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The healing power of music

I want you to imagine a scene for a moment.

You just had a bad day at work. Like a really bad day. You are currently feeling absolutely miserable, and as though you just want to curl into a ball and forget the day happened. You can’t though, because you also have debt you need to sort out, and dinner you need to cook, and the house is a mess.

And you did want to work out tonight!

For many of us, this crushing sense will become too much and we’ll end up curling in the fetal position on the couch nevertheless.

But instead, you pop your headphones on, and you start listening to your favorite music. It’s an up-tempo tune that reminds you of better times, and that has lyrics about taking on anything. You feel supercharged, and you get to work!

This is the healing power of music! So, what just happened? It goes beyond the simple fact that the music you listened to happened to be something you really enjoyed and that perked you up. Rather, music can actually trigger the release of specific brain chemicals. Several studies for example demonstrate that listening to music can actually reduce the stress hormone cortisol. This works best as you might expect when the music is upbeat. It can also encourage the release of dopamine, which tends to occur during the “peak emotional moments.” Why this happens is uncertain, but it possibly has something to do with alterations in brainwaves affected by rhythm and pitch.

For those looking for a method of self-care that can help them to improve their mood, a good piece of music might be just what they need.

The Problem

The problem? Many of us will tend to listen o music that won’t help our mood, but that will rather echo their current mood.

In other words, when we are down, we tend to seek out sad music. Happy or upbeat music is simply too incongruous.

A solution to this issue though, is to listen to music that starts low tempo and perhaps a little melancholic, and that then rises in tempo and mood until it reaches a happy crescendo. By doing this, you can actually gradually raise yourself out of a funk.

That said, research also shows that sad music can be cathartic when we are feeling low.

So, whatever you need to feel, take some time out to close your eyes, and put on some headphones. Let the music take you away.

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How to create rejuvenating zen spaces in your home

These days life is pretty much just one big rush from one crisis to another. We wake up in a hurry to get ready for work, we rush to work, we rush home, we quickly make dinner, we fit in any phone calls, we grab an hour in front of the TV and then we start getting ready for bed lest we be late again tomorrow. This places such a strain on our bodies and minds that it’s hardly any wonder that most of us struggle to keep our eyes open throughout the day… And that’s before you take into account all the coffee we drink, the explosive games we play, and the action-packed films we watch. We’re constantly ‘on’, constantly ‘excited’ and never resting.

If you want to put a change to this though then you certainly can – and that change starts in the home. If you want to encourage yourself to get more sleep and relaxation, then you simply need to think about how you can make life a little more relaxing through interior design. Create spaces where you can sit and reflect, and you’ll actually be able to grab a moment’s quiet in your hectic day that can help you to still your heartrate and grab a moment to reflect on anything. The changes to your health and lifestyle will be enormous.

For example…

Balcony

Balconies involve a bit of expense and work, but if once you have a great balcony added to your home you will certainly see how worthwhile they are. The best balconies will not only give you a fantastic view over your local area, but they’ll also provide you with a place to get some fresh air and some cool breeze when you’re upstairs. Balconies are also an ideal spot for sitting with a meal at a garden table, or for enjoying a glass of wine with a loved one. Add a sliding door and you’ll be able to shut out all the noise from home and just enjoy some peace and quiet…

Window Seat

If you’re luck enough to have a bay window, or a window on your stairs, then creating a larger windowsill will give you a great spot to sit and gaze out into the garden. Put a floor cushion here and you can kick your legs up and close your eyes to feel the sun on your face, or to just have a deep think – something most of us don’t get nearly enough time to do.

Spa Bathroom

A bathroom can be a place to hurriedly get washed in the morning/evening or it can be a place to really indulge yourself and to enjoy some warm water that will help to massage and relax your muscles. Add a spa bath, a waterfall shower, a sauna even, and you’ll have a great spot for letting your problems wash away and really emerging rejuvenated. You’ll hardly need to ever go to an actual spa!

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3 Easy ways to improve your bad mood

Being in a bad mood is often taken lightly and seen as something of a joke. We’ll often tease our friends or relatives for ‘getting out the wrong side of bed’ or ‘being a bit moody’ and generally we don’t consider this to be a big deal. Sometimes though, being in a bad mood can be a serious problem if it happens often or is consistent. Not only can being in a poor mood prevent you from enjoying yourself, it can also lead to severe depression (or be a symptom of depression or stress), cause you to make bad decisions and even cause you to drive your friends and loved ones away. When a bad mood is severe, or when it emerges a little too often, it becomes a serious problem and you need to do something about it.

Here’s how to improve a bad mood using the right psychological techniques and tricks…

Let it Go

There are a lot of articles and books out there advising on catharsis when you’re in a bad mood. ‘Vent your anger’ they recommend, ‘by punching a punch bag or screaming into a pillow’. Unfortunately, though there is one small problem with this advice – it’s unfounded. Studies have shown repeatedly that punching a punch bag or ‘venting’ anger in any other way will achieve nothing and in fact only make you angrier and for longer. The better way to deal with anger is to make a conscious decision to ‘let it go’ – because after all you’re not going to help anyone by being in a strop. Likewise if you’re very upset, make the conscious decision not to wallow.

Be Incongruent

A piece of advice that is more useful, is to do something incongruent with being in a bad mood. Watch a funny film, sing a happy song or otherwise act in a way that doesn’t sit well with being angry or depressed. This can actually become a self -fulfilling prophecy: you act happy and suddenly you start to become happier. Even just smiling can help to improve your mood due to a process known as ‘facial feedback’.

Go Incremental

One slight problem though – you need to actually convince yourself to listen to that happy music if it’s going to have any effect. This can be tricky seeing as your bad mood will be clouding your judgement and will be affecting what you want to do.

The solution is to be incremental – to listen to gradually more upbeat music, or to watch gradually more upbeat programs. Doing this you will be able to ‘ease’ yourself into a better mood and it won’t seem quite so off-putting.

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Business

How to make money with a free event

How to Make Money With a Free Event

If you’ve ever hosted a virtual summit, then you know how much work they can be. You spend weeks planning, foot the bill for graphics and landing pages, shell out for webinar systems, and pay for Facebook ads. Not only that, but you have to invest time and energy in recording interviews and piecing all the technology together.

Sure, you’re adding lots and lots of names to your mailing list (at least we hope you are), but if there’s no money to be made on the event, is it really worth it?

Yes! Because there most certainly is money to be made, even in a free event.

Backend sales. One of the biggest benefits of hosting an event is the opportunity to grow your mailing list, so hopefully you already have an autoresponder that’s working well in terms of driving sales and affiliate commissions. If not, then spend some time creating follow-up emails that specifically promote your products and services, and those of your colleagues and JV partners.

Upsells and downsells. As you’re setting up your summit funnel, be sure you’re adding in logical up- and down-sells in appropriate places. Some common locations for upsells include:

  • Confirmation pages—this is the page registrants see immediately after they opt-in, but before they confirm their email address. Typically it will say something like “Check your email now” but you can (and should) also include an upsell here.
  • Thank you pages—this is the page registrants will see after confirming their email. This page tells them what to expect next (dates and times of your event, where to log in, etc.) and like your confirmation page, should also include something for readers to buy.
  • Downloadable content—if you’re offering a transcript, workbook, or other downloadable item, remember to include an advertisement for a related product or service.

Your webdesigner can set up these pages for you, or you could use pre-existing software like Leadpages to get the pages up and running quickly.

Extended access. Many summit hosts allow registrants to watch the event for a very limited time, and sell extended access.

Repurpose the recordings for paid products. Bundle your recordings with transcripts or other related content and turn them into stand-alone products you can sell to your list.

Just because your initial event is free to attend doesn’t mean it’s not profitable. With a little thought and planning, you can not only recoup your initial investment, but even make a tidy profit on your next free event.

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Coaching

A letter from my Inner Warrior

Every so often I go through an exercise to connect to my inner wisdom and I then proceed to write down what comes to mind. Here is one of those “Letters from my Inner Warrior”.

“Welcome to this amazing place we call earth. There are so many exciting journeys to go on. Some of these journeys will fill you with tremendous joy, others bring sadness, but also great learning.

I’m so happy that you decided to join us. You see the world needs you and your gifts.

You may not realise it now, but you are going to rock the world and create unprecedented change. The trials and tribulations that you go through are really all just training to prepare you for your soul’s mission on earth.

There will be days that you feel like giving up – keep the faith and know that it is all going to be worth it. You will be able to speak your truth from a deep sense of knowing, no longer needing anyone’s approval.

On this life journey I’m here to support you and make sure that you nourish and take care of your body and soul. You see to do your amazing work will require significant energy, so it is important to keep your body in a healthy state. We’ll have fun, play and goof off every now and gain.

A lot of people will be giving you advice from an early age. Their intentions are good, some based on their own fears of wanting to conform. But don’t listen to them. Listen to your heart, because you are born with that amazing gift of intuiting and a fantastic ability to listen, both to what is said and not said. You’ll discover that you have the ability to “know” certain things about people without them telling you.

When your friend tells you not to buy the bright colorful leather jacket and opt for the sensible navy one, don’t listen to her. That colorful jacket will become your trademark.

Follow your heat’s desire in the moment. Don’t worry too much about doing the ‘right’ thing and pleasing others. You’ll have a strong sense that you don’t fit in – that’s OK.

Eagles don’t flock.

You are unique and amazing. Trust your own judgement, because you “know” even if you can’t explain it. Your decisions based on this knowing will take you far.

Get out of your head and don’t overthink stuff. Take immediate action, especially in those moments when you feel your heart pounding in your chest. That’s the space where miracles happen, things flow, people show up and the universe conspires to help you achieve success in the most delightful ways.

Here is some important and seemingly contradictory advice:

You don’t have to finish everything you start. Know that you can cut your losses when the situation no longer serves you.

Balance is completely overrate. Do those things that light you up and make you feel alive. Then you’ll never have to be concerned about being balanced.

Those crazy ideas you come up with when you are young – follow them. They are going to be all the rage when you are older, you might as well develop it.

Adopt an attitude of fearlessness. Don’t say yes when you mean no. Upgrade your “friends” regularly. Love deeply and take the risk to be vulnerable.

You see, you are going to turn out an amazing specimen of a human being. Continue to write poetry.

Publish your thinking. That’s your voice being heard, when you can’t speak.

You don’t need anyone’s approval.

Go for it.

You are going to inspire people for generations to come.

Remember that I love you always, no matter what.

Your Inner Warrior.

If you are curious about connecting to your inner warrior, then come join a group of fellow soul warriors in The Warrior Self Care Club

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Single focus: The secret to powerful VIP days

Single Focus: The Secret to Powerful VIP Days

Unlike a 3-day conference or telesummit, VIP days are generally tightly focused with a single goal. You want your client to walk away having solved her biggest business problem (or at least one that’s been holding her back for some time) and be able to jump back into work with a sense of accomplishment.

You don’t want her to go home with a head full of ideas and a notebook full of half-finished thoughts that she’ll never take action on.

Keeping your VIP day tightly focused is beneficial to you as well. Chances are you’re the go-to person in your market for one (or maybe two) things. Perhaps you’re known for helping clients break through their money issues to earn more than they ever thought possible. Or maybe you’re a genius at building an affiliate marketing empire. Or you might be the 4-hour workweek type, able to set up systems and processes that get your clients out of the office while still growing their income.

Whatever your area of expertise, by offering a VIP day centered around it, you’ll be able to command a much higher rate than a general “coach with me” kind of day where anything goes. After all, you’re the expert, so it’s time to show off your stuff.

You’ll find that attracting your ideal client is easier when your day has a strict focus as well. It might seem counterintuitive, but when you offer buyers lots of choices, they’ll often become confused, and end up buying nothing. The same is true for coaching. When faced with many ideas and potential programs, there’s a tendency to become overwhelmed.

By remaining focused, you have the opportunity to show potential clients exactly what you can help them accomplish, rather than using vague words and empty promises such as “take your business to the next level” or “overcome your roadblocks to success.”

Instead, your clients will know that after their VIP day with you, they can look forward to having a “step-by-step personalized action plan for becoming a super affiliate” or a “new attitude towards money and how it can work for you.”

Focus makes your sales page easier to write, ad targeting clearer, and testimonials more powerful, too.

Of course, all that means that you really do have to have the focus (and enough expertise) to teach for an entire day on a single subject. If you don’t feel you can pull that off, consider bringing in a guest expert who can speak about a related topic. For example, if your VIP day is all about money mindset, then a brief meeting with someone who can offer tips on budgeting would be a perfect fit.

Here’s the bottom line. The more focused your goal for your VIP clients, the more they will get out of your event. And the more value they receive, the more raving fans you’ll have, who will happily share you and your coaching programs with their friends and colleagues.

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Coaching

5 Ways to uplevel your credibility

5 Ways to Uplevel Your Credibility

If you want to earn top dollar for your coaching programs, it’s clear you’ll first have to become the go-to expert in your niche. You’re likely already working toward that goal, and probably have been for some time, but if you’re not quite there yet, here’s how to jumpstart your career.

Content Creation. This is by far the most important thing you can do to grow your audience and your credibility. Blog posts, podcasts, ebooks, and self-paced training programs—whether free or paid—are the building blocks of your empire, and if you want to earn top dollar, you first have to put in the work to create a solid foundation.

Video. This is where a lot of people struggle. Maybe you hate the sound of your voice or you hate how you look on video. You’ll need to get over it. Your potential clients need to get to know you better before they shell out $5,000 or $10,000 for that group-coaching program you’re putting together, and video is the easiest way for them to do that. So get a makeover, hire a video coach, and start sharing what you know on YouTube and other video channels.

Write a Book. The big daddy of content, a real, physical book can skyrocket your credibility and pave the way for the rest of your coaching career. Now, we’re not talking about Kindle books here (although they do have their place in your overall content plans). No, for this, you want to publish a printed book—and if you can attract the attention of a publishing house rather than going the self-publishing route, that lends more credibility.

Speaking. Nothing says “I’m an expert” quite like getting to take to the stage and speak in front of a group. Chances are your expert status has already attracted the attention of event organizers and you’ve been asked to speak. If you have, and have turned down the opportunity, now is the time to boost up your confidence and make the leap. If you haven’t, then go out and actively seek opportunities that are a good fit. Don’t be afraid to start small—at your local Chamber of Commerce or a recurring MeetUp group—but keep an eye on the big stage, too, and be open for the chance to wow a crowd with your expertise.

Host a Live Event. Want to really blow your audience away with your coaching and business skills? Plan and host a live event. It doesn’t have to be huge—in fact a small, intimate venue is often the best choice—but do start making plans. Live event hosts are often viewed as the real movers and shakers in their industries (because they are).

Remember, too, no matter which credibility-boosting method you’re using, it will only work if people know about it. So don’t just start a podcast, market it. Don’t step onto a stage of any size without shouting about it to the rooftops, and never ever write a book without a big launch. Credibility and visibility go hand in hand, so do everything you can to get the word out about your achievements.

 

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Business

Need more clients? Think like a farmer

Need More Clients? Think Like a Farmer

Think all a farmer has to do is wait until fall to harvest truckloads of delicious tomatoes or corn or squash? Think again! That farmer has worked hard all year long to prepare for that week or two of reward.

He prepared the ground following last year’s harvest.

He planted seeds in the spring.

He watered and fertilized and protected his fragile crops from pests and drought and poor weather.

And finally, after months of work, he enjoys the results.

Your coaching business works the same way, and if you take a page from the farmer’s playbook, you’ll soon be reaping the rewards, too.

Preparing the Ground

This is your brand, your voice, your very presence in your market. If you’re just starting out—like that farmer after his harvest—you’ll spend your time simply becoming known.

Hang out with other coaches in your niche. Join forums where your ideal clients spend their time. Build a website and start your mailing list. This is the prep work that will form the foundation of a solid business in the future.

Planting the Seeds

Your seeds are your content and products. With each blog post you write, every product you create, you’re planting a seed you can harvest later. But unlike the farmer, your seeds will produce over and over again, endlessly.

In fact, you’ll likely find that blog posts you wrote years ago will continue to bring in new clients year after year, with no further help from you. Products can be sold over and over again, or reworked into new offers. Podcasts, videos, ebooks and more all continue to work for you, month after month, year after year.

When you think about it that way, it’s easy to see that planting seeds is a critical part of every business.

Nurturing Your Crop

Wouldn’t it be nice if you could just “set it and forget it”? Unfortunately, that style of business rarely works.

Instead, you must spend time nurturing.

  • Stay in touch with your email list
  • Update old blog posts with new ideas
  • Study your stats to improve your traffic and conversions
  • Improve your products

It doesn’t take much effort to update your blog posts or tweak your products, and the rewards can be fantastic.

Of course, being a farmer is a long-term investment. The work you do today may not pay off for weeks or months to come. But with a strong history of consistent “farming” in your business, you’ll soon see that those long-term rewards are paying off consistently as well.

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Coaching business makeovers: It’s time for a change

Coaching Business Makeovers: It’s Time for a Change

When is the last time you changed the theme on your website? Changed your headshots? Rewrote your “About” page?

If the answer to any of those is more than a year ago, listen up, because big coaching paychecks require more than a fancy sales page and an email pitch. If you want to attract high-end clients, you have to look and act the part.

Headshots Done Right

We all looked better ten years ago, but that’s no excuse for using old, outdated or—heaven forbid—amateur headshots.

When you’re selling coaching programs that range into the five figures, looking professional is critical, and that starts with great headshots. Hire a photographer who specializes in portraits for speakers and coaches. Expect to spend a few hundred dollars for a selection of high-resolution images you can use in all your marketing materials, including on your website.

Get Your Website Redone

Speaking of websites, if you’re still using the same theme you designed yourself, it’s time for a new look. While you can say that potential clients should not judge you by the way your site looks, they will. A clean, modern website will work wonders to improve your credibility and start attracting the right clients.

While you’re at it, take some time to solicit new testimonials. Don’t just load them all up on a single page though. Take the best ones and add them to your sales page, put them in your email newsletters, and include them in your lead-gen materials as well.

Don’t forget your “About” page, either. This one is hard for most people, so it’s a good idea to have someone else write this, or at least have a writer revise the one you wrote. Remember to include your most recent accomplishments, any awards or accolades, your speaking engagements, and anything else that lets people know you’ve got what it takes to help them grow. Include a few personal details as well, so readers will feel as if they know you just little better for having read it.

Lastly, remember to update your social media profiles as well. LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and others have a long reach, so you want to ensure that no matter where potential clients find you, the information is consistent and professional.

Getting new headshots and making over your website might feel like a waste of time, but the truth is, people do judge a book by its cover, and you often only have a second or two to make an impression. Make sure it’s the best one you can make.

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Simple ways to eliminate tire kickers

Simple Ways to Eliminate the Tire Kickers

In any business, you’ll spend a certain amount of time on clients who will never pay you.

Website designers quote jobs that never come to fruition.

Car dealers spend hours chatting up customers who will never buy.

Book agents read countless manuscripts they will never be able to sell.

And coaches spend time giving out free advice to clients who cannot or will not hire them.

Truthfully, it can be frustrating, and it’s definitely a drain on your time and energy. But there are some things you can do to eliminate those who will never become clients without having to spend time with them first.

Post Your Prices

One of the most hotly debated topics among coaches and service providers is whether or not you should post your prices on your website. There are pros and cons on both sides of the fence, but the biggest advantage to posting your prices is that it immediately eliminates those who cannot afford you.

Of course, you don’t have to list prices for everything to achieve the same effect. If you offer private coaching and self-directed training packages, having a price tag of $1000 on your “entry level” course makes it pretty clear that your private coaching is going to be at the high end.

If you prefer to quote packages individually, a line that states, “Coaching packages start at $XXX” is a simple way to state your prices while still giving you some flexibility.

Intake Forms

Before you get on the phone with anyone, require that they do a little groundwork first. A client intake form should tell you everything you need to know about a potential client long before you pick up the phone. But what it tells you the most is how much work they’re willing to do. Freebie seekers aren’t likely to do the work required to answer even a simple questionnaire, so those who do fill out your form are better prospects.

Not only that, but you can include in your form a question about pricing, such as “What’s your budget for coaching?” Use a pre-defined list of answers that start with “$1,000 and up” rather than letting your potential client fill in her own amount, and those with smaller budgets won’t bother to complete it.

Change Your Language

Words have power, and if the words you use on your website and other marketing material are speaking to newbies or those just getting started in business, you’ll never attract the audience you’re seeking. Instead of using words like “step by step plan,” say, “advanced techniques.” Rather than talking about “easy systems,” mention high-end, complex software by name. Simple changes can help you to automatically attract the right audience.

You’ll still spend some time and energy on those who ultimately won’t hire you, but by making these simple edits to your website, marketing materials, and other business systems, you’ll begin to see more high-end clients and fewer of those you no longer wish to work with.