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Make Yourself Memorable

As business owners, we often interact with a lot of different people on a daily basis. Whether we connect through networking groups, meet-and-greets, vendor shows, or social media, there are a whole lot of names and a whole lot of faces that we may encounter and vice versa. And if you’re having a hard time keeping track of who’s who and what they do, then there is a good chance that they might be having a hard time remembering who you are too. No matter how many business cards you pass out, if people don't remember you well, they probably won't be calling you to follow up or keep you in mind for possible referrals.

 Here are some ways to make yourself memorable:

  • Give people at least one token to remember you by. Think of this as your individual token that makes you distinct from everyone else. This could be as easy as wearing a brightly-colored shirt, an interesting tie, or a unique piece of jewelry to give them a visual object to recollect their memory of you. This distinction can also come in the form of a simple verbal phrase, or hook, when you introduce yourself. For example, “Hello, my name is Janna Hoiberg, and I am an Action Coach!” This one sentence carries two golden memory nuggets: my name and my business. For people who struggle with remembering names, it might be easier for them to remember the phrase “Action Coach” while for others it may be easier for them to remember my name.
  • Show Your Genuine Interest in Them. It may sound contradictory, but you make yourself memorable when you change your focus away from telling people about you and instead letting them tell you about themselves. This is especially true when you are meeting many people in a large setting, such as a vendor show or conference, where it’s very easy to become a crowded blur of faces in people’s memories. You can learn about them by asking when they opened their business, what drew them into their industry, and what they enjoy most about their work. Keep in mind that as they are talking about themselves, they are also offering you memory nuggets for you to keep in your thoughts, so make sure to gather at least one token for you to remember them by.
  • Make Them Feel Good. This goes hand-in-hand with showing interest in people. When you make people feel good, then you are making yourself memorable. As American Author, Maya Angelou, says: People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Some ways to make people feel good is to sincerely compliment them and give them your full presence and attention and actively listening to them. (For great tips on being an active listener, check out my blog titled “Lend Them Your Ears”.) Also remember to SMILE! Your smile is always in style and it has the power to brighten people’s day in an instant, and they’ll appreciate that you made them a priority.

So the next time you are getting ready to make a good FIRST impression, also remember to make yourself memorable leave a LASTING impression. 

It is Monday.  The week is ahead and rather than joy and opportunity too many see dread, frustration and a long week that they would prefer to avoid.  Why is Monday so hard?  Do you have too much fun on the weekends and too little fun during the week?  How do we take that dread out of Sunday night and Monday and totally change our perspective on the week? It is hard, however without changing that perspective you will have over 2500 days (50 days a year working for 50 years) in your life that you don’t enjoy and would rather avoid.  Pretty sad and filled with missed opportunities.

Here is the reality:

  • Monday is filled with tons of fresh opportunity.  The weekend away (or even a day) gives you new perspective, new motivation and a chance to implement changes.
  • Monday is the beginning of a new week and time to accomplish the tasks that you have planned (assuming you planned out the week).
  • Monday is the best day to stand out from everyone else and show your energy, your passion and your commitment – while everyone is recovering and or dreading the day.

It is your mindset, how you look at the week’s opportunities and how you have planned out the week.  Monday’s that I resist are the ones I haven’t planned.  Mondays that are hard are the ones that I haven’t determined my passion for that week, nor determined how accomplishing the plan takes me one more step closer to my goal.

One of my clients last year challenged me with his lack of passion.  He was tired, not enjoying his job, not feeling motivated.  That lack of passion was reflected in everything he did.  His time management, sales goals and interactions with fellow employees and management were all missing the mark.  Our conversation focused on 3 points:

  1. How much of your lack of passion is due to what you tell yourself every day?  Do you constantly tell yourself you aren’t motivated, or do you continually look at what you are grateful for – maybe even just having a job.
  2. How much of your issues with colleges, customers and management is a failure to look in the mirror to see how you are causing the issues – most of the time we are at the root of the challenges we face.
  3. Are you doing fun things on weekends so you are rejuvenated on Monday?  Or are you sitting around and not challenging yourself, getting outside, learning something new, trying something new, getting together with the “right” friends (not those that complain all the time).

Try these simple steps and Mondayitis may not be quite so bad – if your attitude is more positive and you stop allowing yourself the permission to have Mondayitis.  Let me know how it works and have an awesome week!

The critical impact of attitude is seen every day in the business world.  What one business owner sees as a disaster, another sees as opportunity and capitalizes on that opportunity.  Those who have spent their lives in below the line thinking don’t even realize the impact it has not only on them personally, but their families, businesses, customers and potential.  If their team is below the line, where did they learn it from?  Most likely they learned it from the business owner.  An owner who is below the line will hire staff who also first turn to blame, excuses and denial. It is someone else’s fault that the project is delivered late, someone else’s fault that the customer is upset.  To change they will need someone to hold them accountable to point out where they are below the line. 

As I work with clients on this concept, the tendency is to swing to a point where issues in the business are not discussed with the excuse (notice the tendency again) that the issue is below the line.  This doesn’t give permission for a business to white wash issues in the business.  What is does change is the ownership and responsibility for changing the issue at hand.  If projects are late, that is a fact.  The question is what must change in the business to ensure projects are not delivered late, that your customers have the experience stated in all the promotional material.

Businesses have lived for years in below the line thinking and attitude.   They stay in business, they grow, and they pay the bills and serve customers.    What impact would the business make with an above the line attitude?  Profits would increase.  Less time would be spent on blame and poor productivity.  Productivity would increase with energy due to the positive atmosphere in the business. The examples abound.

Yet, you must be ready to make the change.  Your dissatisfaction with the results, profitability, long work hours, people avoiding you since they dislike being around negative, blaming people, etc., must be at a point where it is higher than your resistance to making the change.  It is easy to live below the line. It may not be fun, but it is easy and there is a great deal of company.  When I ask my clients do they want to be average, the resounding answer is NO.  They want to be above average.  To make that happen, your mindset must change to one of excellence—above the line thinking— and you will be amazed at the results.

Let’s start with a story.

Two business owners are in the same market, offer essentially the same products, target mutual markets, and yet at year end, produce very different results. One business is doing well, another is doing poorly.  One business owner seems on top of their game, another isn’t succeeding.  One business is growing, the other business is barely scraping by and the owner is beginning to wonder whether it is either time to sell, or maybe, just shut the doors.

What is the difference between the two businesses?  There can be any number of factors to consider.  Perhaps the owners differ in the amount of knowledge and skills they have for running a business; there may be a difference in the systems which have been put into place, or maybe they are missing all together.  Consider the team that drives the business forward, how pricing is determined, marketing is presented, and how sales are made.  Many factors play into the success and growth of a business.  Yet, there is one characteristic that creates the largest differentiator between the two business environments.  That is the mindset of the owner and/or leadership.  How do they view, what is their perspective on every situation, every economic obstacle, every customer, and perhaps on life in general? The attitude of leadership sets the tone for the environment of the business.

Is there a pervasive attitude similar to Eeyore’s, Winnie-the-Pooh’s donkey friend?  In this type of environment the we get below the line thinking which produces a string of blame, excuses, and denial manifested in the “woe is me” life is hard, this is what happened, I don’t get the same opportunities as others, the economy is really hurting, etc.  In below the line thinking we often hear people blaming someone else, producing excuses for why things didn’t get accomplished, and denial that their attitude is a main source of the issues at hand.  Below the line thinking creates a reason for everything and generates a need to be explained. 

On the other hand, the attitude that propels above the line thinking is more like Pooh’s friends Kanga or Owl.  Above the line thinking accepts ownership, accountability and responsibility for everything they do.  They understand what they cannot control (economy, taxes, etc.) is only 10% of life; but what they have great control over is 90% of their life.  This is what the author Stephen Covey, author of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, calls the 90/10 rule.   How your day goes is totally up to you, as is how you react to situations and what opportunities you achieved even through disastrous times.  Steve Jobs got fired from Apple which most likely was not what he called the best day of his life, yet without being fired from Apple he would not have created Pixar and NeXT which are part of the foundation of the Apple products we love today. Above the line thinking creates results.  Results don’t require explanations, they speak for themselves.

The concept of goal setting seems to have at least 2 camps; one that perceives value, the other that questions the value.  I was meeting with a friend recently and asked them about their own goal setting perspectives.  He indicated he had never set goals and had been successful, so he didn’t see the value.  However, he did make plans and followed through regularly on his plans.  In reality it boiled down to semantics; his plans were nothing different than goals.  The word was different, the end result the same.

Both provided a roadmap that needed to be executed.  Both required the individual to sit down and evaluate what had been accomplished and what was needed to move forward.     

Another word that seems to stimulate some and repel others is resolution.  What do you think about the typical New Year’s Resolution – does it work or is it a feeble attempt to make yourself feel good – for about 10 days before your “resolve” deteriorates.

Most goals, plans and resolutions fail because of the lack of commitment, determination and accountability.  They also fail in the true emotion of WHY you are doing them.  If there isn’t a compelling reason, purpose, why – or whatever word you want to use – it won’t happen.  The Why is actually more important than the actual goal or plan.  The Why is what motivates you to make it happen no matter what.  The Why is at the heart of the difference between success and failure.  What is your WHY?  If you don’t have a clearly defined Why – I suspect you will have a very hard time achieving what you set out to accomplish.

Now, I will also challenge those who don’t attempt to set goals, yet perceive that they have done fine without them.  Here is the challenge:  “How much better could you have done by setting goals, creating a plan, or making that resolution?”  Sure you have done well, achieved much, are financially secure.  Awesome, congratulations – great job!  Yet, what would 5% or 10% more mean to you, your employees, your family, the charities you support?  Is “doing fine” a form of settling, not being willing to get out of your comfort zone, fear of true success?  Only you can answer that question. 

No matter what you call it:  Goal, plan, resolution or something else.  You need a guiding light to illuminate the path you plan to follow and allow you to find places to rest along the path throughout your journey.  That rest can be the difference between success and success beyond your wildest imagination.  The next step is yours.

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Janna Hoiberg
Telephone : 719-358-6936

Colorado Springs, CO 80920 

Moultonborough, NH 03254

Colorado Springs Location