Are you ready to tap the magic of 26-hour days?

During a virtual seminar that I taught with 20 small business owners attending, we discovered the secrets to creating more time and balance in work and home life. We identified feeling overwhelmed about having too many things to do, constantly put out fires where other people decide what we do, and spending all their time on business and taking little time for fun.


According to Small Business Trends, business owners identified TIME as one of their biggest problems.
Few seem to have enough of it, even if they are working 60 hours a week or more. After working long hours for years, they begin to feel they have become a slave to their business … that it is running them rather than they running it.
If you are working more hours than you want and not feeling like it is getting any better, then consider some changes. What if you could initiate the 26-hour day?
Let’s not stop there. Why wish for only two more hours? Think bigger. Imagine having seven, 48-hour days each week. Would that make a difference in how you spend your time?
Carol Naff, Marketing Coach, taught that the first step is to think differently about time. What will it take to eliminate those days that are not productive? Eliminate those outside forces and external circumstances.
Become very clear about what needs to get done each day. Begin with the big picture of your vision and mission. Then write your plan of how to get there. Be certain to plan every 90 days and then continue to identify what strategies and tactics are most important and need to get done each week and each day. Choose to be responsible for how your day will go.
Then when you eliminate those days that are not productive, it’ll seem as though you have 48 hours in each day.
Strategy: Decide on only three things to do each week that will affect the impact on your vision the most. Identify your biggest problems in your business with this assessment at
If you are not getting as much from life as you want to, then examine the state of your enthusiasm.
– Norman Vincent Peale
If you are self-employed and not talking to people, you are unemployed.

Kidding Around – Are you ready to have fun?

How quickly we lose the simple pleasures of childhood.

Plan now to have a great time when the weather is perfect for outdoor activities. Make sure you accomplish all that you hope to do. Now is a good time to plan for some fun before summer gets away from you. Yes, schedule these activities on your calendar.  We all need more childlike moments to balance our serious natures. This is the kind of carefree, timeless moment that children experience while having only one goal in mind ~~ FUN!  How quickly we lose the simple pleasures of childhood…. Kidding Around - Are you ready to have fun?

In the spirit of lightening up, here are some ideas that might help you to reawaken that little kid in you.

  • Buy a giant pad of paper and some pastels and schedule a time to draw, using your fingers to smudge the colors together. Buy several cans of Play-Doh and keep them in your office.  Create a new monster every week.
  • Spend an hour in the mountains noticing the height of the trees, the color of the grass, and the little pine cones, sticks, and rocks.
  • Close the shades, put on your favorite dance music and dance in your living room.
  • Get dirty. Go out and weed the yard, plant a tree, or simply dig holes in the dirt.
  • Visit a local toy store and spend some time picking out a favorite coloring book. Keep this book in your office and between your adult duties, steal some time each day to color.
  • Spend an hour sitting on the grass looking for a four-leaf clover.
  • Buy a hula-hoop and see if you can still swing it. Learn how if you never could.
  • Have a serious conversation with a dog.
  • Gather a group of friends for dinner and play musical chairs.
  • Grab a friend, buy a watermelon, and have a seed-spitting contest.
  • Buy a teddy bear and/or sleep with a stuffed animal.
  • Spend fifteen minutes mimicking your cat or dog.
  • Camp in the mountains and talk to the squirrels as the sun comes. Enjoy them as they throw pine cones at you and chatter away.

These are the kinds of things to create joy in your life. Do them for no other reason than to upset the apple cart of life and interfere with the rigidity of our daily lives.

Strategy: Create your JOY list of things you want to do for fun. What’s on your list for fun? Need more ideas?

Grumpy? NOT

Grumpy / Negative emotions lead to a decline in lung function according to researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health. Anger is also a risk factor for cardiovascular diseases, coronary heart disease, and stroke.204ec8c7-f8b4-47c1-8636-f523ee2119b0

Do you find yourself becoming grumpy when your business / life isn’t going the way you intend?

It isn’t good. Negative emotions lead to a decline in lung function according to researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health. Anger is also a risk factor for cardiovascular diseases, coronary heart disease, and stroke. Take deep breaths to improve your lung function. And take a deep breath and jump in to create the business that you love. Create one that doesn’t make you angry or hard on yourself.

There are many studies demonstrating the profound influence of the mind and beliefs on aging. For example, a landmark study by Harvard psychologist Ellen Langer, PhD., showed that the so-called irreversible signs of aging, including deterioration in hearing, vision, manual dexterity, muscle strength, and memory, could be reversed through psychological shifts in awareness and increases in physical and mental activity.

Even though we all have genetic predispositions, our health and aging aren’t predetermined. By making conscious choices in our behavior and where we focus our attention, we can transform our experience of our body to decrease our biological age.

This means we don’t have any time to be grumpy.

Create the Business / Life of Your Dreams

Our next step to create the business / life of your dreams (after you write a clear vision for your company) is writing a very succinct mission statement. Yes, you can have a vision and mission statement for your life, too. Your mission statement briefly explains the purpose of your business. Make it two words, two sentences, a paragraph, or even an image. It needs to be as direct and focused as possible. It should clarify what your business is all about. Back yourself into a corner so the only place you can go is forward.

Your mission can guide strategic decision-making by owners, directors, employees, and the public. It needs to be easily memorized. The best example of a mission statement will define a company and its purpose in 30 seconds or less. This is an eloquent, concise paragraph full of meaning and impact. Choose your words wisely – beware of buzz words, empty phrases, or mission statements so general that any old company could use. It’s a challenge, but you want to capture what your company stands for in a brief and memorable way.

Here are two notable examples of clear mission statements:

  • Our vision is to be earth’s most customer centric company; to build a place where people can come to find and discover anything they might want to buy online. From Amazon
  • To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world. From Nike

Hope this helps your efforts in building a successful business. Either way, I’d like your comments and let me know about your mission statement. Make a mind shift to be positive and  proactive to eliminate negative thoughts.

OH, BTW, while you are here on my blog, please follow it and have a very Sweet ’16.

16 Tips for a Sweet ’16


Constant Contact developed these tips to make your year especially sweet in ’16.

Start with a plan and set specific goals. Set one big marketing objective for the year, one for each quarter, and maybe one for each month. Keep them simple and specific so you can focus on how to achieve them. Ask for referrals. Word-of-mouth marketing is one of the most powerful sources of new business, so think back to all of the customers you’ve helped. Chances are that they have a network ready to buy from you. Don’t be afraid to ask!

Make it easy for customers to find you. Whether someone is searching for your individual business or the answer to a problem that your business can solve, taking steps to improve your website’s visibility on Google will make it easy for your next great client to find you. Here are some tips to help you get started.

Be mobile friendly. People are relying more and more on their mobile devices to consume and find information. It’s time to give serious consideration to making your digital communications mobile friendly. Make sure your website and your emails are optimized to work with mobile devices.

Take it offline. Nothing holds the same power as getting together in person. Whenever possible, leverage those online acquaintances with offline events that bring people together. You’ll strengthen the relationships that can lead to long-term growth.

Grow your list. Growing an email list may seem like a lofty goal, but remember: 90 percent of consumers like to receive promotional emails from the companies they do business with. Here are a few ideas to help you get started.

Stand out in the inbox. Make sure people recognize that your emails are coming from you by using a consistent from name and from email address in every message you send out. t. Craft a compelling subject line that catches your readers’ attention and lets them know why they should click to open.

Turn your Facebook fans into email subscribers. It’s important to connect with your Facebook fans in multiple ways, and one of the best ways to do that is through your email list. Email marketing works because it allows you to reach people in the place they go every day—their inbox! If you’re a Constant Contact customer, you can easily add an email sign-up form to your Facebook Page.

Expose your business to new people with Instagram. This social network built for sharing photos is surging in popularity. Here’s how you can use it to get in front of new audiences.

Create content that your customers care about. Finding content ideas can be easier than you think when you turn to your customers to guide you. After all, they’re the ones who will be reading and engaging with the content! Here are a few ways you can easily keep them engaged.

Know the essential elements of a great fundraising email. For non-profit organizations, email marketing is a critical component of donor engagement. Want to know five things to consider when designing your next fundraising email?

Look great on social media. Great visuals have become a crucial aspect of online marketing—in fact, 63 percent of social media is made up of images! Use this handy sizing guide to make sure that you’re creating great images for your business’ social media channels.

Take time to learn. Whether you’re looking for email marketing tips, general marketing advice, or other subject-specific guides, Constant Contact’s blog and YouTube channels are full of great resources to help you #BeaMarketer!

Offer a discount or promotion. Whether it’s a coupon in your local paper, an annual sale at your store, a trackable coupon, or a special offer for your most loyal customers, discounts can be a great sales driver for your business. Consider putting together a special offer or promotion to attract new—or reward your best—customers.

Welcome new email subscribers with an automated message. A good “welcome email” can set the tone for the relationship you plan to build with your new subscribers and helps engage them in your business or organization. I can help you with eight tips to help you create a more effective welcome email.

Get feedback from your customers. Consider sending a survey to your customers to create a two-way communication channel. You can ask for ways to improve your services or products, get topic suggestions for your blog, or even just do a little customer research.

Get started with Constant Contact to stay in touch with everyone you meet. Use this link and I can help you get started. Constant Contact with Mariner Company

Call me next week so I can help you get started on a Sweet ‘16!


All Dressed Up and Ready to Sell?

When your business plan is formulated and you are ready to take on the world, be certain that you are making a great impression. Are your networking tactics going over like a lead balloon? “I networked all the time and still never got any clients.” If these are the resultsMarketing tactics for networking you are getting, then it is time to change your tactics.

Stop selling. We’ve all attended events where someone has a stack of business cards in their hand and just starts handing them out. They often fail to even ask anything about you. AND they start telling about the advantages of what they offer. Or the only thing we can think of to say to someone is, “And what do you do?” Networking isn’t about selling. You really want to build relationships and let people know what you do so they can refer to you.

Anne Randolph told me that when she stopped selling, she actually received more clients when she shifted to networking to build relationships. The purpose of networking is to give and get information. You are not selling, you are telling. You are not asking for favors, you are giving valuable information.

I’m on the Board of Creative Connections and enjoy meeting new creatives each month at our meeting on the first Friday at 9:00 a.m. in the Denver area. Check us out at

Strategy: Build relationships first. Identify your ideal alliance partners and get to know them. They are business owners who market to your same niche. Ask questions to learn more about them. Learn how to soar and not come away feeling like a deflated balloon.

Tactic: Attend networking events with a goal in mind. Identify how many people you want to meet. Be clear about your niche so you can clearly tell someone whom you want to meet.

Why does LinkedIn only want you to invite people you know to connect?

Imagine going to a networking event and only talking to people you know. LinkedIn is the biggest networking opportunity with millions of members. Yet, LinkedIn limits your ability to message, connect, and build your network. You have the ability to meet your ideal clients or a targeted list of people.

Yes, that’s powerful and that’s what LinkedIn can do for you. You create a bigger sphere of influence with tons of connections. You have the ability to share your expertise with a larger audience. You are found more often on searches in LinkedIn and you are able to help more people.

LinkedIn Groups new features and a fresh, bright look

They claim that LinkedIn Group members can now add images to their posts and mention other users. The company says it cut back on clutter, spam and promotional content within Groups. The navigation panel is also simpler, and LinkedIn significantly increased the amount of open space on the pages. Are you finding it easier to navigate? I am having to jump through hoops to moderate my Creative Connections- 5280 group.

What would you like LinkedIn to do for you? Do you want:

  • More prospects and leads for your company?
  • Credibility in your field?
  • Connect with like-minded people?
  • Affiliations with other leaders in your field?
  • Research your competition?

    Why does LinkedIn only want you to invite people you know to connect? Please comment and let us know what results you are getting with your LinkedIn profile.

The 30 Magic Marketing Words You Should Be Using

Carol Naff Creative Marketing Coach

Secret Trigger Words to   Elicit Responses

Savvy business owners, copywriters, and designers know how language influences emotions and persuades action. Certain words and phrases are time-tested to boost response and conversion rates  almost across the board. Of course, different motivating words and phrases work better in different situations, and it’s up to you to figure out which work best for your business. It isn’t all that difficult to figure out, though: If your intuition doesn’t tell you, your customers will. Test the following 30 “magic marketing words” in your next email, social media or blog post, on a direct-mail postcard or website to see which yields the best response.

  1. You – Write as though you’re speaking to the customer and about the customer, not about yourself.
  2. Because – Give customers a reason why they need to take action.
  3. Free – “Because” we all like free things, right?
  4. Value – This implies customers are getting something versus losing something (i.e. money when you say “cost” or “price”).
  5. Guaranteed – Give customers a guarantee to minimize risk perception, so they feel they have everything to gain and nothing to lose.
  6. Amazing – Customers will respond to something that is incredible.
  7. Easy – Make it simple for customers to take the next step in the purchasing process, and let them know how much easier life will be with your product or service.
  8. Discover – This implies there is something new and unknown to the customer, something that has supreme benefits and gives them an edge.
  9. Act now – Motivate an immediate response with a limited-time offer.
  10. Everything included/everything you need – This establishes that your product or service is all your customers will have to buy in order to achieve their goal.
  11. Never – Point out a “negative benefit,” such as “never worry again” or “never overpay again.”
  12. New – Your product or service is the cutting edge in your industry.
  13. Save – The most powerful word to showcase monetary savings, or even time savings.
  14. Proven – Remind customers that your product, service or business is tried-and-true.
  15. Safe and effective – “Proven” to minimize risk perception for health and monetary loss.
  16. Powerful – Let customers know that your business, product or service is robust.
  17. Real results/guaranteed results – Your customers want results, after all.
  18. Secret – Not everyone succeeds, and there are secrets to success. Let customers know you can reveal those secrets.
  19. The – This implies your solution is the “end-all-be-all.” Consider the difference: “3 Solutions for Marketing Success”/”The 3 Solutions for Marketing Success.”
  20. Instant –Instant access or downloads are more appealing than waiting.
  21. How to – Start off with a solution so customers read the rest of your copy.
  22. Elite –Your customers are among the best in the world. Invite newbies to join a highly desirable club.
  23. Premium – Premium helps denote high quality.
  24. Caused by – If your marketing literature builds a case for your product, transitional phrases such as “caused by,” “therefore,” and “thus” can help reinforce the logic of a purchase.
  25. More – Do you offer more than your competitors? Let your customers know, because they want the best deal, after all.
  26. Bargain – Because customers want a great deal, remember?
  27. No obligation – Create a win-win situation for your customers.
  28. 100% money-back guarantee – Again, no risk.
  29. Huge – A large discount or outstanding offer is difficult to resist.
  30. Wealth – If you’re selling products and services related to money, wealth is a desirable word for customers.

The key to success is to combine these words into phrases that trigger buying behavior. For example: “Get real results instantly – 100% money-back guarantee – act now!” Keep your copy short and sweet, play on emotional triggers with these words and phrases, and you’ll increase your conversion and response rates. Vertical Response published these ideas.