed on, and his generosity lives on with the wives, children and grandchildren who still remember his gifts.

Amazing isn’t it?

Mr. Zageir stopped giving 40 years ago and yet people still remember how he cared about his customers.

Poet Maya Angelou wrote, “People will forget what you said.  People will forget what you did. But people will never forget how you made them feel.”

Mr. Zageir made people feel like they were important. That they mattered. They he cared. He made Chan Gordon feel like a grown-up man at age 12.

Giving away something is one way you can grow your Pot of Gold.

Particularly if it’s important information that can help them. And make them feel successful, powerful, important, cared-about.

Stay tuned for more about how you can grow your Pot of Gold. There’ll be something about it by the end of this week, in fact.

In the meantime, tell me what was the best thing YOU ever got free from a business.  It could be a free download. It could be a free shirt and tie.

What was it?

Tell me in the reply section below


Should You Make Your Business Appear Bigger Than it Really Is?

Written by Christine Kane

Christine Kane is the Mentor to People Who are Changing the World. She helps people uplevel their lives, their businesses and their success. Her weekly LiveCreative eZine goes out to over 20,000 subscribers. If you are ready to take your life and your world to the next level, you can sign up for a F.R.E.E. subscription at


As a solo-business owner, you’ve got it made.

There’s no boss to answer to.

Cubicles are a thing of the past.

HR doesn’t hound you for a lost security code.

And you’re probably reading this in a t-shirt and jeans. (Okay, you’re in your pajamas. I was going to ignore that part.)

Either way – it’s just you.  It’s just your home office.  And your cat who occasionally plants his butt on your keyboard while you’re typing.

In other words – to the outside viewer – it’s not a particularly impressive or slick operation.

So it’s natural to wonder if you should make your business appear larger (more slick, more impressive, more corporate) than it really is.

Well, it depends.

It depends on your client – who they are and what they want.

It depends on what you offer and what your clients love most about you.

It depends on what you want for yourself and the growth of your business.

With that said, let’s address the common questions people ask when it comes to making their business look bigger than it really is…

Question #1 – Should I answer my own phone?

If you ask me, this is NOT an issue of “bigger” or “slicker.”

This is an issue of professionalism and boundaries.

I encourage my clients (yes, even in start-up!) not to answer their own phones.  Instead, set up a voicemail system so that you return calls at a set time each day. When you answer your own phone, you consistently get interrupted all day long. Not good.

If you have a Virtual Assistant, you can direct incoming calls to her number. However, I believe it’s good to have a number that will be yours for years to come.  Your VA might not be around next month – but your business will. Get a number that can stay with you as you grow. Your VA can call in and retrieve messages for you.

Lastly, when you have a scheduled client appointment, then yes, answer your own phone.

Question #2 – Should I get an 800# for my business line?

Completely up to you.

When I was in the music business, getting an 800 number was a game-changer.  It Upleveled the professional image of my offices. It made music promoters more willing to call me back. It positioned me as a serious entertainer in the biz.  So, I’ve always had one.  They’re easy to get. And fairly inexpensive these days.

The advantage of a toll-free number is that it’ll go with you no matter where you go.  (Of course, the internet is making this true of local numbers as well.)

Now that everyone has free-minutes on cell phones, I don’t think it’s as big of a deal.  But there’s still that subconscious public perception that toll-free numbers imply a bigger business.

Question #3 – Should I refer to myself as “We” instead of “I” ?

This is where many solo-business owners miss the boat.

As mentioned above, a lot depends on what your client loves most about you.   If your client hires you because of the connection they have with you, or if you are the brand behind your company, then use “I.”  Don’t be afraid to be transparent here. That’s probably what they love about you!

More than ever, people are seeking relationship and connection.  Trying to adopt corporate-speak by referring to your business as “we” can sometimes have a negative effect. It will feel incongruent to your prospects and clients.

Again, you have to be the one to assess this.  But remember that people buy from people, not from companies. So, use “we” with caution if your company is still just you.

Question #4 – Should I get a real office?

My company – Uplevel YOU – has grown so fast in three years that I purchased a 3000 square foot downtown office space.  I did this because I work better with my team in person, rather than virtually.  Plus, I have several high-level clients who come for full-day private sessions.  It made sense to move my business into a centralized location.

However, this is not the best choice for everyone!  Consider these questions.  Do you like working from your home?  Do you work well with a virtual team?  Do you do most of your client work on the phone?  If you answered yes, then celebrate! Working from a home office eliminates overhead costs and long commutes.  Lucky you!

These days it’s common for successful entrepreneurs not to have an office, to work from cafes, and to gather in random meeting rooms.   The pressure to have an office is often just outdated thinking.


You might want to consider whether you are trying to appear bigger – or if you just need to be more strategic about your positioning and credibility, which is really more about your marketing and content.  Don’t waste your time on appearing bigger. Instead, just keep delivering high value and content to your clients – and believe me, they won’t care if you sometimes have to pull cat hair off your laptop keyboard!

If you look below, you’ll see a place to leave a comment or question…

Fire away if you have a question on this topic.  OR share a secret you’ve used to make your business appear bigger.  Or let me know if you think this is a total non-issue for you!


Time Management Advice For Entrepreneurs that Doesn’t Suck

Written by Yvonne Bynoe

Yvonne Bynoe is the Soulful Affluence Business Coach, She helps women package, price and position their expertise to attract adoring customers — and high paying clients. Her coaching clients tend to be independent, self-motivated, and destined for Great Things — even if they don’t know it yet.

Most time management advice centers on creating and organizing your ”to do” list. Your “to do” list probably consists of ALL the tasks that you have in front of you on a given day.  Rarely does time management focus on prioritization.  A large part of prioritization is elimination of irrelevant tasks.

If your goal is to have have a profitable and fulfilling business, you have to eliminate tasks that do nothing (or very little) to enhance your life or your cashflow. When it comes to time management I sure that you fall into one of these two camps:

Camp #1: You don’t have a “to do” list and everyday you’re winging it. The result is that you never seem to get anything important done. You spend your day putting out fake fires and doing time wasting activities. Your revenue, or rather lack of it, reflects your lack of discipline and focus.

Camp #2: You’ve got 25 items on your daily ”to do” list. You NEVER finish everything on your lists. You feel overwhelmed and incompetent. As result you’re having a hard time attracting clients and generating income because your confidence is at an all-time low.

Here’s the Real Deal…..

Most successful entrepreneurs have a daily “to do” list of no more than 1 or 2 key items.  Each day these entrepreneurs determine what is most important in terms of them moving closer toward their goals.

So here’s what you need to do. Use the first hour of your day to create your 1-2 item ”to do” list. Again, these are activities that are concrete steps to you acheving your yearly, monthly or quarterly goal.  Your first hour should be single-focused thinking—-no checking email, updating facebook, tweeting or talking on the telephone.

Your ”to do” list should include items such as:

  • telephone prospect(s)
  • send out a proposal
  • having a conversation with an employee
  • write sales copy
  • do market research for new product

The point of time management is to decide how to BEST use your time to serve your clients, your business and yourself.  Busy-ness that doesn’t net results is nothing more than procrasination.


Soul & Prosperity for Women Entrepreneurs: The Telesummit

Yvonne Bynoe of approached my team and I to help her put together the opt-in pages  and coordinate the very first edition of the Soul & Prosperity Entrepreneurs Telesumit.

This telesummit is for the conscious entrepreneur who wants to fill their practice with qualified ideal clients, have a waiting list of people who want to work with them  and have a stable lucrative business. This event is rich in proven strategies, “real life” storie and inspiration. It’s a no cost series that you truly don’t want to miss out on.

 If you want to know more about the telesummit or if you just want to register go here


The Top 10 NOT-To-Do’s of Successful Entrepreneurs

Written by Christine Kane

Christine Kane is the Mentor to People Who are Changing the World. She helps people uplevel their lives, their businesses and their success. Her weekly LiveCreative eZine goes out to over 20,000 subscribers. If you are ready to take your life and your world to the next level, you can sign up for a F.R.E.E. subscription at

“Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.”
– Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Sometimes when I begin working with a client, we first evaluate what has to be removed from her busy day before we can add any new strategies for income generation.


Well, entrepreneurs are high-achievers. As such, they can learn anything, do anything and try anything to get things moving in their businesses.  Unfortunately, these high-achievers often end up burnt out and overwhelmed if they don’t let go so they can focus only on their genius work.

If this sounds like you, here’s a list of your top 10 NOT-TO-DO’s if you want to be a successful entrepreneur…

#10 – Bookkeeping

Yes or no:

A] Do you toss your receipts in little piles, telling yourself you’ll get to them soon?

B] Are you often running around in early April swearing you’ve got to keep better track of your invoices?

C] Are you considering taking a QuickBooks course at your local technical college?

If you answered yes to ANY of these, then girl, we gotta talk!  You need a bookkeeper.

The reason you stink at this stuff is NOT because you’re a procrastinator.  The reason you stink at this stuff is because YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO!    If you were meant to be a bookkeeper, you’d be one!

#9 – Customer service

In the beginning stages of your business, it’s good to connect with your peeps and directly respond to them.   However, if the routine emails and calls swallow up hours each week, let go and hire someone to take over.  Yes, it takes time to train someone to do this work. (It’s very important work!) But the time you CREATE in the long run is valuable.

#8 – Running errands

One of my Platinum mastermind clients is a successful realtor. She recently ran a “quick” errand to put a lock box on the door of a house. With traffic, this errand took 90 minutes.

This is a classic case of:  “By the time I show someone how to do it, I could just do this myself.”

Maybe so.

But let’s say you do this activity once a week.   That adds up to almost TEN 8-hour days of high ROI work you could be doing each year.

Will it take you 10 working days to show someone how to run your errands?

#7 – Housecleaning

The simple act of hiring a housekeeper can save marriages, heal relationships with teenagers, and make you believe in God.  Nuff said.

#6 – Being a Unique Snowflake

“Ah, Christine, but my business is different. I couldn’t possibly follow your advice.”

“Yes, but I’m very particular about exactly HOW I want my house cleaned.”

“You don’t understand, Christine. My customers are special.”

These pronouncements (and yes, I’ve heard them all) are symptoms of a disease I call the Unique Snowflake Syndrome.

The real truth about Unique Snowflakes is that they are scared. That’s all.

Scared of taking action. Scared of being clear. Scared they won’t find what they want. So, they find the most convenient excuse available: “I’m more different than you.”

The only cure for USS is to take action in spite of the fear and be amazed at what happens.

#5 – Assuming your prospects know what they need

Steve Jobs said, “It’s not your customer’s job to know what they need.”

So true!  And yet, when we are feeling entitled or insecure, we forget this truth. We think our prospects should just “get it” and hire us already!  (HINT: This is why you aren’t making money.)

When you truly understand marketing, you know that it is a service that educates your prospects.  Stop making excuses, and learn how to do it well.

#4 – Assuming your clients remember why they’re your clients

When you make a sale or get a client, do you get complacent?  Do you assume your clients remember why they’re working with you, or why your members even signed up?

If so, you may lose them.

As a leader, your job is to consistently realign your clients with their desires and intentions. Keep your clients connected to their WHY in addition to their daily work and they will thank you for it with loyalty.

#3 – “Drive-By” Delegation

Here’s a 7-Act Play in one paragraph:

Hire someone. Be excited. Tell him a few things to do. Get busy the next day. Forget to show him other things to do. Get frustrated because he didn’t do what you wanted. Call friends and complain that you can’t find good help these days.

Sound familiar?

Well, then you’re what they call a “Drive-By” Delegator.

Try this instead:

When you hire someone, tell him EXACTLY what you want him to do. Lay it out in step-by-step format with desired results and timelines spelled out clearly.  Take time each day to continue the training.  This requires consistent clarity and focus. And it pays off.

#2 — Looking at your unsubscribes


How many times do I have to tell you to stop doing this?

Your unsubscribes are none of your business.  Turn off that freakin’ unsubscribe email alert NOW.

Then, hire a Virtual Assistant to keep an eye on your unsubscribes.

(And yes. I’m sure she will inform you the day your whole list decides they don’t like you anymore and collectively makes a mass exodus. In the meantime, the three people who unsubscribed this week can go out for cocktails together and talk about you.)

#1 — Taking the word “solo” literally

Solopreneur means that you run your own purpose-based business. It does NOT mean that you should “go it alone.”

Girlfriend, you can’t succeed without support from someone who is already successful at what you want to do.  It’s time to reach out, hire a coach, get a mentor, or surround yourself with other successful entrepreneurs.