Listen in to SmartWoman’s First Interview!

I am thrilled to announce that I have had my first interview! WOW! How exciting and flattering! 🙂

Listen in as Chris Brown of BrandandMarket.com asks me about being a female entrepreneur, about what led me to blogging, and what it took to get me here. Special thanks to Chris for inviting me to do this! Be sure to visit her site often–she has a lot of wisdom to offer.

Listen in to SmartWoman’s First Interview!

Today I have been focused on my goals for June. Keep an eye out for many cool new things. And, thanks for dropping by. Be sure to tell your friends about us here!

Together, we are stronger.
Vicki Flaugher, the original SmartWoman

 

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Recommended Site: EvanCarmichael.com

Sometimes I run across a website that literally takes my breath away. It is so well done, with such good information, that I just am impressed to the point of being speechless.

I found such a site at EvanCarmichael.com

EvanCarmichael.com offers motivation and strategies for entrepreneurs in an easy to navigate format. I firmly believe that you could start and run a business soley with the information you gain from Evan’s site. Ok, maybe you should keep reading SmartWoman Guides, but I think you get my point. It’s amazing!

You’ll find famous entrepreneurs throughout history profiled, more than anywhere else on the web. Modern, current day entrepreneurs and small business owners are there too, like Oprah, Donald Trump, and Sir Richard Branson. I would be shocked if you didn’t find something (many things) to inspire you.

You’ll find articles, forums, expert authors, business resources, and so much more. I got word today that you’ll be seeing SmartWoman herself (yes, ME, can you believe it?) as an expert author very soon.

This site gets thousands of people visiting every day, so it would serve you to go visit and get involved (and add your own website link) to one of their forums. You deserve to be on the same page as Oprah, don’t you? Of course you do!

Here’s more about Evan in case you want to know who you’re dealing with. If you scroll down to the bottom of his “About Me” page, you can see him doing a mean salsa too! I love entrepreneurs that enjoy Life,  don’t you?

So, if you want high quality information, and tons of it, about being successful as an entrepreneur and small business owner, go visit EvanCarmichael.com today…now.:-)

Together, we are stronger.
Vicki Flaugher, the original SmartWoman

p.s. There are specific forums for women entrepreneurs too. Enjoy!

 

Hearing and Responding to Market Feedback

As a professional entrepreneur, it’s important to hear what your market is telling you. Even if it hurts your feelings, or is an unexpected reaction, or you don’t quite understand it, you have to listen and respond as appropriate. Your audience knows what they want and you must respect that.

For the last week or so, I added an opt-in gift report for female entrepreneurs. Many clicked on the link to see it yet very few downloaded it. Several women who did have told me they enjoyed it very much, but I feel disappointed that so many didn’t even try it. 

For the record, I believe in a zero tolerance SPAM policy. I do not share, sell, or rent my contacts. I am a die hard advocate for permission-only based marketing. I do not want you to feel anything other than confidence, joy and anticipation when you visit this community.

So, why did my report not get downloaded?

  • It could be a matter of trust–perhaps I have not built enough trust yet with my audience for them to believe I would not mishandle their personal information.
  • It could be a matter of value–perhaps the perceived value of the offered gift was not sufficient to compensate my audience for what they felt were giving.
  • It could be a matter of relevance–perhaps what I was writing wasn’t pertinent to those visiting.
  • It could be….something else that I have not identified.

Truth is, I don’t know for sure. But, I know I need to do something to fix it. And, I would highly recommend that, if you have a product, service, or offer that hasn’t worked out like you’d hoped, that you take a moment to adapt to what your market is telling you and fix it as well.

To be successful as an entrepreneur, you have to be willing to ask the tough questions. Even as painful as it might be to see something you created fail, you have to be willing to respond to the feedback you receive. You are doing yourself and your clients a great disservice if you don’t.

In the spirit of building trust and providing value, I have made my report available without having to provide your name and email, in case that was a contributing factor. Simply click on the link below to read the report.

The Emerging Woman Entrepreneurs Top 10 Questions to Ask (and Answer) Today 

I hope you enjoy it. I intended it to be useful. I sincerely hope it adds value to your experience, but you’ll have to decide that for yourself. I am open to hearing all feedback. Let me know what you think so I can grow, ok? I’d be grateful for your help.

Thank you for visiting here. I could not do what I do without you.

Together, we are stronger.
Vicki Flaugher, the original SmartWoman

p.s. If any of the readers here went to the report page and decided not to sign up, I’d be delighted to know why. You can email me privately or post here. It’s important to me that I provide trust, value, and relevance here. Your feedback is welcomed and encouraged.

 

Killer, The Mighty Donut Hunter: A Story of Passion, Focus and Determination

I learned many lessons about Life from my beloved little dog, Killer. A constant companion and devoted friend for over 20 years, when he passed last year, I struggled. It has taken some time for the heartache to finally fade back to be replaced by fonder memories of walks in the woods, the perpetually amusing antics, and “The Little Man’s” joyful “Hollywood smile”. I thought it appropriate on Memorial Day to share one of my favorite memories.

Killer loved chocolate covered donuts. I mean, LOVED. He would do nearly anything for them. Yes, sadly, some dogs (about 10%) die from eating chocolate but Killer was not one of them. He would run around like a pre-school youngster on a sugar buzz high when he ate them, but that was about the worst of it. He could not get enough of those yummy things.

Now, Killer was a dog of distinctly discerning taste. He didn’t prefer just any old chocolate donut, no. Those waxy little minis that your mother put in your lunchbox would not do. His donuts of choice were Entemman’s and they were full sized and deluxe. Only the best would satisfy Killer. He wouldn’t eat any other kind.

One night, a showdown was brewing between Killer and my human companion, Kevin. There was only one donut left in the box. Kevin loved chocolate donuts too and knew how Killer felt about them. We both treat our pets like people, but actual people still get priority, so, politically speaking, that last donut was Kevin’s. The battle of wills was on.

As Kevin claimed the last donut, Killer became single mindedly transfixed. He would not–could not–take his eyes off that donut. Kevin started playfully egging Killer on a bit, making a real show of it, humming, saying “Oooh, MMMM, this looks so good”. The good-hearted teasing only amplified Killer’s resolve. He intended to get some of that donut.

Killer tried everything. He flashed his award winning smile. He sat and stayed at attention with perfect, well-behaved precison. He did each of his trained tricks one after another, hoping for a reward. He gave it his all. He resorted to relentlessly following Kevin around, his little doggie mind working as fast as it could on a strategy. 

Finally, as Kevin plopped onto the sofa to enjoy his snack, Killer launched his plan. He scurried up Kevin’s outstretched body from the floor when Kevin’s feet touched the ground, making a full speed beeline for his goal. Kevin was so surprised (and hysterically laughing) that he could barely recover. He instinctively reacted by pulling his arms (and the hand that held the tasty morsel) over his head at the edge of the sofa, where that chocolate prize now hung inches from the floor.

Killer immediately hopped off Kevin and dove for his heart’s desire, now enticingly available to him at his 12″ height. Victory was within reach! Kevin realized his treat was in true peril and snatched it back to safety just as Killer was reaching up to take a bite.

This all happened within just a few seconds, and we were in tears from laughter. Moral of the story: Kevin was so impressed with Killer’s, well, doggedness, that he gave that scruffy little canine a full half of the last donut. Killer was officially dubbed “The Mighty Donut Hunter” that day and we got a story that still makes us laugh. And, most importantly, I witnessed a real life, real time demonstration of passion, focus, and determination.

So, I ask you. As an entrepreneur, what drives your passion and determination? What are you willing to give your complete, focused attention to? What is YOUR chocolate donut?…

 

God speed and love to all who have gone before.
Together, we are stronger.

Vicki Flaugher, the original SmartWoman

How to Recover From Mistakes in Your Business

Life happens. The perfectly planned project goes off schedule. The beautifully programmed webpage crashes. The long-awaited new product launch is scrapped. I am sure you have your stories about the times when…well, Life happened.

But, when you are the one who made a mistake, who caused the blow-up, it can feel a thousand times worse. How can you deal with the shame, horror, and expletive deletives that rise up? Here are some suggestions:

1.  Take a deep breath. Walk away from your computer, or out of your office, and simply breathe deeply. Even emergency situations which require immediate response benefit from you being sharp minded. Get some oxygen to your brain cells so you can focus. It will also help you relax and get your bearings.

2.  Assess the situation honestly. Distinguish between real damage to your business and perceived damage to your ego. It feels embarassing to make mistakes but they are often less damaging in reality than they appear through our self-critical eyes. Truly urgent issues demand immediate care. But, if you want to crawl under a chair because your vendor thinks you’re a fool, that’s probably not real damage. Learn to recognize the difference.

3.  Get help. Different perspectives and opinions can assist you. Sometimes, when you are stressed, you won’t see solutions that are right in front of your nose. Even if you just talk to a friend or surf the web to a knowledge forum, you’re better off not going through it alone. Reach past your shame and ask for help and support.

4.  Take considered action. It’s important to be responsive. The thing you don’t want to be is reactive (commonly associated with dynamite-not so good). If your mistake caused upset to someone important to your business, it can be helpful to allow for some cooling off time. You don’t want to give the wrong impression of your position or feelings. Handle client complaints promptly and manage the follow-up consistently. Use your calm judgement in deciding when something needs to be done, not your anger or disappointment in yourself.

5.  Learn from your mistake. It’s important to evaluate what happened, how it happened, and why. The time to do this is after the crisis has passed, though, not while you are in the middle of it. And, then, you can work to not make the same mistake again. Special note to hardworking females: If you made a mistake because you are tired or burned out–that is real damage. Do not dismiss it as “one of those things” that can’t be helped. Take some real time off and recover. You are serving no one by not being fully functional.

6.  Say you are sorry. If you spoke rudely, or caused others to work overtime, or let someone down, say you’re sorry. Even if the person you wronged is a challenging ego maniac that baited you, own up to your own mistakes. There is no honor in anything else. Then, be more careful in the future. That said, you don’t need to apologize for things truly beyond your control. You aren’t responsible for the weather or other people’s reactions. You are responsible for your own actions.  Be aware of that distinction.

7.  Laugh at yourself! Your sense of humor is your best defense. All of us are human and we make mistakes. Your hope, faith, and compassion (and the effort you’ve spent generating goodwill with others) will help smooth over the consequences of most mistakes. I am also a firm believer in the therapuetic value of ice cream, chocolate, and kisses from a loved one. You might want to try it. 🙂

Together, we are stronger.
Vicki Flaugher, the original SmartWoman

SmartWoman Interview:Chris Brown of BrandandMarket.com

Listen to SmartWoman Vicki Flaugher interviewing Chris Brown, the owner of Marketing Resources and Results, Inc. and one of the top female bloggers in the marketing and branding arena at BrandandMarket.com.

Interview Audio:  smartwoman_chrisbrown

To listen to the audio now, left click to play. To save the file, right click and select “Save Target” to save the file. (This is a 9+ minute interview.)

 

I asked Chris to discuss her entrepreneur journey and her view of both the advantages and challenges of female entrepreneurs in the marketplace. She offers insights about the power of networking, the need for a leadership mindset, and gives suggestions other women can implement to achieve even greater success. I  found her to be thoughtful and inspiring.  


Interview Audio:
 smartwoman_chrisbrown


To listen to the audio now, left click to play. To save the file, right click and select “Save Target” to save the file.
(This is a 9+ minute interview.)

Please go check out Chris’ website. She is a remarkable resource and a devoted advocate for female entrepreneurs.

 

Together, we are stronger.
Vicki Flaugher, the original SmartWoman

 

Free Report: Top 10 Questions to Ask (And Answer) Today

 As a gift for my readers, I have prepared a free report. Enjoy!

To download your free copy of Emerging Woman Entrepreneur’s Top 10 Questions to Ask (And Answer) Today, click on the link below:

The Emerging Woman Entrepreneurs Top 10 Questions to Ask (and Answer) Today

This report is filled with questions that are designed to get you thinking about and acting with a passionate mindset so you can grow your heartfelt business. 

We’ll cover topics such as

  • Your Self Motivation: Why Do You Do What You Do?

  • Your Passion: What Gets You Out of Bed in the Morning?

  • First Impressions: Would I Hire You If I Saw You at The Grocery Store?

  • Lifelong Relationships: Are You the “Love ‘em and Leave ‘em” Type?

  • Ask and Listen: Is Your Ego Willing to Take a Backseat?

  • Consistency is King: Can You Finish What You Start?

  • Your Dream Team: Are You Willing To Share Power?

  • Birds of a Feather: Do You Love Your Clients?

  • The Dark Night: How Do You Deal With Disappointment?

  • Celebrating Your Victories: What Is Fun to You?

To download your free copy of Emerging Woman Entrepreneur’s Top 10 Questions to Ask (And Answer) Today, click on the link below:

The Emerging Woman Entrepreneurs Top 10 Questions to Ask (and Answer) Today

Together, we are stronger.
Vicki Flaugher, the original SmartWoman