Welcome to The 94 Day Challenge

Welcome to the 94DayChallenge Blog!  

I am so excited to be on this journey with you.  Welcome, Welcome, Welcome to the 94 Day Challenge!  Each of you have been accepted into this wonderful program because you TOOK ACTION!.   This is a program about making a difference in your life – more freedom, more wealthy, more security, more time, more energy and the list goes on.  Every difference begins with a single step and your determination, persistence and behaviors have demonstrated to me that you are not procrastinators but men and women of ACTION.

 Every successful person in the world has become so because they took the necessary steps to reach what they wanted.  They had daily discipline and rigor to take back their lives and get to where they want to go, no matter what!

This program isn’t for whiners, complainers and procrastinators….oh no!  It is for the truly committed and I welcome each of you to reach out to each other and share your goals for these people are part of our community and part of the entire process.  Embrace them!

 You truly stand apart from the crowd and I am so proud to be on this journey with you and cannot wait to watch each of you reach victory. 

Remember “A day of action leads to lifetime of results”

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“What is the one thing that people do not do enough of these days in order to ensure success?”

This is a question that I presented to my contacts and to my surprise; there were clearly not a lot of people doing enough of the answer. As the child of a strong-willed and determined woman, I have learned to appreciate the value in this and I have seen firsthand from those that I coach that the lack of this will result in their businesses to fail. The answer is W-O-R-K.

I am surprised at how many business owners claim how little they work and often go on to brag about how much money they make, only to be found years later in debt and trying to rebuild their fortunes. If you ask any successful business owner, he or she will tell you that they work almost every day except on vacations. Donald Trump, Oprah Winfrey and Bill Gates all report to their offices each day working on their success. This is the true foundation for wealth and success, a strong dedication to work.

The difference between Donald Trump, Oprah Winfrey and Bill Gates going to work compared to those other entrepreneurs is that they truly enjoy what they are doing for a living and don’t think of it as work. They have a deep rooted passion that motivates them every day to continue on their mission or to follow their calling as some would say.

To them the word W-O-R-K means:

W – Willingness to take action, make decisions and implement plans each day in support of their passion. Success is about mindset and motivation and being willing to take 100% responsibility for reaching your goals every day.

O – Ownership in their future, success and wealth. They do not let anything stand in their way of their dreams or achieving their goals and they do not sit back and wait for things to happen. They make things happen.

R- Reasonable in their expectations. Successful people set goals and set reasonable goals. They may have big dreams and big visions but they also have the sense to build a roadmap and set reasonable expectations. This allows them to reach further in their networks and their resources and to work with others in achieving their overall goals.

K- Keeping it real and moving it forward. Successful people know that mistakes will happen and they don’t let them stop them from their goals. They are flexible in the plans and can adjust when needed. They are master implementers and quick decision makers, never allowing a mistake to get in their way of success.

So, the moral of the story is “don’t be afraid of hard work, commitment to work and to achieving your life goals and dreams”. When you find your passion and are on a path to fulfillment, it won’t feel like work but rather enjoyment.

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5 Big Website Mistakes

ezineMany business owners focus so much time and money designing their website thinking that just by having a website, people will find them.  But many don’t realize that there are millions of websites just like theirs in the World Wide Web.  To truly stand out and to optimize your chances for website success, there are certain things that you must do to ensure success so why do so many fail?  Although there are many mistakes entrepreneurs make with their website, here are the top 5 for you to consider.

 1. Not making it dynamic

Far too many use their websites as a glorified brochure sitting still and static on the web hoping somebody will find them.  When a website sits there, it often loses its ranking and positioning very quickly in a world where there are websites that are dynamic and constantly changing.   A successful website is updated frequently and continues to attract search engine spiders and visitors by being dynamic.  A simple solution is to add a blog to your website and update it often.

 2. Not including testimonials or case studies.

Demonstrating that you have raving fans is a great way to showcase your talents but many fail to include testimonials on their websites.  People relate to people so include testimonials or case studies that demonstrate not only what you can do for your customers, but your character too.

 3. Not making it personal

Too many business owners hide behind the company persona and fail to connect with people through their website.  Add some personal qualities to your website and allow your visitors to get to know a little about you and your organization.  Use photos and bios of yourself and your team and make sure they are done professionally.

 4. Not having an email capture

Not knowing who has been to your website and capturing their email addresses is another big mistakes made by many business owners.  Be sure to entice people to give you their email addresses so you have a way to follow up with them for other services or to uncover potential opportunities.

 5. Not tracking visitors

So many websites do not track how many visitors are coming to the site, where they are clicking and from what area of the world they are coming from.  There are many ways to track this data, one being Google analytics.  The more information you have about the people you are attracting, the more you can customize your site towards your specific demographic.

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7 Simple Secrets to Turning Prospects into Customers

secretsTurning prospects in to customers is a big challenge many business owners  face especially when they are not skilled in the selling process.  But having customers is necessary to grow your business so here are 7 simple secrets to turning prospects into customers.

1. Attract the right prospect to your funnel

It is very easy to think that everyone is a prospect but the reality is that not everyone is right for you.  You know your true value and what you can do for your customers.  Use marketing strategies that attract your ideal prospect to you.  For example, if your product is geared towards the wealthy and is priced accordingly, you want to attract prospects who can afford your offering.

2. Be willing to give

Sometimes people need to experience you first before they are willing to engage your services.  Be willing to share your knowledge, your expertise and yourself for free to attract prospects.  Don’t hold back, put out your best and most powerful stuff.   If people like what they experience, they will seek you out when they need your services.

3. Stop talking and start listening

Stop trying to sell your prospects and start looking for ways to serve.  The best way to do this is by simply listening.  Get your prospect to talk about themselves and from your heart, offer your services to help them.  Be creative and think out of the box.

4. Look for ways you can truly serve

When you are really listening, you should be able to open your mind and be creative.  If you are truly coming from a place that is authentic, you will be able to find ways that you can truly serve the needs of your prospect.

5. Be authentic and real

Business is based upon relationships so open yourself up to relate with people.  Be authentic and be real.  If you follow all of the above steps and you are true and come from a place of high integrity, your prospects will pick up that quality.

6. Show them it’s an investment, not an expense

Banish the word budget from your vocabulary.  Really focus on the benefits and the outcomes and talk to your prospect about making an investment that is going to yield a return, versus an expense.

7. Eliminate the risk

Some people will still be uncertain so remove the risk.  Offer them a guarantee of some sort so they can test you out before they commit.  Sometimes people need this safety net, so make it easy for your prospect to do business with you.

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10 Ways to be More Productive in Your Home Business

Working from home is a dream come true for most.  Thoughts of simpler times and easier work – life balance, conference calls in your pajamas and uninterrupted focus on your work.  Well, think again.  Before you know it the lines between work and life begin to get blurred as you start to be pulled in multiple directions and are faced with choices such as “should I put in a load of laundry before I start this proposal”, or “Should I plan dinner before inputting my business expenses”.  These are real world examples of what happens in home based businesses and before you know it, there are unforeseen distractions, lack of balanced time and sometimes, a lost identity since many relate who they are with want they do.  But don’t give up just yet; her e are 10 tips to keep you on track and to be more productive in your home business.

 1.  Declare a specific work space

Maintain a separate and dedicated workspace that you can use when you are in “work mode”.  This is a place that you condition yourself that when you are in, you are to be 100% focused on work activities.

 2.  Set a work schedule

Make sure to structure your day so you are not pulled in different directions.   Try to schedule your day and isolate a specific work schedule that works for you and your lifestyle.  If you want to go to the gym everyday for an 11 o’clock yoga class, then work that into your schedule.  Perhaps your workday starts at noon.  One of the benefits of working from home is that you get to set your own schedule, just make sure you set a firm schedule and keep to it.

 3.  Outsource what you can

Streamline your business and outsource what you can.  Hire a virtual assistant who can handle the administrative tasks which will allow you to focus on building your business.  If you try to do everything yourself, you will soon realize that you are working long hours.

 4.  Stay focused

When you are at your workspace, stay focused.  Make sure other members of the household know that you are in the “zone” and that you are not to be interrupted.  Keep all of your personal stuff away from your workspace and stay 100% committed to getting your work done for the day.

 5.  Beware of the “needy” people

When people hear you are working from home, they often envision that you are lying around on the couch eating snacks and will begin to ask favors of you since they are stuck in their office.  Don’t fall into the trap of the needy people.   During your work hours, you are working and be firm when your friends ask you to check on their pets, or wait for the cable guy or run errands for them.  Treat your  business as though you also have a job and set those boundaries up in the beginning.

 6.  Break for people

One of the benefits of working in an office is that you are around people.  Don’t isolate yourself from others.  Take moments to join your friends for lunch or participate in classes.  Surround yourself with others when you can so you can stay motivated, connected and engaged.

 7.  Group errands and tasks

Try to minimize your “out of office” time but grouping your errands together.  Rather than a bunch of in and out of the house, set out to complete all of your errands in one complete swoop.  This way, you will manage your time better.

 8.  Use technology

Be sure to use technology in your business.  This will give the impression that you are bigger than you are and cut down expenses.  Nowadays, you can have virtual meetings, send documents electronically and collaborate with others in an online environment.  Just remember to have separate lines for yourself and your business.

 9.  Manage your administrative time

Checking emails, social media, returning phone calls, putting together reports and checking blackberry can be time wasters.  Be sure to manage your time.  Select three times a day that you check email s and that is the only time you check them.  If you fall victim to checking emails as soon as they come in, before you know it, the day is gone.

10.  Set your own pace to your own moods

This is your dream.  Be sure to live it.  Create a business that works for you and what you want just be sure to treat it as a business and stay focused and disciplined.

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Selling from the Heart and not the Head

As business owners, we get into business with the best of intentions and a passion for what we want to do to earn a living and then we are faced with the reality that we must have sales in order to ring our registers and put food on our tables.  And that requires us to sell.  Ugg!  That ugly word, selling. 

Many business owners are not skilled at selling and often fear it because of the negative experiences and impressions they have in their own lives.  When you ask one what selling means, you often hear words like sleazy, manipulative and cut throat.  Doesn’t sound like fun does it?   The truth is selling can be fun but you need to make sure you are selling from a genuine place of wanting to serve your customers versus from a place that is self-serving.  Here are 7 tips on how to sell from your heart and not from your head.

Tip 1:
Remember why you went into business and the original passion you felt when you came up with the idea.  There was an underserved need in your market that you felt passionately about serving.  Keep this close to your heart and in your mind.

Tip 2:
Be clear on who your ideal buyer is.  The type of individual you want to attract into your business that you know you can help and you really want to work with. These are the people you resonate with and can easily connect to.

 Tip 3:
Take time to build a relationship with your customers and prospects.  People think with logic but act with emotion so if you allow the relationship to grow and make an emotional connection, the sales will eventually come.

 Tip 4:
Ask lots of questions and give your prospect an opportunity to speak.   In order to find out specifically how you can serve and what your customers needs are, you need to ask questions to really uncover an area where you can offer assistance and make sure you listen, listen, listen.

 Tip 5:
Come from a true place of serving your ideal market and look for solutions that you offer that help your ideal client and get them quicker to their goals.  Be genuine and be authentic and rather than look for how you can close a sale, really focus on them and how you can make them better.

 Tip 6:
Lead with your gifts.  Offer your expertise and your knowledge willingly and for free.  This will attract people who are interested in learning more information about you and provide you with an opportunity to demonstrate your skills.

Tip 7:
Don’t push the close.  If you make an offer of your services to a potential customer, do not chase them for a decision.  If they want to work with you they will let you know and remember to continue to treat them in the same manner if they hire you or not.

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To Outsource or Not? That is the Question

OutsourceAnswerOutsourcing is one of those “ugly” words that seem to frighten many small business owners.  Often they fear that if they don’t perform a certain tasks themselves that task won’t be executed properly or because the have limited funds, are convinced that they cannot afford to outsource.  Yet, each one of them are usually plagued with trying to get too much done at once, not focusing on activities that produce revenue or activities that systematize their business resulting in their business being stalled while they deal with the chaos they created.

Outsourcing is a good thing and when used correctly, will yield tremendous value in both the short term and long term. Here are 5 tips to effective outsourcing.

1.   Know what to outsource and what not.

Take a look at what your strengths are and where you can add the most value to your business and look to outsource in areas where you know you are weak.  Although it may cost you more in the beginning, the  truth is if you do not have the time or expertise in that subject matter your learning curve will be long and add to your frustration and overall expense, for example:  Bookkeeping, marketing, writing, product development and other tasks that require specialization.  Other tasks to look at are those that are “robotic” or so simple anyone can do it, for example, link building, article and press release submission, proofreading, appointment setting.

2.   Select the right outsource partner.

Make sure you do the due diligence to select the right partner.  Spend the time discussing how you like to work, what you expect and how you like to be communicated with.  You are in charge and need to set the tone for how you need to give and receive information.  You want to ensure that you have a rapport with your partners so have a real conversation, not one from behind a computer and lastly, check references to get the observations of others.

3.   Give clear direction and set clear expectations.

Be clear and specific in your communications to your outsource partner.  Do not assume they know what you mean, or are coming from the same point of reference.  Also, don’t use “company jargon” or assume everyone has the same definition of terms. As with any business meeting, ensure that you have a meeting of the minds on what exactly you are looking for and what they understand the deliverable to be.  In time, you and your partner will begin to work in lock and step together, but set the stage up front.

4.   Systematize and automate when possible.

Small businesses often fail to record and systematize all of their processes.  They fall into the manual trap of remembering to get things done or “it is on my to-do list” when it comes to certain critical tasks of the business.  Be sure to create structured processes that can be systematize and automated wherever it makes sense.  You want your business to grow beyond you and in order to do that, you have to put a formal structure in place so others can easily follow.

5.   Inspect what you expect.

You are still in charge of the process so you want to “inspect what you expect’ from your outsource partners similar to if they were employees on your team.  Do not assume that everything is going along with no issues; make sure you put in the controls to test your systems periodically.  Check for quality, pricing, turnaround time, efficiencies.  Are your partners continually adding value and looking for ways to improve your business?  If the answer is no, then find a new outsourcing partner.

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5 Things to Consider When Building a Powerful Brand

fiveessentialsIn today’s world, it takes a strong, branded identity along with a memorable customer experience that generates a good buzz to keep the brand going and the profits flowing.   The goal of every business owner is not just to create satisfied customers but to create the WOW experience that leads to brand evangelists.  In today’s market, complete with word of mouth marketing, PDAs and social media, a company’s brand is controlled by the consumer and these days, a brand’s reputation can be supported or destroyed within a click of a few keys on a computer.   Here are five things to consider when building your brand:

1. Create A Real Brand Promise

Your brand promise is the center of everything you do when you are in business.  It is the essence of what your company stands for and is the commitment you make to your customers.  Your brand promise is what you tell your customers that they can expect from you each and every time they come in contact with your company.  Don’t send out a message or a promise that isn’t true to who you are, what you can deliver and what you team believes in.  Be sure to create an authentic brand promise and commit to living up to delivering on that promise every time.

2. Get Everybody On Board

Make sure all personnel from your top management down through your sales, accounting, operations and distribution departments are on board with your brand.  You need to have strong and committed company leadership to build a solid brand and a staff that passionately buys into the brand’s promise and delivers upon it every day.

3. Over Deliver on the Promise

To create brand evangelist, you need to create an ultimate customer experience that wows your customer each time they engage with your business.  This requires you to do more than what is expected and to over deliver on your brand promise at each customer touchpoint.

4. Don’t Confuse Advertising with Branding

Many business owners tend to focus their effort on advertising and creating hype versus truly building a brand.  Relying on marketing and advertising alone to build a powerful brand is a mistake.  You need a combination of a strong promise, exceptional service, a compelling message and top notch leadership.

5. Stay True to your Purpose and Your Passion

The best way build an authentic brand is to stay true to your original purpose and passion.  When the business first started, there was an initial spark that created all the passion and reason for existing.  Don’t make the mistake of adopting an artificial persona and don’t move away from the created identity that makes you real and trustworthy to your customers.

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5 Life Lessons Learned from Winston Churchill

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7 Tips to Get Your Year in Gear!

What a year!  Many of us have had ups and downs pr_new-years-resolutionswith the fluctuating economy, declining housing marketing, rising unemployment, stricter lending and a divided political climate.  Too often when we are overwhelmed by outside events, we have a tendency to retreat into the comforts of the status quo and wallowing in our depression.  Now it is time to get your year in gear and join The 94 Day Challenge.   Here are 7 tips to help you get started.

1. Hang around the right people.

Motivation comes in many forms but the strongest will come from your circle of influence.  Surround yourself with positive people who build up your self esteem and challenge you to succeed.  The best way to do this is to find others who are like minded and who have either achieved what you are trying to achieve or have already accomplished your goal.  These are the cheerleaders who will keep you strong especially when times get tough.

2.       Hold yourself accountable.

Accountability is the strongest tool you can use in goal achievement.   People with integrity keep their promises so make yourself a promise and hold yourself to it.   A simple way is to create milestones and deadlines that you hold yourself responsible for meeting.  If you need some additional help, than find an accountability partner who can be your support buddy and share the responsibility of reaching your goals with them.

3.       Set realistic expectations.

Super achievers set realistic expectations and meet them each and every time.  To be truly successful in goal achievement, you must be realistic in your expectations.  Make sure your actual goal and the timeframe you select is within reason.  When you don’t, you are sure to face frustration and failure.

4. Find a deep reason to make change.

For goals to be reached you must really want it.  Want it so bad that there is a deep burning desire.  This desire keeps you focused and motivated.  In order for your reason to be deep enough, you must reach down into your soul and select a reason that is personal enough.

5.       Manage your subconscious

Most of us never reach our goals because we do not manage our subconscious brains.  Our subconscious is our protector and hates change.  In order to get your year in gear, you must master this part of your brain and you must manage fear.  Fear is the number one reason people do not seize the day.

6.       Take Action!

The number one secret of all successful people is that they take action and they take it every day without exception.  They set realistic goals, stay focused on them, knows the deep reasons they want to reach them and are not afraid to take action.

7.       Take The 94 Day Challenge

All change begins with a simple word: Yes! If you have already broken your New Year’s resolutions or are not living a life of prosperity, happiness and fulfillment, than you need to make the decision to do something differently and you need to make changes NOW!

We spend most of our time, our lives on autopilot going about our day the same way, doing the same things and in the same manner. How many times have you been driving only to find yourself at your destination without any memory of how you got there? The same theory explains why so many never reach their goals. They try the same approaches, the same outlooks and take the same action day after day after day only to be surprised that they reached the same results.

WAKE UP YOUR BRAIN and see what you can accomplish over the next 94 days when you fully apply yourself.

I am offering you an incredible opportunity to make a real difference in your life. Carpe Diem – “Seize the Day” and be astounded by what you can accomplish.

Imagine being able to create the life of your dreams, to have the relationships you crave, the job or business that you desire. Imagine building wealth beyond your wildest dreams or learning a new skill that makes you feel like a million bucks.

To achieve all that you can, you need to set very specific goals, develop a roadmap to reach those goals, awaken your brain and take action.

So, Are You Ready?

What do you want to achieve this year? Buy a new house? Lose a few pounds? Pay off those credit cards or finally write that great American novel you have been dreaming about.

I believe that all humans have within them, the potential to reach all of their goals. They possess the drive, the skills and the knowledge to achieve all that they want in life. The question is will you take the necessary action to make change and build the life of your dreams?

Imagine Having a Mentor to Motivate You Along The Way! Your Own Personal Coach Calling in the Plays

Imagine having someone coaching and pushing you along and showing you how to break outside your comfort zone and inspiring you to forge ahead. Also imagine, that person helping you stay focused and committed to the process and taking a No Excuses Approach!

 

Kellie D’Andrea teaches people how to succeed.  She is the creator of The 94 Day Challenge, a goal achievement program providing individuals with tools, resources and a personalized coach to motivate, educate and lead the way to victory.  Interested in learning more and making positive change in your life, sign up here http://www.94daychallenge.com

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5 Fabulous Ideas for Writing Fabulous Sales Letters

Sales letters are a very effective way to get your message out. Whether you are sending out a direct letter or using email as your distribution strategy, to make your sales letter fabulous, you need to get your creative juices flowing and write something powerful that people will want to read. You must be compelling, conversational, and creative. Here are five tried and true methods for writing fabulous sales letters. Give them a try and watch your results soar.

1. The Big Question
The big question sets the stage for an answer. In your headline or in your opening paragraph, you should open up with a big and (sometimes) provocative question that gets the reader thinking and searching for those same answers. This will compel the reader to continue on in search of the answer. For example, “Have you ever wondered if there was something more to life? If I told you I had a program guaranteed to show you how to reach your goals, would you be interested?” Basic psychology tells us that when you ask a question, people will immediately try to find the answer. This creates an immediate connection with your reader and leads them to your answer – your product or service.

2. Storytelling
One of the best sales secrets out there is storytelling. When writing your sales letters, try to lead with a story that your reader can relate to. For example, when I started my business, I had no idea how to attract new clients. I was not a marketing person and wanted nothing to do with it, but I knew it was a critical element to my business. Then I purchased “Marketing 101” and instantly, my fears disappeared. I gained instant peace of mind, attracted new clients and watched my profits soar. The goal is to write a story that the readers want to hear- one that relates to their situation and creates empathy.

3. Free Offer
People love certain words and free is one of them. Offer your readers something free right up front and they will feel compelled to continue reading out of obligation. Although your offer is free, it is understood that you are offering it in exchange for them reading your letter. For example, on my own website, “Would you like a free 5 part miniseries on entrepreneurism? Then just go to www.kelliedandrea.com.”

4. Personal Testimonial
Another good technique is to connect right away with a personal testimonial from somebody your reader knows. For example, your friend James recommended we contact you because he thought our product would be helpful to you to reach your goals. If you operate a referral program, this is extremely easy. Just be sure to capture the names and the connections and once the reader sees the name of someone they know, the letter makes a strong personal connection.

5. Problem Identifier
Fear is a powerful emotion and the advertising industry has been using this as a powerful marketing tool for years. By creating a sales message that produces a fear in your readers, they will be more compelled to continue reading in hopes of finding a solution to that fear. For example, “Did you know that home values have dropped by 72%? Where is your security?” If you are in the financial services business, this may be an effective way to create fear and motivate your reader to purchase your products.

The overall objective to a sales letter is to “hook” your reader to take action. You have less than 3 seconds to grab their attention and less than 30 seconds after that for them to decide whether they will read, skim or dispose of your letter. You must take every action possible in order to keep your readers interested and these 5 methods are excellent was to do so.

 

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