The three deadly habits every entrepreneur needs to avoid

The dream of their business is so vivid in their minds and the path to accomplish their goals is clearly in front of them, so why do so many business owners fail? Entrepreneurs often make the mistake of short-cutting the planning processes necessary for their business to overcome inevitable challenges and succeed.

When a business owner fails to plan, some nasty habits….. more

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Was it a dream or ghosts?

On the eve of New Year’s eve, December 30, 2018, I woke up to a swishing sound in my bedroom. Near the bottom of my bed the room was extra dark and it seemed like there were three people standing there, two women and one man.

Now I don’t know for sure if I was awake or asleep or seeing ghosts, but I felt scared at first. I believe I see ghosts occasionally…please don’t judge me too harshly. There has always been light, not darkness when I’ve seen ghosts before, so I was really scared. I asked why they were there and wondered if they meant to hurt me. It seemed like they were talking to each other.

My heart was racing and when the thought that they may be there to harm me was raging in my head, they all turned to me at once and said “of course not.” So I asked what they wanted?

They looked at each other and seemed to be trying to figure out how to tell me something really important. Then the man looked at me and said they were concerned about my health.

Well that got my heart racing even more. Since I have only been in remission from breast cancer for two and a half years, I wondered if it had returned. They all turned to me again and seemed to shake their heads no. I thought about my routine check-up scheduled later next month and calmed down. I feel sure I’m still in remission, but always confirm a few times a year.

The woman in the middle said they were concerned about my diabetes. Now I was starting to think this dream was annoying. After my battle with cancer, I ended up with Type 2 diabetes. When I get my blood sugar under control, I like to pretend I don’t have it and it was all just temporary. Classic denial stuff.

This holiday I had been eating all sorts of high-carb and sugary foods and ignoring all the signs that my blood sugar is out of control. I kept justifying that my achy joints, tingly fingers and low energy weren’t that bad.

The shorter woman on the end didn’t seem convinced that I would pay attention to them. She kept saying “I don’t think this is going to work, we may have to find someone else.”

That got my attention.

I asked them, “Find someone else for what? What do you want me to do?” The man looked back and said they wanted me to take care of myself. To eat more healthy foods and to exercise. The woman in the middle said that’s all I need to do and that’s why they were there.

The woman on the end looked at me, then looked back at the other two and said she didn’t know if this would work. So I asked again what they wanted me to do. The woman in the middle said the only important thing is that I take care of myself. She said everything else will happen as it should. The other two agreed with her.

Now that was ambiguous, but I somehow believed them and vowed to eat right and get regular exercise.

The next morning I was thinking about whether that was a dream or if I was awake. I was wondering if I told anyone would they think I was crazy. I was even beginning to waiver on my commitment. After all, it was only a dream.

Then I opened LinkedIn and saw the post that Penny Marshall had died the night before due to complications from heart disease and diabetes. Woah!

Now I wasn’t thinking that any of the ghosts in my bedroom were Penny Marshall. But it did make me wonder if I’d had my own personal version of the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future.

Now some of you may be thinking that she was 75 and had a good long life. But it seems to me that her life was cut short by at least 10 years according to what experts say about our average life span being 84-85. A recent study even projected that baby boomers that live past the age of 50 are likely to live to be 100. I don’t know about you, but I plan to become a Centenarian.

My commitment to health is stronger than ever. Without my health I can’t accomplish any of the fun things on my list. Without my health, I can’t truly enjoy the people in my life. Without my health, I can’t accomplish my professional and personal goals of financial freedom and travel. Without my health I can’t be effective at sharing the knowledge I have about personal branding, marketing, sales and leadership that my growing customer base has come to rely on. Without my health, the motivational speaking I enjoy and am passionate about is definitely out of the question.

For some reason my health seems to only surface as a top priority when I’m sick. This year, thanks to my vivid dream, and Penny Marshal’s unfortunate death, my health is back on top as my number one priority.

May you find love, health and prosperity in abundance this year!

Happy New Year!

Debbie Donaldson

The New Entrepreneur’s Secret

The future of entrepreneurship has arrived. It’s no longer enough to start a business. It’s no longer enough to work long grueling hours to build a business. Reality television and social media have changed what consumers expect of a business, of a business owner. Marketing, sales and leadership are no longer separate entities for an entrepreneur. In order to be successful today, an entrepreneur MUST become an expert at blending these vital activities seamlessly in order to succeed today.

The new entrepreneur doesn’t hide behind their brand or their product. They are the face of and the spokesperson for their company. Not in that old canned way of being filmed while walking and talking about how great their company is. Not with the tired “save time and money” rhetoric spewed in sales pitches and on company websites or product brochures.

Today’s consumers want authenticity, they don’t just want value, they want to know the values of the company they do business with. They want to know what a company they do business with stands for, stands up for, believes in.

The new entrepreneur is adept at telling their story, sharing their struggles and the problems they set out to solve with their product and company. The new entrepreneur is willing to talk about their values and become a beacon of hope for their industry…and for the less fortunate.

There was a time when “fake it ‘til you make it” was expected. Not any longer. We are in an era of authenticity. Customers have more information at their fingertips than any other time in our lives. They want to be able to identify with our values they want more than to purchase a product. They want to feel like they belong.

The new entrepreneur gets that marketing, sales and leadership are separate disciplines but is weaving them together for a total customer experience.

The new entrepreneur isn’t selling a product or service, they are growing their businesses using 3 proven formulas.

Are you a New Entrepreneur?

Debbie Donaldson, Founder & CEO of b2bENTREPRENEUR.org

Learn the 3 formulas for Igniting Your Sales in my new eBook SALES FUEL. Download your free copy today at www.FreeSalesFuel.com

Gratitude Countdown to a New Year

It’s officially the 2nd week of December and within just 23 more days it will be a New Year. No amount of begging, pleading, wishing, hoping, marketing, sales or leadership can change the direction we are all headed. 2018 is ending and 2019 is on it’s way.
Some of the next 23 days will be filled with family fun…and maybe a little dreaded family drama. Some of those days will bring a moment of regret for hopes not realized this year or moments of hope for dreams of what’s to come in 2019.

It’s also that time of year for making lists, checking them twice and still forgetting some of the most important work of our lives. This is the part that always gets me. Worry about forgetting something or someone. Stress about whether I’ve done everything that needs to be done. Questioning and doubting if I’ve done enough to let the people in my life know just how much I care about them all year, not just at the holidays.
As I was thinking about all of this, I felt my heart beating a little faster and my body feeling a little warm, even though it’s cool. I felt anxiety creeping up on me – again. I suddenly felt the urge to jump up and do something…anything to calm my fear that I’m not doing enough, that I’m not enough.

Then I remembered something that helped me when I battled insomnia a few years ago. After I had tried all the typical things (a regular bedtime, quite, dark room, removing all the clutter from my bedroom – even the storage under the bed, no caffeine after 3 pm, light meal at dinner, not looking in a lighted screen like a computer, phone or television 30 minutes before bed), I was still tossing and turning instead of all the things that had gone wrong or could have gone better if only I’d….

Since I had that 30 minute window without electronic devices, I tried a few things. Meditation and reading didn’t quite work all the time. So I decided to write. I wrote down something or someone that impressed me that day. I ended up focusing on the things I was grateful for that day. It worked. It refocused my mind on the positive and that was calming enough to allow me to fall asleep.

So as I count down 2018, instead of stressing about all that could have been this year, each day I’ll focus on one thing that happened in 2018 that I am grateful for.

Follow my Grateful Today posts on my Facebook Page @DebbieDLive.

Today, I’m grateful for the people who create the fabulous technology that allows us to communicate so freely with each other.

Build the business and life you crave!
Debbie Donaldson

 

Breaking Trust

Do you consider yourself a trusting person, a trustworthy person? How do you decide when people approach you whether or not you can trust them?

I believe trust is something that we instinctively feel and give immediately or take away immediately. From that point trust has to be earned. If we’ve given trust to someone they have to continue to earn that trust through their actions, their words, their deeds, whether what they say matches or contradicts what they do.

What happens when someone isn’t trustworthy or does something that breaks that trust we’ve placed in them. Then what, how do they earn their way back?

This subject is so fresh for me this week. I made a mistake that could damage the trust people have in me. Being trusted is a badge of honor for me. I really want people to trust me, I want people to know that what I say is true and they can count on my word.

Last week while prerecording Wake Up to The New Rules of Business, my video talk show, I got excited when I was interviewing Virginia Cano from Rhythms Dance Studio and talking about celebrating our 100th episode at a party in their event center. I accidentally said attendance was free…and it’s not.

We record all the episodes for the week at the same time, so my enthusiastic, but false statement is in most of those prerecorded episodes. I had just learned Rhythms Dance Studio would provide their event space for free, I got so excited and said the event is free. A whole lot more goes into putting on a great event.

So I had to figure out what to do to regain the trust of people who go to the website b2bentrepreneur.org/wakeup100 where the invitation is and where you can RSVP for the event. I had to explain why the event is $30 and not free.

The moral of this story is when you do break the trust people have in you, even if it is a mistake. Just admit when you’ve made a mistake, when you screwed up, when you failed to communicate properly. I believe being candid in those moments helps rebuild that trust. So in this situation with the viewers that go to the website, they’ll see a video where I explain and apologize for my mistake. Hopefully that will help keep the bond of trust that I believe I have with them.

Where in your life have you potentially broken trust that needs repair?

Build the business and life you crave,

Debbie