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7 02, 2019

Can You Turn an Elephant Around in a Phone Booth?

By |2019-02-07T18:27:16+00:00February 7th, 2019|Blog|0 Comments

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Ronald Reagan and Jane Wyman bowling.

The thought of an elephant in a phone booth brings up an interesting visual. I know you’re thinking how did he get in there and what does it mean? What we’re actually talking about is the bowing industry. I recently spoke with a talented marketer, Fred Kaplowitz who spent much of his life gentleman who has spent much of his life moving the bowling industry forward. I ask Fred if he would give me the scoop on bowling and in the bowling industry.

What makes this even more interesting is the challenged faced by this industry has been faced by other business; some that have not been so lucky.

The earliest known forms of bowling date back to ancient Egypt.  Remnants of balls used at the time were found among artifacts in ancient Egypt going back to the Egyptian period in 3200 BC.  Balls were made using the husks of grains, covered in a material such as leather, and bound with string.

Today, bowling is played by 100 million people in more than 90 countries including 68 million people in the United States.

But bowling hasn’t always been this popular.

After a growth spurt following WWII through the late 60’s and early 70’s, bowling started to lose its appeal and many bowling centers began closing.  Some closed because the value of the real estate was very high and land developers were offering high prices.  Others closed because the cost of modernizing their centers and bringing into the modern era was more than they could afford…and the owners were getting too old to want to take on more debt.  Others closed, simply because the market was overbuilt.  By the late 90’s, only 4,000 USA bowling centers existed; down from more than 8,000 centers in the late 60s

So how did bowling remain popular, reinvigorate itself and become relevant to the millennials, to families and to seniors?

Let’s start in the late 70’s when I joined an organization called the National Bowling Council, the promotional arm of the sport.  I had been recruited from a major advertising agency and offered a relatively lucrative contract to become the first Marketing VP of this fledgling organization founded by the sanctioning bodies of bowling at the time (The American Bowling Congress (ABC) for men and the Women’s International Bowling Congress (WIBC) for women along with the major manufacturers, Brunswick and AMF, and the Bowling Proprietor Association of America (BPAA).

While these 5 organizations funded the Council, they each had different agendas.  The sanctioning bodies wanted more “league bowler membership”; the manufacturers wanted to sell more bowling equipment, and the proprietor association wanted more customers.

It was quite a quandary in which I found myself.  The future of bowling was discussed at Council meetings, committee meetings and almost everywhere I went, industry executives were asking what the future was.  Everybody has an opinion, but there were few facts.  So one of the very first big ventures I undertook was to uncover some facts, do some research of existing league bowlers, casual bowlers, non-bowlers and try to find out why they did or dint bowl, what they really thought about people who bowled or didn’t bowl and what would it take to get them to bowl more.  At the same time, I conducted focus groups with major advertisers and package good companies as well as media people to find out what they too thought of bowling.

After about six months of due diligence, I presented my findings and recommendations.  When I was finished, the room remained quiet as 12 high powered executives sat in stunned silence.

Then the President of Brunswick and, at the time, the Chairman of the Council said,

Fred, I don’t know how you did what you did in the past six months, but you have just painted an extraordinary strategic change for this industry.  Each of the members of this organization will have to take a long and hard look at them, if your research and recommendations are valid and how we will have to look at our industry in a different way.”

I was soon bombarded with questions about my research methodologies and if my sample size was correct and on and on.  I had thought of all of these questions and was smart enough to have the research people at all of the 5 organizations involved in the research process; checking my work and recommendations every step along the way. I had defused what could have been a very difficult (and very political) internal issue.

What did I find out – now remember this is the late 70’s:

  1. Bowling’s image at the time was one of a blue collar sport; Archie Bunker and Ralph Kramden, as well as Fred Flintstone, were the characters most associated with bowling across almost every researched segment, except for the league bowlers who classified themselves as “middle class working men and women.” And “no Ralph Kramden.”
  1. Baby boomers (then 18 to 35) accounted for 72 million Americans or about 35% of the population once liked bowling and did it frequently as a child or young teen, but now they viewed bowling as “old, not modern, bad food, unclean and not the place they would want to go with a date or a spouse.”
  2. Non-bowlers and casual bowlers did not want to join a league because it meant a commitment of 36 weeks, cost too much money and they felt they weren’t good enough. Further, they felt that when they wanted to bowl, the bowling center near them never had available lanes because “Ralph and Archie” were always bowling there, swigging beer and smoking cigarettes; and the boomers were the first group to think about healthy options.
  3. Most people didn’t feel they could bowl well enough to have fun, so in their opinion, it was “why  bother doing something if I’m not good enough at it.”Advertisers and media people felt that bowling was too downscale to associate their product and unless it was beer or cigarettes and maybe a cereal brand, batteries or pizza; they saw no relevance for their brand.
  4. Most people viewed bowling as “old, not modern and not exciting.”

We went to work. Over the next 25 years, I was a one-man band, picking up followers along the way, changing jobs to work for Brunswick as VP Marketing, then as Marketing VP for a major bowling center chain (Bowling Corporation of America) that owned 63 bowling centers across the USA and then as an independent marketing consultant, coach, speaker and educator to bowling industry executives and proprietors.

Here was my mantra:

  1. Manufacturers had to provide exciting products that proprietors could buy at reasonable prices and get a satisfactory ROI that would excite the consumer to try bowling and then get him/her to come back. This led to the introduction of the automatic scorer, the laminated lane.  Glow bowling lights and fog systems, and black lights that would illuminate the carpet, the lanes, and the sidewalls!

 

  1. More new products were to follow with softer couch style seating, private banquet, and party rooms, real cafes and restaurants, better and more exciting food offerings. Adult beverages that were more sophisticated than just “a shot and a beer.”  Music, music and more music.  Bands were introduced at bowling centers.  Portable stages were built for the bands and comedians that would occasionally perform.

 

  1. Proprietors had to learn to market their bowling center. They had to learn about the media.  Later they had to learn about websites, social media marketing and what the hell “a twitter”.    They had to STOP doing only PRICE promotions and calling it marketing.  My job was to educate them on what marketing was; to teach them how to plan and then how to implement and modify their plan, as needed, for the best possible results.  At the same time, I had to train these folks on what customer service was, what good customer service was and that excellent customer service is an expected aspect of consumer expectations.

 

  1. I had to teach them about attracting families via birthday parties, how to use direct mail (back then) to reach households with children between the ages of 6 and 12 years of age who were having birthdays in the ensuing months and how to reach them, and further, to develop a mailing list, which eventually morphed into a database with email addresses and cell phone.

 

  1. I also built fundraising packages and corporate party programs that included more than just pizza, hot dogs and hamburgers and taught them how to promote the programs, measure results and make changes on the fly.. We demonstrated to them how to get corporations to book parties; get manufacturers to build automated reservation systems and trained employees on simple items such as phone answering etiquette.

 

  1. We also predicted that the traditional bowling center, if it was to survive long term, needed to evolve into a family entertainment center that included other venues like video game rooms, climbing walls, laser tag, bumper cars, and virtual reality booths.

 

  1. Manufacturers were constantly encouraged to research consumer needs and tastes for new attractions that can be added to the basic game of bowling such as “colored lanes, bumpers that pop up when younger children bowl to help them get a score as opposed to throwing the ball into the gutter, which in the past discouraged them from wanting to bowl.

 

  1. The membership or sanctioning bodies have taken years to consolidate and eliminate waste by forming one organization called USBC, the United States Bowling Congress. This organization concentrates more on educating and training younger people, offering scholarships and getting bowling into over 1,000 high schools and colleges today than ever before while still performing their duties as being the sanctioning arm and rules maker of the sport.

 

  1. While league membership in traditional 36 week leagues has fallen dramatically, the offerings of new products which we introduced in the early 80’s such as 8 week leagues, split season leagues, “bad bowler” leagues”, “have a ball leagues” and other premium leagues gave the non-bowler and the casual bowler a choice of buying different bowling “products”; thus more participation and more frequency by the existing bowler.

 

Many of the changes that are happening today were predicted 40 years ago and all because someone was curious enough to get the facts, to go to the source – the customer – and ask a few questions.  This process has been repeated many times over the years.  Certainly, my team has done it as well as manufacturers, proprietors and membership organizations.

They have all learned that it is better to ask than to guess.  Better to have a marketing mindset, than flying blind.  Today the industry is more marketing savvy than ever, healthier than ever and looking for new products and services to offer the consumer.

I am very humbled and gratified to have been a major player in this industry’s transformation.

 

Fred Kaplowitz can be reached at fredkaplowitz@gmail.com or at 410 799 1501 (o) or 516 359 4874 (c) or reach out to his website and check out his blog at www.kaploegroup.com/blog

Lisbeth Calandrino.com writes a weekly success blog for the Albany Times Union. She can be reached at Lcalandrino.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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4 01, 2019

How to Sell Today’s Internet Savvy Customer

By |2019-01-04T15:56:29+00:00January 4th, 2019|Blog, Building a Brand, Building relationships, Selling today's customer|0 Comments

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Selling today’s Internet-savvy customer isn’t difficult, it’s different. If you’re planning on selling them, you will have to get on target. It’s not changing, it’s changed!

Do you remember 11 years ago? Eleven years ago, Facebook was still competing with MySpace for traffic. Amazon was known primarily for selling books, and the iPhone was just released. When you think about it, it’s another world; a very old world.

We are all customers, and we’ve all changed. How we shop is completely different. Remember when merchants were insulted because people were talking on their phones and walking through their stores? Now we rarely look twice at them; it’s just the way things are. Although my dermatologist has a sign in the office that reads, “If you need to use your cell phone don’t use it here!” It feels a little harsh, but the office is really quiet.

So what does this mean to those of use that connect with today’s customers? We need to understand the customer’s journey and what tools they have in their toolbox. Salespeople still need to know how to sell, have the determination and a good personal presence. The ability to communicate with the customer is more important than ever. Building rapport has never been a more useful skill. Salespeople they need to understand ‘how they buy’ so they can be part of the customer’s world.

The Internet plays a huge part in today’s purchase so if you’re not connected and still don’t think it’s important; you’re not only behind you are in another world. I have several friends who don’t text, their reasoning, “It’s not warm and fuzzy.” What it really means is they have a ‘flip phone’ and writing text can take you into next year! They ask me why I don’t leave phone messages, and I tell them it’s not very efficient, and I don’t want to spend the day playing phone tag!

Not sure of the customer’s journey, ask the customer how they get information and how they buy. Examine your own journey and incorporate into your sales pitch. Here’s one idea that will get you on the right road; before you waste the customer’s time looking at all of your products, ask them if they’ve been to your website and looked at products. Ask if they’ve seen anything they like and would they like to look at it ‘in person.’ Turn on your computer or iPad and bring up the products they like. You can also ask what other sites they’ve been to and what products they’ve seen.

Want to know more about this topic?

I will be conducting three seminars for Mohawk Industries at the Loews Hotel, 455 N. Park Dr., Chicago, IL on January 16, 17th.

The three seminars are: “How to Sell to today’s Internet Savvy Customer, 10 Ways to Attract and Keep Talented Employees, * Ways to Use Technology to Grow Your Business.” To sign up for these seminars, call your local Mohawk Industries Representative.

Thanks to Usabilla for the image and the Customer Experience Winners.

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2 12, 2018

Why I Hate Flip Phones

By |2018-12-02T19:21:49+00:00December 2nd, 2018|beliefs, Blog, Change, Economy|0 Comments

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Teenagers on flip phones.

I just don’t get it. Why would anyone want to use a flip phone?

Maybe I’m spoiled; instant gratification is what I want. I don’t want to do the thing where I leave you a message and then you call me back and I’m in the shower. Then I call you back and your voice mail is full. It all makes me crazy.

Okay billionaire investor Warren Buffett says he’s not giving up his flip phone—at least not yet. The flip phone people are probably the same ones who don’t text. Do you remember texting on your flip phone? You needed 4 hands to do it! I’ve read there are lots of people who like the flip phones, It does slow you down and gives you lots of control about what comes and goes from your phone. Yes, you are in control. You are in control. Wow, I feel like I’m being controlled on some level; maybe I am.

“The flip phone is the new protest statement,” declared one article that recently appeared in several newspapers including The Seattle Times. “I don’t need that phone. I have everything I need without it,” wrote Katie Reid for The Baltimore Sun.  Kim Kardashian was spotted with a flip phone, now it’s cool! Maybe I’m just out!

I remember reading about Thomas Edison and what happened when he finally perfected the light bulb. He went to several companies to try and sell the bulbs and most companies said they weren’t interested! In order to get the bulb used, he had to give it away.

Is it that people didn’t think it was useful to see in the dark? Maybe they were right, work stopped at night because you couldn’t see. Possibly they knew if they could see in the dark, they would have a longer work day? Or was there some fear of seeing? Is it that when you removed your clothes in the dark you were less likely to be judged?

I feel like people with flip phones are the same type of people. They make excuses that smart phones are too much work, and too complicated. Somehow they don’t see the smartphone is just that; it’s smart and makes many things easier. (Plus you are connected to the internet and all that wonderful information.)

Actually I believe it’s about change. We think change is difficult. I believe change is annoying, not really difficult.

Change means we have to think and thinking requires work. Ask yourself, how much time do you actually spend thinking? My downstairs neighbor says she likes things the way they are and she doesn’t want anything to change. So she spends her time working on keeping everything the same. She rarely goes out to do anything except buy groceries, have her nails done and go to work. In the meantime, I am looking for something new to do.

Change also requires decision making. Some people aren’t good at making decisions so they just don’t bother. If you have to make a decision, it’s likely you will run into a conflict. Nobody likes conflicts.

Are these the same people who see others climbing dangerous mountains and say why are they doing this? Or am I making too much of this? I tried to coordinate the delivery of a television to a man who only used text and one who only used his phone. To me it was a nightmare.

Possibly I should ask what kind of phone a person has before I decide to get too serious.

Lisbeth Calandrino is a regular contributor to the Albany Times Union. Need help improving your business? Check out Lisbeth’s web site, www.lisbethcalandrino.com. or reach her at Lcalandrino@nycap.rr.com.

#flipphones #Warrenbuffetflipphone #Seattletimes, #Thomasedison #Lisbethcalandrino.com #redhotcustomerservice

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21 11, 2018

How to Turn Bad into Good

By |2018-11-21T11:22:24+00:00November 21st, 2018|Blog, Motivation and change|0 Comments

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Life is what you do with it

I’ve had one of those days where everything seems beyond my control; have you ever had that happen? I can handle one thing going wrong but not 3 or 4 things! For instance last night I tried to download a report and both my computers were acting up! I finally went to bed at 1:30 AM and did some meditation. I hoped the meditation would quiet my nerves.

I started thinking; this is no different than when I had cancer. First I felt sorry for myself, you know, the ‘why me,’ and then I realized that ‘yes I was chosen for this task’ and what was I going to do with my opportunity. Yes, I felt it was an opportunity to call upon my strength and my wisdom; how could I help myself and the other people sitting with me in the chemo room.

We are all strong; in bad times we need to capitalize on our strengths. There is always something we can do to either put ourselves back in control or give up control to the universe. I’m not trying to get to esoteric, but the world goes on around us no matter what we are planning. After my ‘episode’ last night, I again realized there was nothing I could do and I would have to wait for some help. Those expecting my report would either accept or not accept my excuse. Case closed; at least so far.

My dear friend Tony must have read my mind because he sent me this article on How to feel happy on even your lowest days http://www.happify.com/hd/how-to-feel-happy-even-on-your-lowest-days/.

The article is about a Sam Cawthorn, Australian motivational speaker and young man who feel asleep while driving and lost his arm in the crash and was told he would never walk again. (By the way, he speaks about it on a very compelling video.)

Sam talks about Adversarial Growth; the doctors told him there were so many things he would never be able to do again! This just made him mad and he decided he would be able to do them. Sometimes this works! At first I was angry about my two desktop computers not working and then I realized it would eventually work out. You know how I knew this?

EVERYTHING ALWAYS WORKS OUT! NOT NECESSARILY THE WAY YOU LIKE UNLESS YOU CHOOSE TO LIKE IT AND JUST GO ON!

There’s an article in Psychology Today, “When everything goes wrong” that speaks to using adversity to get yourself back on track. 

One of the key things is to quiet your mind so you can access your wisdom and strength that is quietly hiding under your anguish. It’s what we use to get us through life on a daily basis.

The holidays have a way of throwing road blocks at us; maybe to test our strength and compassion. We often have to deal with people out of obligation many of which we choose to avoid on a daily basis. Most of my family is gone; I secretly yearn for some of those old faces; many whom I avoided. I always tried to look at their good qualities even if it was just they cooked great eggplant parmigiana! My dad looked at every stressful situation in a humorous way–thank goodness I inherited some of that!

  •  #adverserialmethod #Pyshcolgytoday #Samcawthorn #thingswillwork out #lisbethcalandrino #redhotcustomerservice #Virginiasatir

Lisbeth has spend much of her life helping others define their dreams and achieve their goals. For more about Lisbeth or to schedule a tete-ah-tete ( you know, a private conversation), check in with her at Lcalandrino@nycap.rr.com and schedule it.  

 

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29 09, 2018

LET TIGER WOODS BE TIGER WOODS

By |2018-09-29T19:53:19+00:00September 29th, 2018|Blog|0 Comments

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While Tiger Woods was going through surgery, rehab and a stinky marriage breakup, most of the world was broadcasting his demise.

Tiger Woods and Butch Harmon at the 2000 British Open Golf Championship.( Home of the Daily and Sunday Express)

It seemed like people were happy he had hit bottom.

Unless you’ve been a professional athlete, you wouldn’t have any idea what it takes to be number one. No,  I never was one, but I know how tough golf is having spent years with a professional golfer who never made the big time.

I watched “The Tiger” push forward.  I meditated he would make it!

In life when things go bad you can either ‘give up’ or ‘get up’ and push forward. Being number one forever is never guaranteed nor is being in last place. You just have to stay on your path and go where it takes you. We are all part of a bigger universe that is there for us; we just have to trust it.

One thing the world knows, like him or not,  Tiger can  fill up those seats. That includes the old and young ones. My 85 year old neighbor used to grab her scotch and settle in front of the television to  watch Tiger Woods play golf. She lived to watch Tiger play!

When he plays, win or lose, the television ratings go up. “The Tiger Effect” has consistently boosted PGA Tour ratings all season.

I don’t know many who admitted to really liking Tiger Woods but without him golf is just a game. When he plays it becomes magical. Isn’t that what the public hungers for?

Not only does the public want him to be the best in the world but the nicest.

You don’t have to be a psychologist to realize that his childhood was not the kind that develops caring human beings. His choices seemed simple, win or win. This doesn’t give you much time to practice your interpersonal skills. According to what I read, it appears that his parents only had one thought in mind; that  was to make Tiger a ‘killer’ of a player.  Who knows what Tiger was thinking or feeling; it’s doubtful that he knew. In my opinion, he was raised to be at the top at all costs. The golf world was willing to accept him as the ‘best thing that ever happened to golf’ until his personal life took over. ’  The word ‘thing’ is an odd way to describe a person but it gives you insight into what Tiger was.

I went to college with several baseball players who grew up to become  famous athletes. Since many of them majored in physical education, like myself, we attended many of the same classes.  There was one difference, I wasn’t expected to be great so I didn’t have to win every game or be chastised every time I lost. To me it was still a game; it was never a game to them, it was always a profession. A profession that required them to be great or move on. I used to wince when I heard the yelling and screaming when they lost.

What motivates athletes to win? I took the paragraph from an article in Psychology Today  written by Jim Taylor Ph.D.,The Power of Prime. 

In training and competitions, you arrive at a point at which it is no longer fun. I call this the Grind, which starts when it gets tiring, painful and tedious. The Grind is also the point at which it really counts. The Grind is what separates successful athletes from those who don’t achieve their goals. Many athletes when they reach this point either ease up or give up because it’s too darned hard. But truly motivated athletes reach the Grind and keep on going.”

So Tiger didn’t give up; maybe he loves the game or the only thing he knows is The Grind. On September 27, 2018, Barry Syrluga said this about  Tiger Woods in his article, “The Ryder Cup maybe one more facet of Tiger Woods’ Revival Tour.”

The way Woods is coming into this Ryder Cup, though, doesn’t it feel like it could turn? The victory at the Tour Championship represented a physical comeback from the back surgeries that left him struggling to get out of bed. But it was also part of a rebranding, and choking back tears mattered. This is not the automaton Woods who won tournaments he was supposed to win with the kind of golf he was supposed to play. This was more real and accessible, more human. The Ryder Cup can be one more facet of Tiger Woods’ revival tour.   

Personally I don’t care how or why Tiger is back. Golf just isn’t the same without him.

Lisbeth Calandrino has been a Business Strategist, Sales Trainer and Professional Business Coach for over 20 ears. To connect with her and discuss what keeps you up at night, reach her at 518.495.5380 or Lcalandrino@nycap.rr.com.

Join me on my blog at http://lisbethcalandrino.com.

#Tigerwoods #Rydercup #BarrySyrluga #Tigereffect #thegrind #tigerwoodsrevivaltour #Jimtaylor #Powerofprime #Butchharmon                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 aa

 

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29 09, 2018

THE WINNER? EMAIL MARKETING

By |2018-09-29T16:52:57+00:00September 29th, 2018|Blog, email marketing|0 Comments

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CRM or Customer Relationship Management is the key to your business. If you want them to remember to tell their friends about the service they got from you, stay in touch. The best way to do it is still email marketing

Think email marketing is history, think twice. According to Clutch Research’s the Manifest; 69% of businesses spend time and money on email marketing. The main goal of email marketing is to stay in touch with sold customers and to entice consumers who aren’t yet customers. Segmentation of groups is the key to connecting with different types of customers. A customer who hasn’t bought shouldn’t receive the same email as one who has. An occasional coupon or special offer again depends on the type of customer.

The more you know about your customers, the more personal your emails will become. I have several customers who always respond to my emails either by return mail of a phone call! It’s great knowing there’s someone on the other end who really appreciates the correspondence. There are others who rarely respond but when I meet them at conventions, they are quick to tell me how much they appreciate my emails.

 “Email is one of the few media where you can engage with customers who have signed up to receive communications from you, says survey author Kristen Herhold. With email marketing, people have said, ‘Yes, I want to receive emails from you.’ What could be better than people who want to hear from you?

Here are the highlights of the survey:

  1. Businesses send a variety of email marketing communications, with product/company updates, promotions, newsletters, and event invitations. The type of email depends on your customer and how often they might use your services.
  2. To keep your emails alive and relevant, it’s smart to send out a variety of email communications.
  3. How often do you send out emails? The survey says that 32% send materials daily, (wow) or weekly 41%. The more your customers use their brand, the more frequent your emails.
  4. Want more customers? The best way to get them is to offer something of value.

 

I worked at a car dealership several weeks ago following up on their  email offer. If the customer brought in the sale letter,  they received a $10.00 gift card from Target. Now $10.00 isn’t much but people were delighted to get them and intended to stop there as soon as they left the dealership! The key for the dealer ship was to update their customer list, (what auto the customer was driving,  how many payments they still owed, and if they were planning on purchasing a new car.) This information was turned over to the salesperson to develop a relationship.

 

It’s amazing how powerful a $10.00 gift card can really be!

Lisbeth Calandrino has been a Business Strategist, Trainer and Professional Business Coach for over 20 years. To connect with Lisbeth and discuss ‘what keeps you up at night’, reach her ast 518.495.5380 or at Lcalandrino@nycap.rr.com. You can sign up to receive these emails regularly or connect with Lisbeth at Floorcoveringnews.net.

#floorcoveringnews.net #Lizbizfloorcoveringnews.net, #emailmarketing #Kristenherhold

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18 08, 2018

Motivation Doesn’t Care What You Feel

By |2018-08-31T14:47:14+00:00August 18th, 2018|Blog, Motivation|0 Comments

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My next door neighbor talks incessantly about needing to lose weight. The doctor has told her several times over the last two years that she’s about 40 pounds overweight. She is 4’11; not much ‘wiggle room’ as they say but everytime I invite her to go to the gym  she has an excuse. For some reason, she’s not up to it.

I finally asked her, “What does how you’re feeling  have to do with your going to the gym?” I know she found this annoying but I  was focused on her end result which was losing weight. “If I don’t feel like it I don’t have to go, she replied. Why are you so tough on me?”

“If I’m tired, I’m tired so I don’t have to do something I don’t like.”

Interesting isn’t it?  My friend is not alone, we are often willing to give up long term goals for short term goals that make us feel better! Sometimes you actually forget your long term goals!

There is another term for this, it’s called procrastination. Procrastination is a nasty word; if you can’t get yourself moving, you live in the world of procrastination. If you don’t push through it, you’ll find yourself getting anything done.

No, some goals aren’t easy to obtain. In fact some are really difficult.

What gets in our way? We allow our feelings to get in the way.

We forget that we  established the long term goal because of the payoff.

Suppose the doctor tells says  you need to lose 20 pounds in 3 months so you can get off your  diabetes meds. It’s Been hard to get your diabetes under control but your doctor says it’s essential. You agree and decide you’re going to the gym and off you go. You go once and after that you can’t seem to get yourself there. You have the usual short term excuses , it’s too hot, too cold or your’re too tired.

What can you do to solve this problem and get our of your own way?

Try these things:

Remember that long term goal? If it’s losing weight so you can get into that shirt, try it on everyday. I love this expression, “Do you want to be sore, or sorry later?” Stay focused, write it down, leave notes on the refrigerator, under your pillow–get obsessed with getting it done. Don’t touch any food outside your home. Tell people you’re allergic! Actually you are allergic.

Thanks to Robert Twe for the photo.

Remind yourself why  it’s so important to reach your goal and how good you will feel. Only you know what things are important and why. It’s also better to keep your goals to  yourself rather than sharing them with the world. Keeping your word to yourself is a big commitment and most people find it very difficult. You need support not criticism.

If you’ve ever been to Weight Watchers you know what it’s like to be surrounded by people who are working towards their goal.Why does Weight Watchers work?

Everyone in the group is on your side! In Charles Duhigg says in his book,  The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business, “When people join groups where change seems possible, the potential for that change to occur becomes more real.”Write a commitment letter to yourself and forwarded it to you friend and ask them to hold you accountable. Ask them if they have a goal they would like to meet and tell them you’ll be happy to hold them accountable!

Want to get healthy, hang out with healthy people! As suggests that those trying to remain sober should stay away from their old drinking buddies and the places where they used to hangout.

Don’t let your feelings get you off your path. They are used to showing up and ruling your life. Don’t let them do it, tell them to get our of your way. You may have to pretend they don’t exist. If you have a little voice that gets you off track–have a conversation with it, explain you’re not interested in his or her point of view. It’s like talking with Siri on your IPhone, what does she really know?

Each of us is on a journey called ‘our lives.’ Make yours and magnificent as you can.

Lisbeth Calandrino has been a Business Strategist; Trainer and Professional Coach  for over  20 years. To connect with me and discuss what keeps you up at night, reach me  at 518.495.5380 or at Lcalandrino@nycap.rr.com. Here’s a link to my blog—you can sign up to receive them regularly if you like, http://lisbethcalandrino.com/ or connect with  me through Floorcoveringnews.net, and my column LisBiz Strategies.

 

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7 08, 2018

THREE THINGS YOU NEED TO TURN YOUR HOBBY INTO A BUSINESS

By |2018-08-10T15:49:58+00:00August 7th, 2018|Blog, Building a Brand, Competitive Advantage, Customer Service, general|0 Comments

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More and more, we see a phenomenon expanding in the economy: skilled workers opting to stay at home and choosing to do contractual jobs over the internet. They take on employers based on task-specific contracts, going through several employees one after another. Sometimes, they even juggle several employees at once. They hand in excellent work, the arrangement expires, and they go on to the next contract.

This is the gig economy.

If making, hacking, and creating on the side isn’t enough for you, you may be thinking of taking your hobby legit. However, turning a hobby into a business isn’t just a matter of scaling up. Whether you’re selling creations, ideas, or services, here are three things you need to cut it in the business world.

A Platform
It doesn’t matter how awesome your products or services are if you don’t have a way to sell them. To monetize your hobby, you need a way to get the word out.

One option is selling through established marketplaces, including Etsy and Tindie. These platforms offer the benefit of already existing, so all you have to do is upload your information and list your items. However, with so many makers, crafters and DIYers using these marketplaces, it can be hard to stand out and find customers.

If you’re serious about your business, create an e-commerce website to list your wares. You can drive traffic and gain customers by marketing your business through social media, attending Maker Faires, and networking with your local maker community. Traditional marketing channels not doing it for you? Read Neil Patel’s guide to growth hacking for creative ways to expand your business.

Collaboration
Working from home has its limits. While a home office is great for focusing and cranking out work, it’s not the most creative environment. For exposure to new technologies and fresh ideas, seek a workspace you share with other makers.

Not only does co-working offices and maker spaces provide a place to work, but also these collaborative workspaces host events where you can learn, socialize and hear from leaders in the field. Make the right connection at a networking event and you can land yourself a partner for your newest project or an investor with a passion for your work. Collaborative workspaces expand your social capital and provide access to tools and technology that you might not be able to afford on your own.

To find a maker space in your area, check out the directory at Make.

Financial Savvy
The difference between a hobby and a business isn’t in how much time you commit to the pursuit. Rather, it’s all about how you handle the finances.

If you’re considered a business by the IRS, your business expenses are fully deductible. However, businesses have to check a few boxes, such as keeping financial records, paying estimated taxes and generating profit. You can learn more about the business-hobby distinction at The Simple Dollar.

You’ll need to keep financial records such as business expenses and income, receipts, invoices and inventory logs. How you maintain these records is up to you. While many small-business owners turn to software solutions like QuickBooks, when you’re first starting out, basic spreadsheets may be sufficient. However, some tech solutions are worth the effort.

Two apps that every new freelancer, side-gigger, or small-business owner should have in their pocket are a receipt-tracking app, and an invoicing app. A receipt app collects receipts in one place using pictures, so you’re not sorting through stacks of faded, crumpled receipts at tax time. An invoice app lets you send invoices right from your phone, so you can keep your business running on the go. More importantly, it makes it easy to see which invoices are outstanding so you don’t forget to get paid!

Turning a hobby into a successful enterprise is every maker’s dream. However, running a successful business requires more than passion and a great idea. If you want to see your dreams come to fruition, you need to pay just as much attention to these behind-the-scenes details as you do to the main attraction.

Article by Lucy Reed, lucy_reed@gigmine.co>The Gig Mine, http://gigmine.co/.

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20 06, 2018

Wow, I Have Really Been Off my Game!

By |2018-06-20T10:05:00+00:00June 20th, 2018|Blog, Building a Brand, Building relationships, Motivation and change|Comments Off on Wow, I Have Really Been Off my Game!

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I really owe you my dear reader, an apology. I haven’t posted since April 2018. What have I been doing? You know life isn’t supposed to get in the way of your business, but mine sure has. Like many of you, every so often we reach a crossroads in our life. Where am I and what should I do next? I know I love all of you, your notes and your phone calls so I don’t want to leave you. I want to make it more interesting. I’ve put together a bunch more for you! By the way, I’ve started sending new weekly emails through Followyourcustomer–I am adding you to the list. You can opt out if you don’t like them.

I’M NOT GOING ANYWHERE!

Many of you know I spend a lot of time at the gym—Yoga, Pilates and lifting weights. I also meditate. This helps me stay centered and clear out my thought process. I also attend lots of movies; they give me different ideas.

I am working on a series of online video training programs; when they are ready for release,  you will be the first to know. I am also intending to do a weekly show, WHITEBOARD WEDNESDAY, A FIVE MINUTE TIP AND TRICKS SERIES. I’m intending to make everything fun and would love your thoughts and ideas on what you would like.

Thank you so much for sticking with me; for some of you it has been almost 10 years! I started blogging on July 25, 2008! Maybe I should recycle some of them? Actually I like one called “Overcoming Objections: What about the Ones you Can’t Overcome?” I will find it for you.

Here are some photos of the garden, it’s been a rough year for one of my kitties, Rainyday. He has a terminal disease but he is still making the most of life.

Again I thank  you for bringing me into your life.

Hugs, Lisbeth

Lisbeth has been a motivational speaker and trainer for over 20 years. Her book “Red Hot Customer Service” was voted one of the top customer service books. Look for her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. To book a consultation, call her at 518.495-5380, EST, or email her at Lcalandrino@nycap.rr.com.

 

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15 04, 2018

Are You Ready for 2018 Social Media Trends

By |2018-04-15T19:00:29+00:00April 15th, 2018|Blog|0 Comments

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Digital Media Bible bayo

The only way to keep up with social media trends is to be paying attention and reading articles on a daily basis. I came across this article by Ryan Holmes, founder and CEO of Hootsuite. The article “2018 Biggest Social Media Trends,” is in Jan. 2, 2018 Forbes Magazine. This is the link to the article, https://bit.ly/2HloqSi.

We all know that Facebook is here to stay; according to the article, Facebook reported the biggest Q3 earnings–up nearly 50% from one year ago. Consumers are spending 9 hours a day on social media platforms and video is still tops. It would appear that people are spending more time on social media than on television. (We knew that was coming.)

–It’s been said that Facebook will be stopping all organic reach. Unless you want to ‘pay up,’ company social posts will be stopped!

–Video continues to evolve and social media will be bringing bigger audiences and a bigger return on your investment. It will be used to promote businesses–forget about them going viral.

–QR codes are back in a big way; I’m really glad, I liked them. You can point your iPhone and activate the code. The code will help you log into Pay Pal, send tweets and texts. QR codes will be everywhere.

–Multi-second marketing will have  the ability to automate campaigns. Expect  to see AI and related tools play an ever more important behind-the-scenes role in sharing messages.

–Remember Microsoft purchased LinkedIn. According to Forbes contributor Grant Feller in “This is the Real Reason Microsoft Bought LinkedIn,”

This new deal means Microsoft can embed LinkedIn with Skype, its email system and other enterprise products so that, in the words of one Silicon Valley expert, it will be able ‘to recreate the connective tissue for enterprises.”

How will we keep up with this? We probably won’t be able to unless we are constantly on the lookout daily. If we’re going to stay on the cutting edge, we’ll have to be diligent. Greek philosopher Heraclitus of the late 6th century  was right, “The Only thing that is Constant is Change-”

Lisbeth Calandrino is available to coach and build business strategies for your company.

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