Posts

The 7 Types of People Successful Kingdom Entrepreneurs Avoid

by Sabine Brandt

Did you know that cucumbers thrive when planted near bush beans but choke when planted near potatoes? Did you also know that carrots and strawberries make good neighbors but don’t get along with onions?*

This knowledge base is referred to as “companion planting,” and it is vital information to any gardener who wants to yield a rich harvest of fruits and vegetables.

You are probably wondering, “What does gardening have to do with my business?”

I recently read a quote by Lance Wallnau that likened his readers’ lives to a garden they have been called to steward. He cautioned that letting the wrong folks into one's garden carries the same potential for disaster as the serpent’s presence in the Garden of Eden.

Just like fruit and vegetables that either thrive or choke when put in the same environment, our business growth can be greatly accelerated or hampered depending on the kind of people with whom we surround ourselves.

Let’s take a closer look at the types of companions you invite to join your entrepreneurial journey that can impact your success, either positively or negatively.

  1.  The Tag-Along – frequently wants to “pick your brain” for free; wants to ride the wave of your success and benefit from your hard work without giving anything in return.
  2. The Moocher – asks you to contribute to building his or her empire in exchange for “exposure” rather than compensation; often funds self-serving projects by selling you opportunities to participate for a fee.
  3. The Know-It-All – constantly makes you feel ill-informed and incompetent; loves to seed doubt about the direction and potential of your business.
  4. The Copy-Cat – never has an original idea and loves to steal yours before you can even utter the word “implementation”.
  5. The Fake – acts happy for your success but is secretly jealous and, quite honestly, would love to see you fail; may possibly even try to sabotage and discredit you behind your back.
  6. The Negative Nelly – seriously lacks optimism and puts down every idea you share; prophesies your failure as inevitable and rarely dares to pursue his or her own dreams.
  7. The Surface Dweller – loves to say, “We should have coffee sometime.” yet never actually comes through; creates the appearance of having real relationships but really only cares about his or her own success.

There you have it: the profiles of the seven most destructive and distracting types of people you may encounter as you go about building your business. Be on the lookout for them and don’t invite them to grab hold of your mind, your schedule, or, for goodness sake, your wallet. And if by chance you discover that one of them has found a way to sneak in, take action immediately!

On the flip side, find and cultivate relationships with people who will share your vision, pray for you, encourage you, be loyal to you, and believe in a mutual exchange of resources and collaboration. God knows who they are. If you haven’t already found them, ask Him to send them your way!

In biblical terms:

  • 1 Corinthians 15:33, “Do not be misled: Bad company corrupts good character."
  • Proverbs 24:6, “Surely you need guidance to wage war, and victory is won through many advisers.”
  • Ecclesiastes 4:12, “Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.”

If you are looking for a true partner in success who will be there for you as you grow your business and support you every step of the way, I invite you to schedule a complimentary “Next Level Business Growth” strategy session with me.

*Source: http://homeguides.sfgate.com/vegetables-should-not-planted-next-other-garden-35394.html

 

248617_4584383280339_1748792940_nSabine Brandt is president of Nobility Coaching and Consulting, Inc., and a certified business expert with nearly two decades of experience as an entrepreneur and corporate leader. Sabine delights in teaching her clients at www.nobilitycoaching.com how to create small businesses that not only provide financial freedom, but also a deep fulfillment of serving others and contributing to God’s greater plan.  In addition, Sabine serves as an executive coach and consultant to large organizations that wish to improve their operational processes and enhance their leadership capabilities.

Do You Have Sales Funnel Vision?

by Sabine Brandt

Customer Loyalty Service Support Care Trust Casual ConceptEvery now and then, I come across a resource that resonates with me on a deeper level and touches the core of what I am about, personally and professionally. Scott Stratten’s new book, UnSelling, is such a resource! The description I read on Amazon had me clapping my hands and shouting, “Yeesss!!!” This is what it said:

UnSelling is about everything but the sell. We put all of our focus on the individual purchase transaction, while putting the rest of our business actions second. We've become blind to customer service, support, branding, experiences and even product quality. Sixty percent of a purchasing decision is made before a customer even contacts you. We have funnel vision, and it needs to stop.”

These five sentences perfectly capture how I feel about my clients as well as my experiences as a customer of other businesses.

All too often in recent years has my role as a customer been reduced to “the one who will give me her money” in exchange for poor quality products, dismal customer service, and zero effort to retain me as a long-term customer.

In my own business, there have been occasions when I had to take heat from coaches and other “experts” for insisting on a boutique business model (…I personally prefer the term “disciple-ship model”) rather than pursuing uber-automation strategies that would ensure I never have to submit myself to another 1:1 conversation with a customer.

I rebelled and refused! I love my clients and can’t fathom a business that robs me of the wonderful, divine appointments and interactions I have with them on a daily basis.

Yes, I could reach the masses by automating my entire business, but it is far more important to me to work with the specific Kingdom entrepreneurs God calls me to support. Don’t get me wrong, automation is fabulous and I use ample of it in my business, but when we start looking at our customers as “clicks and conversions” rather than individuals with purpose, we risk missing the entire point of the Kingdom marketplace.

Whether you run a small business or a multi-million dollar corporation, each individual customer interaction matters greatly, and we ought to treat it as such. From first contact to parting ways after a successful partnership, we should make our customers “feel the love”. Let’s show them how much we care—not about how much money they will make us but rather how well they will live their lives.

In my own business, that manifests itself as weekly check-ins just to say hi, carefully selected surprise gifts, loads of encouragement and prayer, and providing tangible support when needed. It means understanding what is happening in my clients’ businesses and lives, being available, and not hanging up the phone when we are in the middle of an important conversation because “our time is up”.

What are you doing in your business to show your customers you really care, before and after sales? If customer care is a weak point for you, use this article as your invitation to improve your processes and watch your customer loyalty and retention increase dramatically.


DSC_1586_LowSabine Brandt is president of Nobility Coaching and Consulting, Inc., and a certified business expert with nearly two decades of experience as an entrepreneur and corporate leader. Sabine delights in teaching her clients at www.nobilitycoaching.com how to create small businesses that not only provide financial freedom, but also a deep fulfillment of serving others and contributing to God’s greater plan.  In addition, Sabine serves as an executive coach and consultant to large organizations that wish to improve their operational processes and enhance their leadership capabilities.

Getting the Sale: Are You and Your Customers Speaking the Same Language?

I Speak Your Language Badge Translator ServiceIt’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas here in Minnesota with a snow covered landscape and brightly lit decorations everywhere, and, as I seem to do every year, I have been thinking a lot about how to eat healthy during the holidays and boost my family’s immunity in prevention of common winter illnesses.

Trying to find some simple, practical solutions, I decided to research some wellness related sites and information.  What I found left me absolutely frustrated!

It turned out that much of the information out there is so loaded with industry gobbledygook that it’s incredibly difficult for the average person to really figure out who or what they should consider in improving their well-being.

Quite honestly, for someone like me who is neither heavily into running or workout routines (I like martial arts) nor obsessed with studying nutrition and the art of using supplements, it all felt quite overwhelming and confusing.

It certainly didn’t feel like an easily achievable goal or something I wanted to write someone a big check for.

This experience did, however, make me think of the messages we communicate to our leads and customers about our products and services.

When it comes to how you speak to your audience about what you offer, do you use simple, easy to understand language? Or, do you opt for expert jargon and end up making things sound so complicated and unattainable that no one is willing to risk giving your products or services a try?

Here are my top three tips for communicating your marketing message in a way that will not only attract your ideal prospects but also convert them into buying customers.

  1. Stay away from big, fancy words. If your clients need to reach for a dictionary before they can understand what you are communicating, it’s time to re-write your content. Use simple and confident words such as: easy, fun, proven, simple, convenient, safe, quick, fast, effective, and other power words that sell.
  2. Imagine the self-talk of your prospects and customers. What are their real thoughts about their needs or circumstances? People just don’t walk around thinking (or saying) things like, “I would really like to transform my post-baby body through holistic nutrition and targeted exercise!” Instead, they think more along the lines of, “I hate how fat I look and feel since I had my baby.”
  3. Pay attention to the language people use in public forums. Even if you are just starting out in business and don’t have a huge following you can survey directly, you can benefit from reading others’ book reviews, blog comments, testimonials, Facebook comments, and other social media conversations to gain insight to how people talk about the problems they need solutions for.

Always remember that your goal is not to dazzle your prospects and customers with fancy language but rather to demonstrate that you understand and care about their needs, that you have a solution to their problems, and that you will serve them to make sure they see the results they desire.

If you have been struggling with selling your products and services and can’t quite figure out why, check your marketing messages against the criteria I shared above and make sure you are communicating the features and benefits of what you offer in a way that speaks to what your ideal customers really want.

DSC_1586_LowSabine Brandt is president of Nobility Coaching and Consulting, Inc., and a certified business expert with nearly two decades of experience as an entrepreneur and corporate leader. Sabine delights in teaching her clients at www.nobilitycoaching.com how to create small businesses that not only provide financial freedom, but also a deep fulfillment of serving others and contributing to God’s greater plan.  In addition, Sabine serves as an executive coach and consultant to large organizations that wish to improve their operational processes and enhance their leadership capabilities.

 

Fear of Commitment: Are You “All In” When It Comes to Your Business?

 

commitment street signRecently, my teenage daughter climbed behind the steering wheel of my truck for the very first time. After the initial heart-stopping excitement of white-knuckling the door handle and nearly putting a hole in the floorboard via my imaginary brake had worn off, we started focusing on the finer nuances of the driving experience.

There was one particular sticking point my daughter seemed to struggle with—I call it “fear of commitment.” She would either hesitatingly roll out half way into an intersection and stop, or she would sit and wait forever waiting for the perfect moment to go.

As we practiced to overcome her trepidation, it occurred to me that entrepreneurial mindset can be a lot like the “commit/don’t commit” game we seemed to play over and over again.

Entrepreneurs who hesitate to get “all-in” when it comes to investing their time, talent, and treasure in their businesses are bound to eventually a) collide with the competition or b) stay stuck where they are indefinitely.

In order to succeed in business, we must commit to doing whatever is necessary to realize our dreams. That means we must persevere during the rough start-up stage, muscle our way through the growth stage, and have a long-term plan for sustainable success.

There are three key ingredients needed to fully commit to your business:

  1. Vision – know where you are going. We need a crystal clear vision of what God has called us to accomplish. This greater WHY will give importance to even the most mundane of tasks.
  2. Faith – believe you will get there safely. We need a strong foundation of faith that God will see us through even the toughest business challenges.
  3. Grit – have the courage to go. We must learn to deal with rejection, disappointment, failure, and putting ourselves in vulnerable positions. Giving up is simply not an option.

Reality is, no matter how long we sit at the intersection of our dreams and their manifestation, there will never come a perfect time to commit. There will, however, always be a right time to commit: the moment when God calls us to make a move.

Our obedience to this call—along with the three ingredients of commitment listed above—will make the difference between our staying stuck at the starting line, pulling out of the race prematurely, or reaching the finish line!

I encourage you today to take a closer look at where you may be holding back from achieving your highest potential.

Are you fully committed to your business? Are you willing to take risks and grab hold of opportunities, even if they seem intimidating at first? Are you following through and sticking to your vision and goals, even when things don’t go so well? Are you seeking the professional help you need to push through obstacles?

DSC_1586_LowSabine Brandt is president of Nobility Coaching and Consulting, Inc., and a certified business expert with nearly two decades of experience as an entrepreneur and corporate leader. Sabine delights in teaching her clients at www.nobilitycoaching.com how to create small businesses that not only provide financial freedom, but also a deep fulfillment of serving others and contributing to God’s greater plan.  In addition, Sabine serves as an executive coach and consultant to large organizations that wish to improve their operational processes and enhance their leadership capabilities.

A Design After God’s Own Heart: Finding Your Identity in the Men and Women of the Bible

 

who are question on a napkin with a cup of coffeeWhen I was a teenager, I really struggled with my identity, particularly because many of my interests involved not-so-girly things like motorcycles, martial arts, and wood shop. My parents didn’t raise me to be particularly drawn to these things; I simply had preferences that differed from most girls.

Fast forward to today: I would still rather build a fence than bake a cake, with the only difference being that I finally learned to embrace who God created me to be. The road to get here, however, was fraught with many painful experiences.

You see, rather than owning my identity, I tried to fit into a profile that was not meant for me. I would get ultra-frustrated because other girls were good at things like makeup, fashion, and cooking (including my own mother), and I just simply couldn’t find the passion or knack for it.

For the longest time, I thought there was something wrong with me that I had to change and that my preferences were not “normal.” That is, until I was introduced to Deborah (Judges 4-5).

You see, when I met Deborah in the book of Judges, I instantly understood God’s plan for me, past and present. I saw myself reflected in this strong, independent woman, wife, warrior, judge, and prophetess. I realized that my design was after God’s own heart—He didn’t “accidentally” fit me with the personality and gifts I had questioned so many times.

Taking ownership of who God created me to be completely transformed my life, and, over time, I learned how to use my unique traits for the Kingdom through entrepreneurship. I saw that my strength could bless and encourage others when they felt defeated, my courage could lend confidence to those who were afraid of taking risks, and my perseverance would support others in standing against the works of the enemy.

Who did God create you to be? Contemplate which aspects of God’s character you represent most and which Bible character most closely resembles your personality and gifting.

Do you have the gift of shepherding others like Abraham? Are you a gifted adviser like Daniel? Are you a natural born leader like Joshua or Paul? Or, perhaps you have a prophetic gift like Isaiah or John?

Studying the many characters of the Bible and how they found their calling will provide you with valuable insight to how God may want to use you for His purposes.  As a Kingdom entrepreneur, it will also help you get clarity on what type of business may be most suitable for you.

Want to learn more?  Allow me to recommend one of my favorite books on the topic:  All the Men/All the Women Compilation by Herbert Lockyer—find it on Amazon.

DSC_1586_LowSabine Brandt is president of Nobility Coaching and Consulting, Inc., and a certified business expert with nearly two decades of experience as an entrepreneur and corporate leader. Sabine delights in teaching her clients at www.nobilitycoaching.com how to create small businesses that not only provide financial freedom, but also a deep fulfillment of serving others and contributing to God’s greater plan.  In addition, Sabine serves as an executive coach and consultant to large organizations that wish to improve their operational processes and enhance their leadership capabilities.