Author Archives: Lynn Van Meter

Why losing your “voice” can be bad for your business

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While literally losing your voice is no picnic, it’s happened to me on occasion, figuratively it could spell disaster.

When I talk about VOICE I am drawing from my author perspective.  When I’m not working on project for clients I am an aspiring author of children’s literature.  The resounding comment from agents, editors and publishers is your VOICE.  What makes the way you tell your story uniquely you and does it engage the reader.

The VOICE of your business or your brand is key to your success.  It is also critical in the world of consultancy too.

1.  Don’t be a flip flop – constantly changing your approach, your methods, your product, to beat or stay ahead of the curve.  Adjustments are always necessary  but should be well thought out.

Circle of flip flops on grass.

2.  Consider criticism carefully and objectively

The Voice of your business may not be the Voice of another.  Don’t be foolish and reject constructive criticism.

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3.  If your a manatee, be a manatee, don’t try to be a dolpinmanatee

If the VOICE of your business is to offer cutting web design, don’t be out there trying to sell yourself as a wedding planner

DO WHAT YOU LOVE, LOVE WHAT YOU DO!

Eventually you will be discovered for being something your not.

wolf-sheeps-clothing

I enjoy wearing lots of hats – both literally and figuratively and I try very hard to stay true to my VOICE for business because it’s what I have worked hard to establish and brand.

hat

(thank goodness hats like these are not needed here in Florida, and flip flops can be the shoe of choice)

Whatever you do, don’t be SMARMY

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You may be asking yourself, what is SMARMY? Well it’s one of my new favorite words. Not only is it useful to understand a behavior, but it is also fun to say. Let’s say it together SMARMY.

This is really a cautionary tale for everyone. You may be in a job which requires you to attend endless functions, many times on task to make connection with an individual who represents a business you want to connect with, or a business you are asking for a donation from. Either way endless networking, schmoozing and socializing may cause you to put on a false front or be SMARMY.

Our good friends at Merriam-Webster have defined SMARMY

behaving in a way that seems polite, kind, or pleasing but is not genuine or believable

So it would suffice to say – SMARMY is the opposite of genuine. In this age of connectivity, it is easy to disconnect and be superficial providing a false front of what you think people want to see, read or hear.

Be bona fide and you will no doubt attract the same. JUST SAY NO TO SMARMY 🙂

The Most Powerful Two Letter Word and Why You Need to Say It

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You’ve met the type. They volunteer, not just for one thing, but usually for multiple ones. Their plate is full of family, work, or social activities. Maybe you can relate! For a person who is used to saying yes to additional activities, the idea of saying no seems unthinkable, foreign, or just plain wrong.

Well here’s the newsflash!

Saying yes to saying NO is necessary.

One thing my father told me when I went off to college was BALANCE. Don’t study all the the time, don’t play all the time. Many times doing too much good is bad because usually something else suffers because of it. Over committing yourself at work, home, or volunteering throws everything out of balance. Serving on too many volunteers boards, or doing too much work for free is also bad – especially if your clients or families or your health suffers because of it.

What is the most important thing in your life?

It may be ONE THING
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You may still be figuring out what that is – and if you need a little help – City Slickers might be the movie you need to see.

Curly: “Do you know what the secret of life is?”
[He holds up one finger]
Curly: “This.”
Mitch: “Your finger?”
Curly: “One thing. Just one thing. You stick to that and the rest don’t mean s–t.”
Mitch: “But what is the one thing?”
Curly: [smiles] “That’s what you have to find out.”

The truth of the matter is if you are saying yes instead of saying no to things which directly negatively impact your 1 or 10 things, you are doing yourself a horrible wrong.

So I leave you with a challenge – before you commit to adding one more thing to your day, your to do list, your busy – think long and hard how about the ripple effect. It may not be such a big thing – but it is one more thing.

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What is your forte, niche, the thing you excel at?

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Are you trying to be all things to all people when the thing you should really be focusing on is your forte, your niche, your super awesomeness!

I’m a firm believer that in the theory that people only do their best at things they truly enjoy. It is difficult to excel at something you don’t enjoy. – Jack Nicklaus

Maybe you are still trying to figure out what your niche is. Maybe you’d rather do it all than focus on your best assets, your proven successes. When I first set up my business, I believed I had to offer the moon. In reality there are things I just don’t do or don’t care to do. There are things that I may be good at, but not fabulous.

Focus on the Fabulous- Lynn Van Meter

Over the past several years I can honestly say, I am doing just that. In a massive overhaul of all of my branding, marketing, and retooling of all things printed and digital, I will be rolling out a very nichey list of services. I will not be serving up the whole enchilada, but an a la cart menu of professional services bound to entice and produce results. I will collaborate on services which are not my specialty with those who have the same mindset

If you are the best in your forte, we need to have a conversation. I am looking for the best

web designers, print media specialists, graphic designers, photographers, and that’s just the beginning

Don’t waste another minute on doing something you don’t enjoy or you can’t offer the best of the best to your clients. It’s okay to say no. Say yes to the things your are skilled at. Be the best in your niche of business. Be a guru.

This above all: to thine own self be true – Shakespeare

Three stupid mistakes killing your business that are so obvious, you’ll feel like an idiot after you read this! You can thank me now!

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So you’ve worked hard for years to build a thriving business.  Your business has a great reputation and they tell their friends about your business.  Then it happens…. customers start leaving, maybe so gradually you don’t even notice.  YOU SHOULD NOTICE!

Dollar for dollar it’s much cheaper to retain an existing customer then attract a new one.

Killer #1 – Your front office staff is rude.  – no explanation needed

Killer #2 – Your establishment looks worn or visibly dirty. – paint is cheap, no one wants to eat or visit a medical office that is gross!

Killer #3 – You ignore #1 & #2

This is not rocket science.  Daily I hear of customers leaving other offices in search of a better one and it’s not because of the end service they are unsatisfied with.  It’s the obvious stuff.  Don’t be stupid – you’re smarter than that!

New Year’s Irresolutions

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Does the Thought of News Years Resolutions leave you feeling like this?Image

After reading an article debunking the myth of how habits take 21 days to form, take heart there’s a better way to approach the new year and your business goals.

  • When January 1 rolls around, don’t attempt to change lots of things, focus on one small change that can make a big difference
  • Change can happen any time during the year – not just in January
  • Change doesn’t have to occur- if it ain’t broke don’t fix it – remember NEW COKE?
  • Don’t be fearful of change – especially by your critics.

So as you are pondering the possibilities of 2014, don’t forget

If you accept the expectations of others, especially negative ones, then you never will change the outcome.

Michael Jordan

Are you ready to be successful?

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Talent alone won’t make you a success. Neither will being in the right place at the right time, unless you are ready. The most important question is: Are your ready?
Johnny Carson

Top Ten List

1. Be early

Tardiness often robs us opportunity, and the dispatch of our forces.
Machiavelli, Niccolo

2. Be prepared

Before everything else, getting ready is the secret to success.
Henry Ford

3. Be pragmatic

Some people are pragmatists, taking things as they come and making the best of the choices available. Some people are idealists, standing for principle and refusing to compromise. And some people just act on any whim that enters their heads. I pragmatically turn my whims into principles.
Bill Watterson

4. Be enthusiastic

Enthusiasm is not the same as just being excited. One gets excited about going on a roller coaster. One becomes enthusiastic about creating and building a roller coaster.
Bo Bennett

5. Be diligent

I never could have done what I have done without the habits of punctuality, order, and diligence, without the determination to concentrate myself on one subject at a time.
Charles Dickens

6. Be relevant

Quality, relevant content can’t be spotted by an algorithm. You can’t subscribe to it. You need people – actual human beings – to create or curate it.
Kristina Halvorson

7. Be committed

There are only two options regarding commitment. You’re either in or out. There is no such thing as life in-between.
Pat Riley

8. Be polite

One of the greatest victories you can gain over someone is to beat him at politeness.
Josh Billings

9. Be an ally

There’s nothing worse than finding yourself in a situation, a very demanding piece of work, and knowing that you’re not a true ally to the person who’s in charge of all that.
Daniel Day-Lewis

10. Be genuine

Bottom line: if you show a genuine interest in learning about how others became successful, you can open up a world of opportunities.
Armstrong Williams