Drawing a Line in the Sand

The game of being an entrepreneur   often finds us stuck between a rock and a hard place – one foot boldly through the door and the other still inside.

We invite you to stop living this way.

It’s our stand that all entrepreneurs are seen, heard and make a difference. (check out our blog post: What the Hell is a Stand and Why Should You Care? Head over there for an explanation). In order for you to make that difference, you need to be moving forward, every day.

We know that the first step for any entrepreneur is to draw a line in the sand, step over it, and don’t look back.

Back when John F Kennedy was young, he was challenged to climb over a wall. It was a big wall, and no one thought he could do it, not even him.

But he was determined.

The young JFK happened to be wearing his favorite hat that day, a hat that meant everything to him (we all had that shirt, shoes, or other thing we could never part with as a kid, right?).

So he threw that hat over the wall.

He knew he would do anything to get that hat back. That even though he couldn’t see a way to get over the wall now, if threw his hat, he would do anything to get it back. He would do the impossible.

That was his line in the sand. He didn’t look back, he just did what it took.

And he got that hat back.

That’s how you need to be with your business. Being an entrepreneur isn’t something you do casually. It isn’t part-time.

Being an entrepreneur is a lifestyle.

It’s a commitment.

It’s “playing full out” and giving 100%.” It’s drawing a line in the sand and never looking back.

It’s doing whatever it takes, regardless of how uncomfortable it may be.

When you decide to cross that line and commit to your stand, you’re saying that no matter what, you will make this entrepreneur-thing work. You’ll work the hours, you’ll make the sales calls, you’ll go to events, you’ll dedicate your life.

Behind that line in the sand you drew is the old you, the you that kind-of wanted to be an entrepreneur. That sort-of wanted everything to work out.

And it will get uncomfortable. You need to get comfortable getting uncomfortable to make your business work. To have your movement start and grow. To build your tribe. To be successful.

If you don’t draw that line in the sand, you may never make it. You may compromise. You may even quit.

So throw your hat over the wall and do whatever it takes to make it work. Just like the young JFK you’ll get the reward that comes with doing what it takes and in the case of the entrepreneur, a successful business.

What’s your line in the sand? What’s that moment for you when you decided to throw your hat over the wall? Comment below and inspire others!

 

Need support? Contact our team at [email protected].

What Gets In The Way of Your Stand…

If you don’t know how we define “Stand” at Red Elephant and why it’s critical to the success of your movement, business, and tribe, then you should first read our previous blog post, “What The Hell Is A Stand And Why You Should Care.”

If you’re reading this, you’re someone that cares about making a difference. You have goals. You have ambitions. There’s something in the world you want to change.

That’s what having a stand is all about.

But you’re human, you can’t be fired up all the time. You have setbacks. It’s natural.

Human beings are cyclical, we expand, and we contract. We’re always trying to expand, to grow, to improve, to make ourselves better.

When we’re in times of expansion, everything is great! We’re growing, and it’s positive.

When we’re in times of contraction, we tend to lose focus, and to contract much more than we grow when we’re in a state of expansion.

The thing to do is to identify when you’re contracting. The faster you can identify to yourself that you’re in a bad place or you’re not taking action, the sooner you can move past it and start growing again.

This is critical for your stand – every time you’re not taking positive action, your stand suffers (which means your business suffers too).

That’s why we came up with this list of 10 things you do that sabotage your stand. So you can identify that you’re in stand-sabotage, get clear, and get back to positive growth.

Explained Further:

  • You Get Lazy. Getting lazy is a trap we all fall into. Sometimes it’s healthy to be lazy so you can recharge (if that’s what recharges you). But mostly we get lazy and “forget” our responsibilities. We’re not saying you need to work 24 / 7, but we are saying that when you work, WORK. Don’t get distracted, don’t let others motivate you to lose focus. Laziness is a killer of being in your stand.
     
    Children get lazy in a bad way. They think, “This is hard, I don’t want to do it.” So they don’t do it.
     
    You are not a child – you’re an adult. And adults do what they have to. So do what you have to do to stay in your stand.
  • You Try To Look Good. Remember high school? Remember when looking good meant everything? Well, I have a secret for you – you’re not in high school anymore. Trying to look good will get you nowhere.
     
    If you want to start and lead a movement, you have to ignore the haters, and just like you have more access to a bigger megaphone than ever thanks to the internet, the haters have that access too. The people making the biggest difference in the world today don’t care about looking good or if they do, they bury it, get uncomfortable, and take the actions they know will further their stand. Because standing for making a positive difference in the world may not always be popular, but it’s necessary.
  • You Operate From Fear. Fear, scarcity, playing it safe – these kind of things will keep you down. They’ll keep you from taking the actions you need to take to impact the world in a positive way. It’s OK to have fear – being brave doesn’t mean you’re not afraid. Being brave means you acknowledge your fear and you take the actions you know you need to take regardless of that fear. Be brave, aan stay in your stand.
  • You Try To Be Liked / Loved. Just like trying to look good, this is a trap many people fall into. As a coach, a changemaker, an influencer, you probably have strong opinions. And those opinions may rub some people the wrong way.
     
    And that’s OK.You will make friends because of your business. But it’s more important to tell people what they need to hear, instead of what they want to hear. It’s better for people in your tribe to respect you instead of liking you – their respect of you will inspire them to take action.
  • You Listen To Nay-Sayers. There will always be people that tell you, “this will never work,” or, “this isn’t worth doing,” or event, “maybe you should just give up.”
     
    If you listen to these people, you’ll get nowhere in life. Ignore them, or turn them into fans by being a stand for them to see why you can’t stop and why it will work.
  • You Avoid Being Responsible. When you’re truly being in your stand, you will always own your actions. You will show up on time. You will be accountable for your schedule, for your fans, for your community.

    You will have integrity.And having integrity is everything. Having integrity and being responsible means you’ll do what you said you’d do, the way you said you’d do it, when you said you’d do it. So do it!
  • You Refuse To Do What It Takes. People operating completely in their stands will make sacrifices to do what it takes to accomplish their goals. That’s the attitude you need to have if you want your change to become a reality in the world. Sometimes, it’s a lot easier to not do what it takes. If you find yourself deciding not to take an action you know would you need to because it’s hard or you’re tired, recognize that you are not being in your stand. And take that action anyways.
  • You Are Not Willing To Be Judged. It’s important to ignore the nay-sayers – but you also need to be aware of what the people you trust are saying. And listen to them. We sometimes call this “being coachable.”
     
    If you’re willing to be coached and understand that criticism can be meant to help you, you’ll go much further. If you always think you’re right and you’re not open to people helping you, you may find the road to change very tough.
  • You Talk A Big Game But You Take No Action. Hey, we get it! It’s easy to talk about how great things will be when your stand is realized by everyone. It’s easy to talk about that event you’re going to hold. It’s easy to talk about the webinar you’re going to host. It’s easy to talk about the company you’re going to start.
     
    Results are results – measure yourself by your results, not your words. Take a few minutes and write down your goals from the last year and then write the results. Identify that some of the things you didn’t accomplish weren’t completed because you weren’t being completely in your stand. You may have talked about some of these things but in the end, you didn’t take the actions required to accomplish these things.

    And that’s OK! Just identify that you may not have been in your stand, and next time, take a stand.
  • You Organize Yourself To Stay Comfortable. This is the most important point. As human beings, we all love to be comfortable – in fact, most people would rather be comfortable than rich. Most people would rather be comfortable than talk to their kids about sex. Most people would rather be comfortable than host a big event. Most people would rather be comfortable than call people to enroll them in their stand.

    If you want your stand to come true in the world, you cannot be most people. You must get comfortable being uncomfortable. When you can identify that your comfort is getting in the way of your stand and you can take action to correct that, you will truly be making a difference.

 

If you need any assistance identifying when you’re sabotaging your stand, comment below, or shoot us a message at [email protected]!

What the hell is a STAND and why should you care?

When Afrin & I started Red Elephant, we wanted out of the corporate world. We wanted financial freedom and choice. We wanted control, and we saw entrepreneurship as the vehicle that could give us those things.

But that wasn’t the main reason we started Red Elephant.

If you’re like most entrepreneurs, you didn’t start your business just to make money. You started your business (or you plan to start your business) because you have a vision of how you want the world to be.

You started your business because you know there is a difference that you can make in the world, and your business is the catalyst that will ignite that change.

And your unique reason, whatever it is, will also drive the success of your business.

We call that reason your “Stand.”

What does “stand” mean?

It’s the thing, person, or cause that you stand for. It’s that situation in the world you see over and over again that pisses you off or moves you in some way and you are on a mission to change.

Your stand is the one thing on Earth that you can no longer do nothing about. It’s something you dedicate your life to. It’s what makes you do what you do and be who you are.

And it’s the most important ingredient in the recipe for a thriving business.

Let us tell you why.

Successful businesses aren’t successful because they have good marketing, great customer service, or a solid sales team. Successful businesses are successful because they know how to create a movement. Movements create raving fans. Raving fans turn into leads. Leads turn into clients.

Would you rather have a client roster full of people that sort-of believe in what you do, or a group of clients that are excited about what you’re creating and can’t wait to share it with their friends?

If that’s why you started your business, don’t you think you should be connected to that reason? To that purpose? To that mission?

Wouldn’t you be more authentic and genuine if you started every business conversation connecting to the reasons you started your business, and not just thinking about the next sale or the next big opportunity to make money?

And if you were more genuine, wouldn’t that turn into raving fans?

It would – and raving fans turn into clients. The best kind of clients.

That’s why you should care about your stand, and why you should connect to it.

Here are those three questions we want you asking yourself again

  • Who do you want to impact?
  • How do you want to impact them?
  • Why do you want to do this?

Tell us your stand please! Comment below!

Want help figuring out your stand? Reach out to our team for help! Contact us at [email protected].

3 Tips to Grow Your Tribe and Get More Clients

We get a lot of questions from people about how to build a full roster of dedicated clients – so we wanted to offer some tips.

We all want clients. As business owners, clients are the ultimate goal.

Finding clients starts with building a tribe of raving fans.

When you have a community that’s unique to you, looks to you as the expert, and wants to spend more time with you, you’ll never have to go very far to find new clients. They’ll be right there – inside of your tribe.

Here’s some tips for finding and developing raving fans:

 

1.) Be seen – consistently

In order to actually build a community… you need to get out and be seen! Go to networking events, seminars, conferences, retreats – any place you can be seen – and use these events to people to add to your tribe (you can use online strategies like Facebook Live, email marketing, and webinars to stay in front of your audience and nurture them when you’re not in person with them!)

 Most important tip – Show up! Consistently showing up at events in your industry and in the online space will build trust, and trust is a key element to building your tribe.

 

2.) Provide value

It’s your job to push the conversation forward in a positive, inspiring way which provided people with actionable value.

Value is not defined by just leaving them feeling good or inspired. You want to give them the type of value that leaves them in action and able to produce a result, even if that’s a small one.

 You’ve heard over and over again – “give ‘em a taste and make sure they pay you for the best stuff.” We think this is total bogus. We say, “Give them your best stuff and make a huge difference while they’re there with you.” In an abundance mindset, there will be plenty of business to follow.

 

3.) Always have a call to action… and follow up, follow up, and follow up some more

 This last tip is crucial.

AND it’s where most people fall down. Don’t be like most people.

It’s important to drive people to a goal using a call to action (“come see me at the break and I’ll offer you a free strategy session!” or “head to my website to get my free tip sheet!”), and even more important to follow-up with them to make sure they achieve that goal and go further.

Make friends with your phone. Email and text follow up are great and necessary, but in this age of people doing more and more business on the internet than ever before, it’s imperative to connect with people live. They will reward you for it.

 

We hope this helped you!

If you have any questions about building your tribe, send us an email at [email protected], or comment below!

Announcing an Important Addition to The Red Elephant Team!

During Speak to Impact Live, the 3-day event we hosted in Orlando in March of 2017, we made a pretty big announcement that’s going to change things around Red Elephant in some really exciting ways.

 If you missed the event, don’t worry! We are hosting Speak To Impact Live again on June 21st to the 23rd in sunny Las Vegas! Click here to learn all about that.

 But that’s not why we are publishing this!

 If you missed the announcement in Orlando, we want to formally introduce you to our new Vice-President, Gary Montalvo!!! (Cue confetti!)

If you’ve spent any time around Red Elephant in the last couple of years, chances are you are no stranger to Gary.

In addition to growing his own business (Latitude Coaching) to multiple six-figures in just 24 months, he’s also been the Director of Coaching for Red Elephant, playing a key role in the delivery of our Speaker Mastermind programs by training our coaches, our team and our clients.

 {Meet the rest of the Red Elephant Team!}

By bringing Gary on-board full-time we are ensuring that our clients get the Leadership training they need to give them a cutting edge in an ever-changing marketplace.

 This will also allow us to expand the services Red Elephant currently offers to new markets and in new innovative ways. Gary has been here a short time and already we can feel the up-level that he’s bringing to the team.

Have we mentioned we are EXCITED!!

Gary was one of our first clients and has participated in all of our mastermind programs (Flight Club, Business Class, The Edge and The Edge Elite) as well as executed successful 1-day and 3-day events.

His role as VP may be new, but this has been his home for many years…. We are thrilled to make it official.

Welcome Home, Gary!
Now get to work!

Making The Right Offer to The Right Room

Speaking is all about opportunity

And opportunity requires a unique understanding of your audience.

In some rooms, you may want to invite participants to work with you because what they require is real-time results . In other rooms, you may be looking to have the participants join your email list. Sometimes (rarely), making an offer may not be appropriate at all. This article is all about determining what kind of offer is appropriate for each type of room.

First let’s distinguish between different types of offers you can make to an audience. Check out this list below:

  • Free Offer: A free offer is an opportunity to provide value in return for information. It requires no monetary exchange between the speaker and the audience member. There is an exchange, however – the audience member will provide their contact information in return.
  • Low-Ticket Offer: A low-ticket offer is an offer priced between $1 and $500 during your talk or as soon as you finish your talk. It is almost always paid in full when you take the credit card. It should be easy for those in the audience to purchase (in other words, it shouldn’t break the bank).
  • Mid-Range Offer: A mid-range offer is an offer priced between $500 and $5,000. It’s not as simple to purchase as a low-ticket offer, but the value of it is made clear enough during the talk for the price point to not work as an obstacle to purchasing.
  • High-Ticket Offer: A large paid offer is priced at $5,000 and above. This is of course the widest range of the ones we’re distinguishing. We’ve seen offers from the stage between $50,000 and $120,000 – it all depends on the room.

Some basic etiquette tips…

Is it your stage or are you a guest?

  • You need to know the rules of other people’s stages and play by them.
  • You need to establish rules for your own stage that you should expect others to play by.

How much time do you have?

  • Don’t take time that hasn’t been given to you and/or that you haven’t paid for.
  • By now, you know speaking is the fastest way to grow a business. You want to work inside the parameters of any opportunity so you both honor the event host and are asked back or onto others’ stages.

Again, speaking is all about opportunity, and you have to work that opportunity appropriately.

It requires listening and paying attention to the room. You have to discover what the room wants and be prepared to pivot on a dime. The people who do this most successfully are the ones who are most prepared, and it’s one of those mountains you climb that has no top.

Meaning, you can always learn and do better when it comes to speaking.

Tune in to a future blog to get more tips on speaking etiquette.

Have you ever made an offer at a speaking gig? Interested in making offers? Post your stories and questions below!

Your business is like a baby – and sales is the milk

Whether you’re speaking at an event, filling a new program, or just trying to make some money – no business can survive without sales. The number one reason most businesses fail is not because of a lack of marketing, bad customer service, or bad reviews – it’s because of a lack of consistent sales.

Why sales is important to every business

Business is like a baby – sales is the milk.

An unfed baby cannot grow, no matter how much other love you give it. Not engaging in sales is like not feeding your newborn.

There are so many misunderstandings about sales in the marketplace.

Selling does not make you salesy. Here’s are some things that do.

  1. Not listening – people know when you’re just waiting to talk and not really getting what they’re saying.
  2. Being Pushy – listen when people say no or not now. It’s fine to follow up with people when they are ready.
  3. Being Inappropriate – relationships are the basis of all sales. Making the ‘ask’ before establishing or reestablishing the relationship will have you seem salesy.

It’s hard to sell.

Selling can be hard for people, but only when they don’t do it regularly.

We happen to live in a time when everyone is selling everything and a lot of what’s being sold in any marketplace is poor quality and can’t be trusted. We’ve also been acculturated that salespeople cannot be trusted. So, of course we’re apprehensive about being perceived like the type of people we’ve been trained to avoid.

However, selling is not only normal, but necessary. And, no matter how much you try to avoid it or minimize it, we’re engaged in it every single day. Just about every conversation we have is some version of a sales conversation (more on this in a future blogpost).

For now, here’s what we want you to know: selling is actually like any other activity we engage in that’s not natural to us. It takes time and practice before it becomes natural. If you do the work, it not only becomes easy, but can be fun and really rewarding. The people you’re meant to reach and help rely on you to do this work.

Sales is something you do.

Of course there’s the part of sales where you pick up the phone and have the conversations and make asks.

But sales is a process. It’s a process which requires many touch points and lots of follow up.

Most people don’t follow up.

It’s why they don’t make the money they could.

OR, the money they deserve.

Sales is all about following up

The business owner’s job is to follow up and reach the people they’re meant to serve. Your follow-up should be part of a process. There’s many things that need to happen during that process. Every business will have its own unique process but there are some essentials that apply to almost any business model:

  • Market
  • Generate leads
  • Qualify leads
  • Nurture your leads based on qualification
  • Make an Offer
  • Close
  • Follow-up

Notice: marketing is a piece of the sales process. It’s a big piece, but it’s a piece meant to support the sales process.

Speaking can be both marketing and selling – more to come on when to sell or when to market from the front of the room in next week’s blog (don’t miss it!).

We challenge to you pick up the phone and make sales calls! What do you need support with around sales? What are some of your sales techniques? Comment below!

How To Turn 5 Minutes Into Thousands of Dollars

Selling during a speaking gig is a hot button topic – but let’s be real – most speaking gigs are somewhere between 5 to 20 minutes long. In five minutes, it’s hard to make an offer where people will run to the back of the room, credit card in hand, ready to spill out the content of their wallets (although that would be great, right?).

While you might struggle to have your paid offers convert in a room of potential clients, there is a way you can make thousands of dollars from just a five minute speaking gig. You’ve got to approaching this type of a talk in the right way.

Most people want to just come in, drop their knowledge, and then ask people for money. But you are not most people – and we want to make sure you don’t make this mistake.

Speak to Inspire, NOT to Sell

Take a look at the infographic – where would you place yourself on it? If you find yourself anywhere before the Speak to Profit stage, you may not be ready to be dropping paid offers every time you speak.

Speaker Evolution Infographic

Do You Speak to Inspire?

Converting in just five minutes – the art of the free offer

All good offers, whether free or paid for, follow a system. Of course there’s a difference in having people take advantage of something free versus something they pay for, but in both scenarios, you have to inspire people to take action. The action you want them to take when making a free offer is exchanging their information (email, phone number) for value you’re going to provide – that they want.

How do you turn this into thousands of dollars? You’ve got to do the follow-up work that comes with ANY speaking event. This will look different for different people, but you must follow-up and put prospective clients into the appropriate stage of your sales process in order for them to convert.

Three years ago, we spoke at an event where 78 of the 80 people in our room took advantage of our free offer. We’ve turned that speaking opportunity into over $100K to date.

How? By doing the work that all entrepreneurs must do and most fear or avoid: sales.

You can’t make any money if you don’t follow-up like a boss and have sales conversations.

Over the years we’ve really been at work on our sales process. It’s what has had us grow as rapidly as we have. If you’re going to make it as a business owner, YOU MUST design and perfect your own sales process and then actually execute it. The longer you avoid this, the more it will hurt your business.

Tune in to our blog next week where we’ll give you great tips and actionable strategies to perfect your sales process and execute it with confidence.

Network Like an Elephant

Work The Room like a Red Elephant

Attending live events has been (and is) the single most effective way to BE SEEN.

We’ve been to everything from happy hours to seminars to 3-Day Conferences and each time, we use the following guidelines to work the room.  

Networking tips to take with you to any event:

 

1. Make goal setting a habit   Set aside a moment to create goals for any networking event that you attend, it’ll take at most 5 minutes. Create a system to record it.  Hold yourself accountable to your goals. We use our journal. For example, attending our latest event, we set a goal “to meet 6 people who would be interested in a follow-up”. In the journal, I drew 6 circles.  Every time we met someone who said ‘yes’ to a follow up call, I filled a circle. 

 

2. Make other people successful   Real networking is about sharing your knowledge, time and energy in a continual effort to provide value to others.  In return, you will find that what happens is that your business and brand builds its credibility and visibility which leads to more referrals (and clients!)

 

3. Find out what they need   Find a way to provide resources to those projects that are most important to them.  Ask, “What type of clients are your ideal clients?” “What do you need right now in your business?” You will have found a way to become part of their success and they will want to contribute to yours.

 

4.Create a rating system   After coming home, are you just ‘lumping’ all the cards together in one pile?  Create a rating system!  For example: 1- A “1″ is for potential clients. 2- A “2″ is for potential partners,  resources, affiliates. 3- A “3″ is for people you’ve met but don’t necessarily fall into either category. NOTE! Everyone is a potential referral source for you.  Do not discount this pile because you’re not seeing how they can help you now.  They may provide a great opportunity in the future. 

 

5. Follow-up is ‘key’   Someone doesn’t get back to you? Prompt them again. So many connections turn cold because of no follow-up with them after the initial email. We followed-up with someone after not hearing back after 4 weeks.  The next follow-up turned into a contract!

 

The real take-home here is that networking is a great way to be seen, and you need to go into it with a plan.

Looking for a networking event to attend in New York City? Join us on September 20th as Red Elephant hosts Screw Networking As Usual! Click here for more details.

What are your unique networking tips? How do you stand out in a crowd? Comment below with your strategies and tips to making every connection count!

 

Get Started Speaking

laptop

No one ever built a business behind the glow of a laptop screen.

The appeal of that screen is a strong one. We hear stories of people making millions online, the 4-hour work week and the romanticized version of an entrepreneur. You know, the man or woman who spends their time checking email on the beach in-between Mojito’s.

For a select few maybe that’s their life. But for 99% of us, we have to go out there and build our businesses in the real world. That means shaking hands, meeting people and speaking.

Speaking from the stage has been the single most important thing we have done to build our business (we’ve sold millions from the stage in just the last two years). No matter what type of person you are, introvert, extrovert, or an ambivert – and no matter what type of list size you have – there is a stage for you.

Not sure where to speak? Are you looking for more places to share your stand and make an impact?

Here are some ways to get on stage:

  1. Networking groups   They are always looking for guests to enhance the value of their meetings (click here to check out our post about how to Work the Room like a Red Elephant to find out how you can network more effectively).
  2. Ask your network! The entrepreneurs you know already most likely belong to some networking groups or clubs – see if they are looking for speakers. Be specific with your ask. Share that you can provide
  3. Pay to Play – this can be one of your most valuable and profitable ways to speak. When you sponsor an event, you are positioned as an expert in the room and are able to make an offer.
  4. Your local Chamber of Commerce – this is a great place to build a consistent, visible presence in your community and a great place to gain ample opportunities to speak in front of varying groups.
  5. Create your own stage! Hosting your own event is the best way to get in front of an audience. This can be a 5 person round table, a 25 person meetup or a 50 person workshop.

Final Thoughts

Speaking gives you exposure and credibility. It sets you apart as a market leader and thought leader. It’s also “real.” You meet customers in real life, you get to interact, converse and sell. It’s the most powerful business building tool at your disposal.

It’s also hard to do well. We always see speakers at the top of their game and we never see the hard work that goes into that. These people speak on hundreds, even thousands of stages, before they get to the top, before they start making $50,000 for every speaking opportunity.

Some people just get lucky. About 1% of people have a huge break and make it to the top of the speaking world in no time. For the other 99% of us (which includes us, you, and everyone we’ve seen make it big), it takes hard work, dedication, and a relentless attitude.

So what does it take to make it to the that top 1%? How can you speed up the process so you can make money speaking and selling from the stage? Post your thoughts in the comment section below!