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6. What would be your one big advice to the new age Internet marketers?
Serve your customers, don’t sell to them. The old days of selling, of advertising being a place to interrupt people to get their attention, is slowly dying out. It will never go away, but if you go into business thinking only of how much money your business will make and how your dreams will come true, you forget the customer.
Make the customer the center of your universe and serve them; guide them, help them identify their problem, and THEN drive them to a purchase. Trying to sell by a tricky headline is so 20th century. In a mobile, digitally connected world, you have to focus on how to serve your customers and customers to be; do that and they will come back. Fail to do it and they will complain loudly, creating a short term business.
Forget selling the old way, it simply doesn’t work except for a few markets that play on people’s weaknesses. And that’s not loving your customer to me, that’s playing to their pain and causing more fear and worry, instead of guiding them to their pleasure, solving their problems and helping them grow.
7. Apart from your work, what keeps you interested and occupied?
Teaching and online education, which I’ve done since the beginning. There’s nothing like helping people learn. Today I help students studying history, as well as new entrepreneurs who are starting out, raising funding, and I do this often not for the money, but for the joy of teaching.
I’m also into gardening, meditation, reading all the time, and getting out in nature, way out there. Listening to all the amazing sounds and energy of nature is enough to keep me charged for days. So many people are in a rush that they miss the little things, the way you can help people with a smile and a helping hand.
What keeps me occupied is helping people, plain and simple. It’s what life is all about.
8. What role does spirituality play in your life? And how does it help you grow your business?
The word spirituality just has so many meanings, so let me share what it means to me. Being spiritual means recognizing that it’s not all about you and that every action you take affects other people. Doing your best, caring about what you do and the effects your actions have, are the core of spirituality to me.
We are all part of one planet, one human race connected with so many other species, each of which delivers its own value. So I try to remember that it’s not about me or what I do, it’s about all of us.
That helps me grow my business and other businesses, because I want them to spread love. That’s what it’s all about. If they love your business they will love working with you and come back again and again. But I don’t go out and scream this to people, telling them to do things my way.
Being spiritual means helping people do it their own way, being grateful, and passing it onto their customers, investors, employees … everyone. I get more referrals to my business because people get that I’m not hustling or selling anything. I sincerely want them to be the best they can be, to their business, their family, and humanity. Do that and your business will grow, guaranteed.
9. People often say they don’t get time to work towards their spirituality. Do you agree? Do we need to find a balance between spirituality and other things in life or do we need to have a spiritual approach to everything we do?
No! That’s crazy, just the use of the word “work”. Spirituality is not something you do as a job or a hobby, it involves every person you interact with, it’s embedded into everything you do. So saying you don’t have time to work on it is an excuse, a separation – heck raising a child is one of the most spiritual things you can do, and no one says I need to find the time, you just do it. (Disclosure, I don’t have children I just teach them, and they are truly amazing.)
In my opinion, finding balance comes with living a spiritual life which has no boundaries between business and personal.
This question reminds me of my lessons in meditation at a Buddhist abbey. I’d meditate but didn’t get that it wasn’t just the act of meditation, you come to realize life is all a meditation, a chance to be spiritual and not live separate, because everything you need…you already have, inside of you. Now I meditate all day, not just in front of a wall, but in my life, taking time to listen and learn from others, and be quiet instead of letting my own thoughts rule.
At that abbey, I had a chance to get some spiritual counseling, which I thought was cool. So I had 2 questions I asked the monk.
I asked the first question and the monk said, “Sit with it.”
I asked the second question and the monk said, “Sit with it.”
I asked her, “Is that your only answer, sit with it?”
She smiled and said, is there any other answer? I don’t have your solutions, you do. And once you give yourself time to sit with it, you’ll find that all the time you thought was lacking was spent looking for someone else to give you an answer.
I solved both my problems quickly by simply sitting with them, and taking action. Everything else is commentary.
10. What has been your biggest lesson in your journey of seeking God?
First I’m not so comfortable with capital G God; that’s just for myself. I don’t feel I’ve ever been on a journey seeking god, because to me, god is within you and part of everything, every plant and animal and person and planet.
We are all One, and that to me is god. My biggest lesson is to understand I’m never separate, there is no me and you, there’s only us. So if I hurt you or do something only for my own good, that won’t work. What I’m continuing to learn is how to love myself and everyone as completely as I can, because without loving the self, you can’t love the One. This is still something I’m learning. But in the end it’s all about love, not me or my life or success or any of the other illusions. Every day is another chance to share a little love. That’s what I’m learning.
11. What are your plans for the rest of 2014 and onwards?
I’m transitioning from doing project development and consulting with businesses – something I went back into 6 years ago because I saw that everything I had learned was changing – to going back to my roots, small businesses and mid size businesses.
For the first time in 6 years, I’m opening up to coaching people, guiding them, and building their businesses while not having to pay my consulting fees. I’m back to helping people of all levels.
I’m also psyched about FMGNetwork.com; most of my friends don’t get this, because since 2004 I’ve been building a network driven by women, led by the love of my life, Jody Colvard. She and I see this network as a way to spread powerful messages, share the love, and we continue to grow this business. We just got our contributors into over 400 salons, sharing their content.
I’m also going back to my educational roots and doing a major overhaul on my educational project began in 1994, because I love to teach and help people learn.
I don’t like to make long term plans. I find them limiting. Keep watching what’s in front of you, in the now, and adapt. Stop trying to predict the future. Invent it. That’s an old adage from business and one I believe in. Plans are done separately, now is always happening and while I do have plans to guide me, I pivot and adapt my plans, and goals, based on experience.
But put to the question, my plan is to smile more, love more, and give back more. Peace.