To Be a Guru, You Need Guru Status

landscape-821573_1920To be a guru you need to have guru status, but how do you get that if you are just starting out? Turns out there are steps you can take to move yourself up in social standing to hit the guru level. One of the best parts of carving your own slice of the dream and building your own business is that you are in control and you can decide where you want to go. If you want to be the leader, then all you need to do is start behaving like it.

Sounds simple, but there really is work involved and you need to commit to it and do the work. You can reach the highest height but you do need to take the steps to get there.

Here are some simple steps that will help you get started if you want to lead and dominate an industry.

You need to have an opinion: You need to have your own vision and opinion on topics that matter to people you want to serve. Do the research and the reading for yourself. Listen to opposition and cultivate your own assessment and analysis. One of the worst things you can do is take someone else's opinion and not add value. It's like posting auto quotes.

You need to be unique: It's okay to agree with others and you may share similar ideas and values, but you are a unique person with your own perspective. This is what others need to learn from you. It is the one thing that you are the only one in the universe who can deliver it. One of the saddest things I see and hear is when others “borrow” someone else's story and try to pass it off as their own. This is a sign that they are not confident and not ready to lead.

You need to be seen:  OK, don't panic. I'm not saying you have to start doing videos or live video postings. Video is not for everyone. Although I will say you need to have your picture out there so they can at least see the authentic you. We all like pictures even though many of us don't like having ours taken. So what I mean by being seen is engaging with your followers and people in your target market space.  It's one thing to post, but the step you want to remember to do is comment and engage with others. It is about helping others so the most important step is reaching out and encouraging and commenting on others posts.

You need to be heard: Sure videos, webinars, and podcasts are great ways to be heard but don't forget all of the other channels you can use to be heard. Blog posts and social media posts are also great ways to get your value content out there in front of your audience.Authoring a book and getting it published is another way to get your message out there and have it heard by the masses.

30850191134_7976e7064a_hYou need to help others: Every great leader shares what they have learned. They pass it forward and add their unique perspective to make the lessons richer. To share what you know that might help others to reach a higher goal means you are adding value. If you want to hit guru status than you need to be adding great value for others. People who are in “guru” action are also spending a great deal of their time encouraging others.  They know that to be elevated you must elevate others first.

You can start these steps no matter where you are on your journey to becoming a guru. Even if you are just starting out. It takes time and effort, but there is nothing stopping you from getting to the top!

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Are you selling yourself short? You may be killing your business & brand

SalesKillingAre you selling yourself short? Stop it! You may be killing your brand.

Do not read this if you are a discount dealer and your desire is for fast cash at any cost. If you are looking to build a solid sustainable business, then this is for you!

You may or may not know that I have a couple of consumer product companies that I own and operate. Every year, like clockwork, I start seeing the alerts from advertisers and promoters telling product producers to hurry up and get on the super sales train. They come several times a year and they come on strong during one particular time of year. Every year I let that train pass me by.  But why would I do that when it seems like everyone else is doing it. Am I doing the “right thing”? Yes, for me, and let me tell you why I know this. I hope that it can help you answer the question for your own business.

The right thing is situational and it all depends on a great deal of questions you need to answer for yourself. It also depends on the industry. But perhaps the most important question it depends on is; who are the customers you want to attract and serve.  If you have been in my community then you already have worked out who you serve, you know who you are, and you know your uniqueness in the business world.

For consumer products, I can see where this is very tempting and even necessary at times. If they have over manufactured or the products have a self life, they need to move the inventory. With technology, they usually need to make way for the newer technical gadgetry. No one ever wants the phone from 2 to 3 years ago. So consumers and innovation are behind that. For the person selling, it means they are forced to cut into their profits and even suffer a loss.  For consumable products, it is a way to move stock with a shelf life and the “Sell By” date is approaching fast or the labels are off a bit (it happens).

There is an actual grocery store chain that opened up in my state that has the short shelf life as their core business. So you know when you go there, they are the cheapest. In the cyber world, there are several large brand “eTailers” that built their empires based on offering the lowest retail prices for products to the consumer.

As a consumer, I love a good deal and I love saving money when I can. As a consumer, I'll shop bargains so will anyone I know and we will tell others where the cheap deals are. The consumer mindset is “We all work hard for our money and we want to stretch it as far as we can”. As a consumer, I need to feel that the value of what I receive is greater than the money I am spending.

Let's look at this from an elevated vantage point. For a business owner, you need customers. Once you have your customers you want to keep them since it is easier to sell to someone who has already purchased from you. Those who buy from you once, stand a better chance of buying from you again.To gain and secure loyal customers you need to asure them of three key things.

In my lifetime as an entrepreneur and the corporate careers I have held, I have  been directly or indirectly involved in sales and marketing. Suffice it to say that I have a fair number of years in the arena. I can tell you from my personal experience that these three facts have never changed

1) People do not buy products or services. They buy solutions

2) Loyalty is given to those who earn it.

3) The consumers perception of value drives their decisions.   

No matter what your business is (product or service) or the model you operate under (you own it or are in a home business). You are not selling your time, your knowledge, your product, you are selling the VALUE of the result you can deliver for them. This is what they are paying for and value is perception! I rarely if ever run sales or discounts. It's not that I am cheap or miserly, in fact I can be generous to a fault. The reason I never run seasonal slashing sales is because of the value of what I create and my desire to protect my customers perception of that value.

I will find other ways to reward or gift my loyal customers and clients to let them know how much they mean to me. My prices are fair and the quality of what I deliver is very high so my customers and clients know they are receiving a high value return for their investment. You won't find my products or services 50% off. You won't see sales sheets where I pump up and inflate only to offer things at super low bargain basement price. I do love to “bundle' though and this is where I usually give the discounts, but they are discounts in exchange for a deeper or more expansive relationship with my customers.

I had read somewhere, long ago, that high prices reassure the consumer that you are the best and buying the best feels great for the consumer. There is also the fact that those who are more invested (willing to pay more) tend to drive more results (loyalty and future purchases) and are more responsive and engaged (customer feedback and participation). Think about yourself and how you would be if you purchased a Bentley vs a Pinto.

Who do you want to work with?

There is nothing wrong with bargain hunters and bargain business, just know that their loyalty is based on how “cheaply” they can get what they are looking for.  The solution can come from anyone (any brand will do), their loyal to the lowest bidder, and the value is how much money they can keep in their pockets

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Meditation Intention

MeditationIntentionI've been working a lot with the practice of meditation lately. Notice the emphasis on the word practice. For some reason it's just been hard to sit and focus. For me, I can easily and comfortably jump into a form of meditation in motion. But to sit, even for 10 minutes, in unguided silent meditation can be challenging to the point of distraction!  I find my mind wandering off and then I get frustrated with myself since I should be better than that. But there goes my active mind again wandering down some other road. Seems I am not the only one with this challenge. I was talking with one of my clients and they were expressing the same challenge. We talked about using a candle flame to aid their focus efforts. Then I read this article by Dr Joe Dispenza and these words jumped out to me “…focus your attention on the intention …. “

Ah, a deep sigh of relief. If my intention is to focus on gratitude (for example) and I am having challenges listing all of my gratitude's, then it is enough to focus on the intention itself. In fact, if all I can squeeze out is a mantra and chant “I am grateful” for 10 minutes well that is A Ok too! I think this is also a great business lesson in that we can easily get twisted up in the details and forget to sometimes focus on our intentions and flow with the execution of the tasks to get there.

For me, I have chosen to make meditation of gratitude one of my daily actions that I feel I must do and the earlier in the day, the better.  I'm not new to the practice and I have done several forms of meditation for almost my entire life. It wasn't always labeled meditation when I was growing up, some folks called it silent prayer, but it's still a form of meditation. As an adult I experimented with several types of spiritual and non spiritual meditations. Some focused attention and others free flowing. I've done several guided ones and others un-guided. No matter what form or structure or philosophical approach they take, the universal unity for all meditations is that they are a centering of the connection between mind, body, & spirit.

Here is a short list of different types  of meditation you may want to try. It's not all of them, just the ones I have done and still do (some more than others).

  • Mantra Meditation (Chant)
  • Mindfulness Meditation (Free flow – let thought guide you)
  • Qigong (meditation in motion – clearing energy (chi) flow)
  • Transcendental Meditation (introversion into nothingness)
  • Vipassana Meditation (Focused attention)
  • Zen Meditation (specific posture and pay attention to the breath while quieting the mind)
  • Yoga (another meditation in motion practice with many forms)
  • Prayer (Silent-wait and listen for a message) (Active – focused on a specific need or request or to intercede for others)
  • Art -Yes, I may be alone in this, but I believe art is a perfect form of meditation in motion and it comes in many forms; painting, drawing, clay work, fiber art like knitting crochet rug hooking, etc…

In all my years and all the types of meditation I have practiced, I am far from being an expert. But I can attest to the profound difference it can make for the practitioner and the deficit one feels when they let their practice slip.I honestly believe it is what has kept me so healthy and happy through tremendous times of unfathomable stress.

P.S. See my article on where, when, and why to meditate too.


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