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Takeaway from Your Money Matters Topic

Posted By Becky Hull, Saturday, November 21, 2009

Thoughts on Your Money Matters

 

After listening to our experts speak on "Your Money Matters”, hearing the many questions of our BIG members in the room, and doing a bit of research on my own, I thought about what the important takeaways are on this complex topic. I came away with some key deliverables that might help me stay on track (and, hopefully you!) and will help define for me how my "money matters.”

 

  • Turn your hobby or passion into a business.  Monetize it! What better way to "work” than to "play” at something you love.  We talk a lot about this, but I was watching CNN this week and saw a brief clip on how to earn extra money. It was all about "monetizing your passion!”

 

  • Do your research. In valuing your product or service, you need to get out of your home office and hit the streets. What are local stores charging for similar products? What is their mark-up? What are your costs to manufacture your
  • Define who you are. Why you offer a better product or service. What is your VALUE PROPOSITION?   And practice this elevator speech over and over until you 1) get it right 2) say it easily.  Then put it to work!!  Our two experts on money matters offered these insights into learning their value propositions: one used her answering machine to practice her value proposition, the other  practiced in front of her mirror.

 

  • Ask for the biz.  Don’t be shy. Ask. Have a rate card or pricing sheet handy.  State your price. Then don’t say another word. Play chicken with your customer.

 

 

Bottom line, we all need to get out there and earn money for ourselves. We need to work it. But work it with good intentions, research and most importantly, passion.
 
---Becky

Tags:  financial  money  tips 

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Social Media - It's All About Making Relationships

Posted By Tara Gilvar, Saturday, November 14, 2009

"Social media” is our topic of discussion at B.I.G.  

Sounds simple enough.  As a woman, I definitely am attracted to the social part of the social media  equation.   But, when I hear terms like "blogging,” "micro-blogging,” "tweeting” and "re-tweeting,” my eyes begin to glaze over and I start to think that the entire thing may be just too intimidating to tackle.

 Despite my reservations, I have continued my research on social media and have discovered that the premise of social media isn’t all that complex after all.   With some hard work and a strategy for success, social media can be one of the best – and least expensive – ways to promote our businesses.

In a guide written by David Marine of Coldwell Banker, he boils down the definition of social media to this: "it is people having conversations on line.” 

Now, that’s something that I think all women – especially the women of B.I.G. - are more than capable of mastering.  Women thrive on building relationships.  If social media helps us use our power of building relationships to increase our business success, then it is definitely a tool we should examine more carefully.

Like me, you’ve probably heard of some of the more well known social media sites, such as Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn and Twitter.  Many of you may already be members of these free sites. But, do you know how they differ?  Are you using them effectively to further your business?   If the answer is no, then this month’s theme will help you break down barriers and encourage you to at least step into the social media pool. 

Let’s explore some of the basics: 


Facebook = Mall  

Facebook is probably the most common social media site for women like us.  In fact, statistics say that Facebook users have increased 276% among 35-54 year olds.  So, it’s likely that you are at least familiar with Facebook and have made a conscious decision to either join or not to join. 

 If you’re on it, you’ve probably already connected with people from your past, friends and relatives that live far away and have become "friends” with people who know people that you know.   According to Marine, we should think of Facebook as a virtual mall.  It’s an online place where we can encounter hundreds of people from various parts in our lives on a daily basis in both a casual and social way. 

 If used effectively,  Facebook could be a great on-line tool that enables people in your lives – otherwise known as potential customers – to get to know you and become educated about "how good you are at what you do.”  Because of its personalized nature and its ability to create relationships, Marine suggests that Facebook is a more effective marketing tool than any postcard you could design or  any promotional item you could manufacture.  Not to mention-- using Facebook is free!


LinkedIn = Business Lunch

Unlike Facebook, which is personal, casual and informal, the LinkedIn site is more professional and business-minded.  Marine defines LinkedIn as an "online business luncheon.”  It’s an online place to meet other business professionals and offers us the opportunity to manage our business contacts.  It is simply a great networking resource, a way to reconnect with old and new business colleagues, and friends of colleagues who you might be able to do business with.

It is here that you can participate in message boards, establish business contacts, find vendors and distributors for your products and services and search for job opportunities or for potential employees.  And you won’t have to eat the "rubber chicken” lunches or spend the afternoon checking out people’s nametags!


Twitter = Breaking News

There’s a lot of debate among marketing executives about the benefits of twitter.  Some simply do not understand what value there is in a message containing only 140 characters.   But for Twitter champions, Twitter is the best way to find breaking news in any industry in the shortest amount of time.  By "following” credible industry experts, you can acquire the very latest (even up to the minute) information on your business.  Keeping in mind the old adage "information is power,” Twitter can be a great tool to set you apart from the competition.  [As for those intimidating twitter terms  like "tweet” – that’s just a fancy way of saying you’re "updating your information.”]

Now, that you can see how simple social media actually is, it’s important to realize that it’s not magic.  It takes a lot of work to maintain your social media relationships and you will not get effective business results if you don’t know exactly what you are looking to achieve before you begin.  However, with consistent dedication  -- even just 15 minutes a day -- and a clear strategy, social media can be one the best (and definitely one of the least expensive) tools entrepreneurial women have to showcase their business, identify potential customers and generate real sales.   


Our B.I.G challenge for the month is to explore at least three social media sites that you never visited before.  We ask that the first place you start be at our www.justthinkbig.us website and create your member profile.  On our B.I.G. site, you have the ability to post your business information, share product photos, make connections with other B.I.G members, participate in forums and promote your business to other women -- just like you – in a safe and supportive environment.  If you simply don’t know how to begin, just contact Jacky Segovia on our B.I.G. HQ team at jsegovia@justthinkbig.us and she’ll be happy to set up a training call with you at your convenience.

Good luck and don’t be intimidated to explore!

 Tara

 

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Tags:  online relationships  social media 

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"Your Money Matters"

Posted By Tara Gilvar, Friday, October 16, 2009

"What we must decide is perhaps how we are valuable,

rather than how valuable we are.”

 

                           Edgar Z Friedenburg

                                                        The Vanishing Adolescent, 1959

 

 

As I reflect upon the personal way I have dealt with money over the past two decades, I realize that I fall into many of the same traps that countless women experience.  Although I earned my degree from a well-respected college and have managed the family checkbook for the past fifteen years, I tend to take a back seat when it comes to making the bigger money decisions.   I’m embarrassed to admit that some months I wouldn’t even open up the financial statements when they arrived and would just pass the envelops over to my husband.  When I ask myself why this is the case, I think the honest answer is it that it just seems easier to let my husband deal with the more complex financial issues. 

 

In an article for MSNBC.com, financial journalist Jean Chatzky says it is a "lifetime of reasons, excuses and roadblocks that contributes to women’s financial detachment.   It may be an aversion to numbers or math, a feeling that we’re chronically disorganized or timestarved, the perception that managing money is something our husbands want to do (or, just as often, feel they should do), or a feeling that we’re too old, too single, or too incompetent to really step up to the plate.”

 

What I’ve come to understand most recently is that my lack of desire to tackle the financial challenges in my path, has actually lessened my self confidence as a whole.   I begin to doubt if I’m really capable of understanding those financial statements and start to think that maybe I am less intelligent than my husband.

 

An article in Psychology Today stated, "For most people, money is never just money, it is a tool to accomplish some of life’s goals.  It is love, power, happiness, security, control, dependency, independence, freedoms and more.”

 

Had I consciously known what I was risking when I took a blind eye to money, I would have paid more attention all along.  Now, with the start of my own business, I am taking a crash course.  While I’m a bit out of my comfort zone when it comes to "long range financial projections and spreadsheets,” I am realizing that my brain is quite capable of comprehending many of the numbers on the page and I’m beginning to feel more empowered and intelligent overall.

 

Financial expert Suze Orman says it simply, "Lasting net worth comes from a healthy and strong sense of self worth.”

 

This month, we are offering you tools to help you build upon your financial sense of self worth.  UBS Senior Vice President Angie Newman and Merrill Lynch Financial Advisor Barbara Andrews, will offer us great insights and tips on ways we can become less intimidated about money issues and learn to embrace it as a pathway to our business goals.  

 

Let’s all take steps this month to improve upon our financial identities.

 

All the best,

 

Tara

 

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Week 1

Posted By Administrator, Tuesday, September 15, 2009
WOW!

That's the best word I could find to describe the "bottled lightning" that occurred at our first B.I.G. gathering.  While it was clear to me in advance that the room would be filled with highly educated women eager to make an economic contribution, I never expected the level of support, enthusiasm and energy that I witnessed at this meeting was awe inspiring!

From the many emails and phone calls I received following our meeting, I am convinced that a dramatic, positive change is underway. One the best remarks I heard after the meeting came from one woman who said that the support she received from the other women in the room made her feel "validated."

Now that's pretty powerful!

I hope we can keep the momentum alive for the rest of the month. I challenge you to continue implementing elements found on the "Tips for Starting Your Business." I also encourage you to call each other, share ideas, (shop in our local stores) and research the information necessary for you to take the next step toward developing your business goals.

Take advantage of the plethora of information available on the B.I.G website (www.justthinkbig.us).  It offers many national and local opportunities, educational support, success stories and challenges.  In addition, it provides all relevant B.I.G. information to the membership.  For still more information, just look for the B.I.G group on Facebook by searching "(B.I.G.).”

Whatever you do, don’t stop.  There are too many great opportunities ahead.

Tags:  founder 

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