Small Business

ASKING THE RIGHT QUESTIONS



The key to effective sales conversations is to listen.  Owning a business for the past 15 years one skill that is most important to every interaction I have is to ask the right questions.  There is a rule in sales that the customers should be talking 90% of the time, by asking those effective questions you will begin to uncover those unique challenges that your customer faces and begin to provide amazing solutions to increase your sales.  Our partner marketing expert Jackie Camacho-Ruiz takes this listen to heart.  Read along as she explains her philosophy on asking the right questions.  


ASKING THE RIGHT QUESTIONS

BY: Jackie Camacho-Ruiz

You would never imagine that a simple sleepover for my children and their cousins would result in a study on asking the right questions. There they were in my home, seven kids in total, all between ages seven and eleven. You can imagine as the host, things were a little crazy. We did a lot of fun activities that night, but in the morning I decided to do something kind of different.

I asked them to really think carefully, and then ask me one single question. The question could be whatever they wanted to know about the things that I do: flying, writing books, the foundation, etc. What came out of that activity was very impressive! I was so amazed at the quality of the questions that children could come up with. They are children in our eyes, but they are deep thinkers too. They asked questions like, “What is the thing you are most proud of?” and “Why are you inspired to help people every day?” I began to realize the depth of these questions, and how they can be a window to the soul.

We don’t always think about questions as being the most important part of a conversation but they frequently are. When I am engaging with a new client, I try to ask questions that lead me to their vision. I ask, “What is it you want to see in six months?” and “How do we know that project was a complete success?” Asking these questions gives me clarity and it also gives me focus so that I can do an amazing job for the client, and produce the results they want to see.

Without deep questions, you can only get so far. That’s why they are so important.

  1. Asking the right questions gives the conversation more depth. Not only will you know others in more depths, but it also gives the person you are asking the ability to see that there is more depth inside you.
  2. Asking the right questions allows people to tell their story. People love to tell their story, and it always benefits you to hear it. When you share stories with people and vice versa, you can better understand them and help them reach their goals.
  3. Asking the right questions can lead to opportunities. This is true, particularly in a business setting. Going in-depth and making connections can reveal opportunities that you never thought possible.
  4. Asking the right questions makes your encounter deeper. Opening up to deeper conversation can make you closer and more memorable to others. By sharing stories and exploring opportunities, you will make an impression that they will remember.

I have been analyzing many areas of my life and many interactions with different people. And one thing that I have noticed is that having the ability to ask the right questions in any circumstance is one of the most powerful tools that you can have. Think deeply about the questions you ask, and you will find that your relationships deepen too.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Jacqueline Camacho-Ruiz is an award winning author, entrepreneur, speaker, philanthropist, and marketing and PR expert.

With a passion for inspiring fellow entrepreneurs she has authored such books as "The Little Book of Business Secrets that Work (also available in Spanish)" that would give you amazing tips dedicated helping your business grow. As a proven expert in marketing Jacqueline is also the make it happen director of JJR Marketing, an incredible and versatile firm which creates strategic opportunities for brand awareness, lead generation and customer loyalty for your small business.

To find out more about Jacqueline visit http://www.jackiecamacho.com/

WHAT MAKES A SERVANT LEADER?


Leadership is the most important aspect of running your business.  Have you had employees that were not encouraged? Employees leave you after a few weeks.  Taking one hour to do a job that takes five minutes.  As business owners we have encountered many employees like this.  But a great leader can inspire there team in order to be successful and grow your company.  Our partner marketing expert Jackie Camacho-Ruiz explains why being a servant leader is the key to inspiring your employees and powering their potential.
 

WHAT MAKES A SERVANT LEADER?

By Jackie Camacho-Ruiz

As the head of a company or organization, I think that being a servant leader is one of the most important ways you can approach your role.

A servant leader is a person who thinks about being a servant first, and a leader second. They prioritize the growth and prosperity of those around them, and help with other’s needs, rather than feeding their own personal ambitions. Being a servant leader is about community building and lifting up your fellow workers. Servant leaders make a conscious choice to promote the growth and well-being of the people they lead. It’s not about being “at the top of the pyramid”, it’s about helping the others climb up to the top by developing their skills and passions.

I always strive to be a servant leader because I believe that a strong community is greater than the sum of its parts. Caring for other people is the greatest strength of a servant leader. It’s easy to become a servant leader if you just look around. Ask yourself, what can I do to help those around you, and make them more productive? Here are some steps to help you picture how servant leadership can fit into your business philosophy.

  1. Identify your passion. I discovered my passion for business at the age of five, living in Mexico with a fig tree in our backyard. I picked the figs and sold them to people walking by on their way to work. This is the event that set my entire future in motion! When you discover your passion, you unlock your potential to serve others.
  2. Align with the cause that makes your heart “beep”. I give credit to my six year old for the twist on the typical saying, but I think making your heart “beep” is more dynamic than a simple heart beat. For me, my heart “beeps” when I mentor young Latinas. This is why I established the nonprofit organization known as the Fig Factor Foundation. This endeavor allows me to combine my passion for entrepreneurship with my passion for empowering young women to become all they can be. In this way, I lead by example to serve others in my community. When you find the cause that makes your heart “beep”, you can use that passion to develop ideas to help others and care for them.
  3. Take action and set goals. The hardest part of any idea is following through. Every day, I set goals that I plan to complete. You can set goals, big or small, to help others and improve your workplace and your communities. Don’t forget to write them down! It has been proven that you are much more likely to reach them if you do!
  4. Connect with others. If you want to serve the people around you, communication is key. Ask, “how can I make your day better?” Determine who is at the biggest disadvantage in your community and use your passion to support them. Make connections and alliances that will create a support system for you as well as the people you lead.
  5. Reconnect as needed. Always stay in touch with people after an event or encounter. Follow-up to make sure their needs are being met, and that they feel supported. For those who have been generous with you, remember to give back and help them as you can by sharing their social media posts, introducing them to an important connection or supporting their special efforts. Keep listening to others, and looking for opportunities to help them grow.

The idea behind a servant leadership philosophy is that employees and community members are human beings, not cogs in a machine. The more empathy a leader has, the more they will succeed at motivating and supporting the people they lead.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Jacqueline Camacho-Ruiz is an award winning author, entrepreneur, speaker, philanthropist, and marketing and PR expert.

With a passion for inspiring fellow entrepreneurs she has authored such books as "The Little Book of Business Secrets that Work (also available in Spanish)" that would give you amazing tips dedicated helping your business grow. As a proven expert in marketing Jacqueline is also the make it happen director of JJR Marketing, an incredible and versatile firm which creates strategic opportunities for brand awareness, lead generation and customer loyalty for your small business.

To find out more about Jacqueline visit http://www.jackiecamacho.com/

The Power of Having a Mentor

If you asked countless millionaires what they attributed there success to the one answer that always comes up is having a mentor.  The importance of having a mentor is key to being successful.  Successful individuals seek knowledge, who can I seek out who has done what I want to accomplish.  Our partner Jennifer Sanchez President of the Culture Impact had did just that.  Find out how gaining a mentor has brought her success that is continuing for year to come.  

 

The Power of Having a Mentor

“A mentor empowers a person to see a possible future, and believe it can be obtained.” – Shawn Hitchcock, Professor at Illinois State University. This quote hits close to home when I consider what a mentor should be.

I grew up in a working-class, Latino community on the northwest side of Chicago and I am a protégé of the Chicago Public School system. As an inner-city youth, I can attest to the lack of resources available to me. Both of my parents migrated from Mexico. They could only provide me with so much. They themselves were trying to navigate a different country and needed their own support. While growing up, if I needed any assistance with homework, I knew my parents couldn’t help me, so I had to look for guidance outside of my home. Often, I needed to go to my teachers and tutors at school. Even though the word “mentor” was never introduced to me, I had mentors early in my life. They believed in me and encouraged me to go to pursue a higher education and earn my college degree. Once I was in college, I was in a different ball game. I lacked confidence and wasn’t prepared for the responsibilities that came with being a college student. It was then when I realized I was a minority. There weren’t as many Latinos on campus as I would have wanted.

As a younger Latina woman, I was unsure of what I wanted to pursue as a career. There were very few examples of professional Latinas in my life. This resulted in me switching my major three times throughout my college career. Finally, when I became a junior in college, I met my first mentor. A petite Puerto Rican woman named Nancye F. Rivera, who was a Director at a large marketing agency in Downtown Chicago. This woman took me in as her Intern. Nancye knew I had no prior experience in marketing. All I knew is that I needed experience in anything. She graciously showed me the ropes but was stern to correct me when I was wrong. I appreciated the opportunity so much that I allowed Nancye to have a voice in my life. Once I ended my Internship with her, we both wanted to continue our mentee and mentor relationship, and we did. God doesn’t pair people by mistake. This professional Latina taught me things that not only influenced my career but my overall life. We still are very good friends. Our relationship has evolved and strengthened over the years so much that I value her as a spiritual mother than just a mentor.

 

Since college, I’ve learned that I am very particular with who I choose to mentor me. Notice I said “I” choose. Nancye set the bar high for others. Before I allow a mentor to work with me, I analyze their life. I get to know more about them before I get into a mentor-mentee relationship, just like any other relationship. The first question I ask myself is, what do they have that I want? For example, Nancy was a professional and polished woman. Additionally, she is very spiritual. I desired those skills and abilities tremendously. You can figure this out through casual conversations. Invite the person out for lunch or go to business events together. If you see something that tugs at you the wrong way, then that person might not be the right mentor for you. Although, that person can still be a good friend or a cheerleader in your life. Only time will tell.

The second question I ask myself is, am I willing to be mentored by this person? In other words, are you ready to invest time? Now, I have had the privilege to have multiple mentors throughout the years. Some of those relationships have evolved into something better or some have ended. It’s okay for the relationship to end because things change and people change. If we aren’t changing, we aren’t growing.

This mentor-mentee relationship takes commitment. You will need to plan to spend time together. Just saying that a person is your mentor doesn’t make them your mentor, you need to commit. Plan to meet outside of work, it can be weekly, monthly, quarterly. Since mentorship is a two-way street, both mentor and mentee must want to invest time into the relationship, plus enjoy each other’s company. If once you are in a mentor and mentee relationship and something doesn’t feel right, then you are probably right! Stick to your gut, it's always right. Just recently, I met a young Latina and she mentioned to me that she felt that her mentor was “taking advantage of her.” Right away both my mentor and I told her to immediately rethink the relationship. A couple of months later, she reported back to us that her intuition was right. Now she is slowly moving towards an exit strategy for that relationship. However, if you want to preserve a relationship to not burn any bridges, then just start setting healthy boundaries. You ask how do I set healthy boundaries? Well, just say no. Begin to limit your engagement, this will slowly end whatever rituals or habits you have together.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jennifer Sanchez is a Bi-Cultural Millennial Latina with an entrepreneurial spirit, as well as, President and Founder of The Culture Impact. The Culture Impact provides social media management and development for companies and organizations, as well as, education and training in the areas of social media. Early on in her career she owned and operated another business in West Humboldt Park from 2009 to 2011. She attained a BA in Liberal Arts and Sciences from the University of Illinois at Chicago and is also a Financial Coach from NeighbordWorks Training Institute. Mrs. Sanchez was privileged to work with multiple marketing agencies and not-for-profits, which gave her the knowledge to help organizations and institutions meet their goals through different marketing strategies. Mrs. Sanchez resides in the northwest suburbs of Chicago with her husband, two daughters, and Doberman Pinscher named "Ruby." To contact Jennifer email thecultureimpact@gmail.com.

4 REASONS INTELLECTUAL CURIOSITY IS IMPORTANT IN MARKETING

 

Want a successful business? The secret is to never stop learning.  Marketing trends have changed tremendously in the last 20 years.  Previously a newspaper ad weekly was good enough to bring customers, now with media everywhere becoming curious and mastering new trends will keep your business viable. 

Check out how our partner marketing expert Jackie Camacho-Ruiz continues to grow by increasing her curiosity. 

 

If you are always wondering “why is that…?” or “what if…?”, you may be in possession of a great amount of Intellectual curiosity! Intellectual curiosity is the desire to pursue, enjoy, and engage in learning opportunities and is beginning to replace the IQ as the measure of a person’s general potential.

In school, students are many times pigeonholed as “gifted” or “remedial” based on standardized test scores without any regard to their intellectual curiosity. Yet research from Stanford University tells us that intellectual curiosity greatly affects academic performance, and can be used as an indicator of academic potential. That’s because individuals who are naturally curious, want to learn and are motivated, are more likely to succeed because of their own personal initiative. They learn to learn, not just for a grade on a test.

Further studies show the same concept helps us succeed in business. Dr. Thomas Chamorro-Premuzic, a professor of business psychology at University College London, wrote in the Harvard Review about three qualities that he believes can enhance our ability to “manage complexity” and achieve in business: our IQ (intelligence quotient) or EQ (our emotional quotient which measures our emotional intelligence) and our CQ (or curiosity quotient). Ideally, we bring a healthy serving of each to the table when we sit down in a business meeting.

I, myself, have always enjoyed learning but now know I can be definitely categorized as “intellectually curious.” In fact, I think this natural trait translates well to my work in marketing as it would for any other professional. Why?

1. MARKETERS ARE ALWAYS LEARNING NEW THINGS (OR SHOULD BE!)

In my agency, we are constantly meeting new people and learning about their business. One day it’s an inventor with a new software application; the next it’s learning about new laws for 2017. The learning curve can be steep but it’s also one of the most fascinating parts of the process of working with a new client. Intellectual curiosity helps tremendously in asking the questions that help us get to know our new clients.

2. INTELLECTUAL CURIOSITY HELPS US THINK LIKE CONSUMERS.

One of a marketer’s top skills is being able to think like the consumer and that begins with creative questioning, fueled by curiosity. They must wonder, what would someone learning about our product want to know? How can we make it easier for our customers to learn about our product? What is the most interesting, curiosity-piquing aspect of our product? With our intellectual curiosity, we can come to a deeper understanding of how products are perceived by consumers.

3. INTELLECTUAL CURIOSITY HELPS US PROBLEM SOLVE.

What is a marketer, after all, but someone who comes up with a solution to the problem of gaining more market share for his or her client? Intellectual curiosity leads us to the questions that help us brainstorm new and interesting ways to present products and services to the consumer. Jack Dorsey, the founder of Square, an accessible credit card reader for small businesses, was inspired for the product when he wondered why an artist friend had to lose a big sale to a potential customer simply because he couldn’t accept a credit card. He looked for a better way…and then he created one.

4. INTELLECTUAL CURIOSITY HELPS US DEVELOP RELATIONSHIPS.

In marketing, as in any business relationship, curiosity helps us get to know one another. Dale Carnegie said, “You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.” Being able to have genuine interest in and ask questions of new people is a great way to form a bond. Having the genuine curiosity to ask a client about that painting on the wall or the photo on his desk will bridge your distance and provide a personal foundation for the relationship.

The good news is that like anything, intellectual curiosity can be developed, just like any other personality trait. Technology can help immensely, since information is now so easily accessible and we can now learn new things anytime, anywhere. You can also help improve your intellectual curiosity by pursuing knowledge whenever you see an opportunity, or trying new things through learning experiences that may lead to inspiration and discovery.

Intellectual curiosity is our special gift and as we learn more about what makes us successful in business and life, curiosity is emerging as a very important factor. Nurture your curiosity and you’ll be helping yourself succeed. So are you a curious person? Well, maybe finding out is the first step to becoming more curious!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Jacqueline Camacho-Ruiz is an award winning author, entrepreneur, speaker, philanthropist, and marketing and PR expert.

With a passion for inspiring fellow entrepreneurs she has authored such books as "The Little Book of Business Secrets that Work (also available in Spanish)" that would give you amazing tips dedicated helping your business grow. As a proven expert in marketing Jacqueline is also the make it happen director of JJR Marketing, an incredible and versatile firm which creates strategic opportunities for brand awareness, lead generation and customer loyalty for your small business.

To find out more about Jacqueline visit http://www.jackiecamacho.com/

Pretty Fingers

Inspiration, passion, compassion, awesome, these are some of the words that describe ToniAnn Fedele.  For the past 3 years ToniAnn has established a program to increase self-confidence, self-care and self-love.  It is called Pretty Fingers and we have the pleasure of supporting ToniAnn's efforts.  Find out the details below: 

Pretty Fingers is Collecting NEW Nail Polish and Nail Supplies for CAWC & St. Elizabeth

CHICAGO – On December 4, 2014

ToniAnn Fedele created a project called “Pretty Fingers” where she began collecting new nail polish and nail supplies to donate to “Connections for Abused Women and their Children.” (CAWC). Even the smallest gestures of support help women and children who have fled from abusive relationships, it also increases survivor’s ability to remain free from abuse. The project aims at helping the women and children survivors of abuse by inspiring self-confidence, self-care, and self-love.

With "Pretty Fingers," the ability to provide pretty hands for those who were once
abused by the terrible hands of those that they once loved becomes a reality. Looking down at beautifully manicured hands help women and children remember how brave they were to fight back,” said ToniAnn. “My donation is a token of my appreciation as they start on their new life
journey.”

Pretty Fingers has already received incredible support, in 2015, alone, ToniAnn was able
to donate 1,121 bottles of new nail polish and over 200 nail supplies. In 2016 she donated 1,196 bottles of new nail polish and over 250 nail supplies to CAWC. Her goal for 2017 is to donate at least 1,300 bottles of new nail polish with over 300 nail supplies.

In addition to her donation to CAWC, she will be donating to an adolescent girl’s
psychiatric hospital under the umbrella of the Chicago Children’s Center for Behavioral Health at St. Elizabeth Hospital. ToniAnn was told that the girls at this hospital would love to have a day to do their nails. Therefore, she is going to donate 50 bags filled with nail polish to them. “I know how great a fresh manicure and a new nail polish color make me feel, so I want the women and children at CAWC and the girls from the psychiatric hospital to feel the same,” said ToniAnn.

To make a donation you can email prettyfingerschicago@gmail.com and you can also
join her Facebook page called “Pretty Fingers” (Public Group). Donations for this project will be accepted through April 8, 2017.

Small Business Spotlight: Lizbeth Pashmina's

 

Have you found your passion yet? The reason you started your business.  The face of a customer when your items brighten their day.  Find out how our amazing customer Lizbeth found her passion and has been delighting her customers ever since.  Lizbeth has turned her passion into an incredible following that is growing everyday in her native Puerto Rico.

Find out more below:

 

How did you discover your love for scarves?

I started buying scarves for my mom and I. I’m in love with the many ways you can wear them, and all the different styles you can use and create yourself! A scarf is more than just an accessory; it’s a conversation piece.

Why did you decided to start your own business?

At first I only bought them for my personal use and for my mom. Then, Mom started helping me sell pashminas to her coworkers. In that moment I saw an opportunity and decided to take the shot. Every time the orders for scarves were bigger. My clients love them!

 What was your biggest challenge in starting your business?

Identifying what would make Lizbeth Pashminas stand out. You can find a scarf at any store, so I had to define my unique offering: price, delivery, and variety. We deliver at our client’s convenience, which is another thing they really appreciate.

Tell us what are the biggest fashion trends in Puerto Rico right now?

In shoes, mules and tennis are very popular among women right now. Fashion wise, bright colors and flowers are really trending right now. Also we have a special recent trend of men dying their hair blonde and using #TeamRubios as a gesture of support for Puerto Rico’s team at the World Baseball Classic 2017.

As a young business owner what advice do you have for other young people looking to start their own business?

If you’re going to start your own business, you have to do it in something that you feel passion for, this way it will be like a hobby and not just a job. I encourage everyone to dare to do what they want, and to dream big! Things can go better than you’d imagine when you’re brave enough to try.

What is most rewarding about owning your own business?

The look on my clients’ faces when they see their scarf for the first time. It’s like watching a kid’s face in Christmas! And the freedom you have working on your own time, and making your own business decisions is really great.

You have a great following on social media, such as on Facebook and Instagram do you have any advice for us on how to gain more followers?

I always have on the top of my mind that content is all in social media. I always think about my target, and what they would love to see in my pages. The social media gurus advise a lot of things, but you have to find what works best for you and your target, that is my best advice.

What is your favorite color of pashmina now?

I’m very neutral. My favorites are: gold, beige or ivory.

What goals do you have for Lizbeth Pashmina's in 2017?

I want to keep up the sales and the engagement in social media. And I’m really excited to discover new styles and trends in scarves that I can share my clients!

Puerto Rico is a beautiful place but what are your favorite cities to visit in the mainland United States?

I love to visit Miami! It’s very much like Puerto Rico, and I love the nightlife, plus my best friend lives there. Also, San Francisco - I had the opportunity to visit it last year for work, and I’m really looking forward to going it again very soon. And of course, New York, because who doesn’t love New York?

Where can customers find your store?

They can find me as Lizbeth Pashminas on Instagram and Facebook, or they can visit the website: http://lizbethpashminas.webflow.io. I encourage everyone to check them out; they might just find something they like! And feel free to message me at any time because I love helping someone find the scarf that’s just right!

Thank you Lizbeth for being an amazing customer and for inspiring our fellow entrepreneurs.

MB FASHION WHOLESALE 

Innovate or Create

 

Business trends are changing rapidly.  With the globalization of business we can now be on a video chat with someone over 10,000 miles away in seconds.  Have new products delivered to your door daily and get a unique handmade item customized just with a click of a mouse.  If your business does not innovate and use the available resources you will get left behind.  

Our amazing partner marketing expert Jackie Camacho-Ruiz shares how being at the rock bottom in business spark innovation and turned a 180 in her own business.  

 

Innovate and Create

Your business can't survive without constant innovation.  You have to stay aware of new marketing and business trends, and adjust to the cyber world that we live in.  You must innovate, or you will fail. 

I do this by listening to my clients and the people around me.  2009 was one of the most difficult years for a lot of businesses.  In fact, a lot of them went out of business, and many barely made it.  My innovation came into play when we saw small businesses suffer; they were losing market share, and I became disillusioned to see it happening.  

Even though we went through a rough patch ourselves, we survived by being innovative and creative.  We came up with a small business marketing report that we priced very affordably.  We created an economic stimulus marketing seminar where we provided marketing basics for business owners to go along with the marketing report.  

We ended up doing a series of three seminars throughout the year in conjunction with the local chamber of commerce.  This project was one of the reasons why our growth margin and gross profits from 2008 to 2009 were up 56 percent during one of the worst economic times in years.  Had we not been innovative, listened to what the marketplace was telling us, and changed accordingly, we probably wouldn't have achieved that growth.  

Listen to the marketplace to adjust to changes and shifts in the paradigm, especially now in the cyber era.  Do not be afraid to get out of your comfort zone.  Be an innovator, be the first one to apply technology, be the first one to combine technologies for your clients.

Move to a place that is uncomfortable (in front of the product curve).  

List some things that you might be afraid to change. 

Remember, you stay in business by constantly innovating.  

 ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Jacqueline Camacho-Ruiz is an award winning author, entrepreneur, speaker, philanthropist, and marketing and PR expert.

With a passion for inspiring fellow entrepreneurs she has authored such books as "The Little Book of Business Secrets that Work (also available in Spanish)" that would give you amazing tips dedicated helping your business grow. As a proven expert in marketing Jacqueline is also the make it happen director of JJR Marketing, an incredible and versatile firm which creates strategic opportunities for brand awareness, lead generation and customer loyalty for your small business.

To find out more about Jacqueline visit http://www.jackiecamacho.com/

 

 

 

FUERTE! (STRONG) LATINA MASTERY INSTITUTE

FUERTE! EMPOWERMENT! INTEGRITY! TRUST! LEADERSHIP! These are some of the characteristics that an amazing latina has.  Luz Canino-Baker has turned her passion for mentorship into an incredible program that inspires, strengthens, empowers others and we love it.  If you would love to obtain incredible value in your business and life the Latina Mastery Institute is where you need to be. Check out the press release below.


Berwyn, IL, March 9, 2017- American Family Insurance and Stare Down the Lion Consulting has
awarded scholarship funds to The Latina Mastery Institute’s FUERTE Critical Success Skills Boot Camp.
These scholarship funds will enable young professional women of color the opportunity to participate
in a professional development program specifically geared to help her be successful. This program is
looking for young women of color, ages 24 to 30, who want to thrive in the work place and become an
amazing leader. The FUERTE program utilizes a 10-week boot camp approach with experiential learning
to train the young women discipline, success skills, overall health and wellness balance skills.
Throughout the 10 weeks, they will be supported with a mentor, career counselor, and an executive
coach.

According to Luz Canino-Baker, Founder and President of Latinas On The Plaza states, “My ten years of
experience working with professional Latinas has taught me that women still feel isolated in the
workplace. On top of her own personal barriers she does not have other women who look like her to
teach her the ropes. That is why cohorts of like-minded women are necessary.” Thus, The Leadership
Mastery Institute’s FUERTE Critical Success Skills Boot Camp program is focused on unlocking the
potential found in women of color. Sarah Flores, a graduate of the FUERTE Critical Success Skills Boot
Camp program shares that, “being around all those women, has pushed me to do more and has
empowered me to be a better version of me.” As a result, Ms. Flores was given the opportunity
through her employer to travel to Germany to develop the company’s first ever training curriculum for
her department.

Join us as we Kickoff the Leadership Mastery Institute’s FUERTE Critical Success Skills Boot Camp at the
North Berwyn Park District. The Kickoff will take place at 6300 W. 19th St., in Berwyn, IL on March 18th
from 8:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. For more information about this program visit www.latinasontheplaza.org
or call 630-542-0582.

 

  

HOW TO BE MEMORABLE IN YOUR NETWORK

 

What is the most valuable thing in business? What can bring you to the next level? The most important tool in your business and it should be treated as such. YOUR NETWORK!
Find out from our partner marketing expert Jackie Camacho-Ruiz on how to always have a strong network and nurture it for success.

HOW TO BE MEMORABLE IN YOUR NETWORK

BY: JACKIE CAMACHO-RUIZ

I was 19 years old, a sales account executive for a chain of Marriott hotels attending my first ever business networking event and wondering how to be memorable to anyone at this function. I was frightened, puzzled and intimidated. I felt out of place and did not know what to do. I brought a bunch of business cards and a passion to be memorable.

Little did I know that it was going to be my first networking event of many over the subsequent 14 years of my career. Over the years I created an amazing network of champions that believe in my mission in life…but, exactly how did this young Latina do it?

Here are key items for you to consider that will accelerate your popularity in your network and help you learn how to be memorable to those you meet. They are proven and they work!

BE AUTHENTIC

There is no other more powerful way to create a connection with someone than by being authentic. When I was young, one of my mentors told me “tone it down,” as he witnessed my exuberant excitement at a marketing/PR meeting. He said, “In meetings, you don’t need to be so energetic and overly optimistic. It will not be good for your career.” I remember walking away from that meeting feeling devastated. My enthusiasm at the meeting was merely the representation of how I felt about bringing value to the client and the success we could create. I did not think there was anything wrong with showing my emotions and being authentic. Later in my career, I met another mentor who said “Be yourself, be authentic. People love your high energy and you should never change that.” For me, my high energy is how to be memorable. I am happy that I did not listen to my first mentor.

SHOWCASE YOUR ENERGY

Energy is everywhere. People can perceive a negative attitude miles away. The energy you display in every interaction allows you to further connect and create possibilities. Everyone has issues and many of those might happen right before walking into a networking event. What do you do? Do you bring them with you? Do you tell everyone about your issues to see if they can help you? NO. Absolutely not. It is your burden and not theirs and truthfully, they don’t really care. Dale Carnegie once said, “People will forget what you said, but not how you made them feel.” It is very true. After years and years of networking at hundreds of events, I still find people that tell me I know how to be memorable in their lives and they never forgot my high level energy.

ASK QUESTIONS

There is one thing that everyone likes to share, regardless of the context or environment: their story. You can ask several questions in a conversation and not share anything about yourself and the person you are interacting with will think you are the most memorable person they have ever met. Why? Because almost everyone is competing for a space to share information about themselves, but very few people stop and listen. Asking questions will allow you to create a common ground, connection and is a sure fire way to become memorable!

COMPLIMENT

I used to think that complimenting someone would take away something from me. As I started this amazing habit of genuinely complimenting others, I found how grateful the people were and the connection that it immediately built. Complimenting people is definitely how to be memorable to others, and feel good too! The more I compliment others, the more my heart is filled with joy. It’s truly magical. The key to giving compliments is that they have to be heartfelt and not considered an obligation. You can start making this happen as soon as today! You will notice how your life is filled with more joy than ever before!

FOLLOW THROUGH

One ingredient that has been a catalyst to my success more than any other is my impeccable follow through. You see, while you network, you might find yourself having side conversations that might seem mundane and non-transcendental. It is following through on these conversations that has given me my most important advantage to build my powerful network. For example, in a conversation at a networking event, someone would mention their passion for golf. I first would fold the upper right hand corner of their business card to identify it as a card with a “action item required,” then I would write a note down on the back of the business card upon my return to the office and proceed with a personalized “thank you” card noting their comment about golf. Finally, I would find someone in my network passionate about golf or perhaps someone that works at a golf course and hosts tournaments and connect them. Time and time again, I would get comments like “I cannot believe you remember,” or “I am so grateful I met you. You have added more value to my business in two days than most of my network,” “I am impressed with your commitment to follow up on your promises, nobody does that.” Many years later, a lot of those encounters at networking events have turned into meaningful relationships and strategic alliances. Cultivating your follow through skills can help you learn how to be memorable.

BE GRATEFUL

4,000 hand-written, personalized thank you cards. Yes, you read it right! In a period of three years as a director of marketing for a popular, successful private chain of Brazilian restaurants, I wrote 4,000 thank you cards to the people that I met at networking events. Each one of them was personalized and sent for the intention of adding value or at least bringing a little bit of motivation to the recipient. I had no idea that this practice of gratitude that took place every Friday afternoon would cultivate a powerful network that would carry me through many obstacles as an entrepreneur. Many of those recipients of my thank you cards are now my clients, vendors, strategic alliances, believers, cheerleaders and friends. It is amazing!

The most important thing you can do as you learn how to be memorable is to make every relationship count. You never know what might come out of it as your career evolves and grows.

For those of you who are embarking on your professional business careers, take these principles to accelerate your success. For those of you with years in business or professional positions, it is never too late to incorporate them and learn how to be memorable. Then you can begin enjoying the success you truly deserve.

 ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Jacqueline Camacho-Ruiz is an award winning author, entrepreneur, speaker, philanthropist, and marketing and PR expert.

With a passion for inspiring fellow entrepreneurs she has authored such books as "The Little Book of Business Secrets that Work (also available in Spanish)" that would give you amazing tips dedicated helping your business grow. As a proven expert in marketing Jacqueline is also the make it happen director of JJR Marketing, an incredible and versatile firm which creates strategic opportunities for brand awareness, lead generation and customer loyalty for your small business.

To find out more about Jacqueline visit http://www.jackiecamacho.com/

8 TIME MANAGEMENT ACTIVITIES TO HELP YOU DO IT ALL


Meetings, Phone Calls, Family, Travel, Paperwork, Shopping, Merchandising, Stocking, Pricing and more.  As small business owners our days our filled with so many task, and it seems as there is just not enough hours to even take a rest.  Check out how our partner marketing expert Jackie Camacho-Ruiz, an author, business owner, mom, wife, motivational speaker, mentor, and philanthropist plans her day and continues to grow her business, help entrepreneurs and fly planes.  Yes she is also an airline pilot.  Wow.

 

8 TIME MANAGEMENT ACTIVITIES TO HELP YOU DO IT ALL

BY: JACKIE CAMACHO RUIZ

When I tell people I’m an entrepreneur, author, international speaker, pilot and mom, I usually get a reaction like, “Really? What magical time management activities help you get it all done?”

My knee-jerk reaction is to tell them, I just DO IT.

And they usually reply…”but really? How do you do it?”

I get this question over and over again as people find out about my multiple hats.

When I think about it, I can answer in many ways. I can say that I have superpowers, or that my days have 30 hours instead of 24 or that I have a clone that masters my schedule.

The truth is that I don’t. I am a regular person with a lot commitment and drive. I love to see the physical manifestation of things, whether it’s a simple action item on a shopping list or a complex project that is set to take months or years. I never lose sight of the feeling I will have once I complete the project. I never give up. That is my secret sauce.

I’m also realistic. When you think about it, there really is no such thing as “balance”, is there? If you are doing one thing, you are not doing another. If I’m with my children, I’m not completing a project at work. If I’m flying an airplane, I’m not at a speaking engagement. If I could figure out time management activities that would help me do these things simultaneously, I would be the next Steve Jobs.

Instead, I can share some of the time management activities that I’ve learned from experience help me get me through my day as efficiently as possible. They are my daily shields against wasting time, so I share them now with you in hopes they will help you too.

1. VISUALIZE THE NEXT DAY.

Every night, I prepare for the next day by visualizing the day to come. I mentally walk through the day, imagine different scenarios and what I need to do to enter the meeting fully prepared. This also gives me the opportunity to not only prepare for the meeting but to add a little sparkle-for example, bring something special for the client, like a new idea, example or token.

One time one of my clients was having trouble turning a profit. Their seasonal business was dependent upon the weather, which was not cooperating. All they needed was sun! I was going to a meeting with them, so I stopped and brought them a sun-shaped helium balloon as a symbol that my heart was with them, since I couldn’t provide the real thing. This is the kind of magic I can add when I prepare and plan for the next day.

2. WRITE IT DOWN.

You’re probably thinking, why? I’ve got Google calendar, Outlook, and every other electronic reminder under the sun. Well, so do I, but writing it down is a way of cementing it in my mind and even helping me brainstorm elements of the planning of that action item. I have little notes, post-its all over the place that I take with me as reminders as I leave the house. For me, there is something about the act of the physically crossing something off a list, or discarding the reminder, that is satisfying and keeps me moving forward. It’s one of my most effective time management activities.

3. DETERMINE YOUR TOP PRIORITIES FOR THE DAY.

With all the daily things you have to do, it is very easy to get distracted from what truly is a priority. What I like to do is have a macro-plan and micro-plan of my priorities for the day. The macro-plan includes several key action items that I absolutely need to accomplish that day. For example:

  1. Meeting with Mr. Big Client
  2. Launch Ms. Client’s website
  3. Write monthly newsletter

The micro-plan might look like this:

  1. Meeting with Mr. Big Client
    1. Confirm agenda
    2. Get final version of logos from designer
    3. Leave by 2:00 for 30 minute drive
  2. Launch Ms. Client’s website
    1. Check with web developer
    2. Send notification to client
  3. Write monthly newsletter
    1. Brainstorm ideas
    2. Write rough draft
    3. Sent to editor for review
4. TAKE TIME TO CELEBRATE.

I know what you’re thinking. How does this save time? Well, I find that if after you complete a long or difficult task, if you give yourself a mental or physical break from what you are doing, it actually restores creativity and recharges you for the next big win. Anything that qualifies as a “reward for a job well done” can be classified as a “celebration”. For example, enjoying a Starbucks Frappuccino, taking a walk, reading something for pleasure or doing a little of whatever you like to do are all ways to celebrate, and surprising time management activities that can serve as an impetus for starting the next big project without delay.

5. CREATE IN SMALL INTERVALS.

This is a fun one. Want to get something done quickly? Time yourself to get it done in small chunks. Set a timer, put on some music (if you’d like) and see what can be done in 10 minutes, 15 minutes, etc. Making yourself concentrate on one activity for that amount of time will keep you focused and productive. It also makes you more conscious of time in general and what you can accomplish. If you’re a competitive person, this is especially effective because you are challenging yourself to a specific, time-bound goal. Try it. It works!

6. HAVE A SACRED SPACE TO WORK.

You’ve heard this one before but it’s important to have the special place where you work, connect, explore, imagine, pray or set yourself in the context of what you’re trying to do. This will help create your inspiration. When I have to do a big proposal, I go to my space, put on my headphones, tune out the world and focus intently on it. I need my space to get it done and when I do, it feels amazing.

7. RE-PLAN AND ADJUST AS NECESSARY.

As moms, entrepreneurs, etc. things come up. We need to feel the energy throughout that process and realize this is just a temporary deviation from the schedule. We don’t have to be rigid; in fact, we can waste time if we are not flexible enough to make changes. Sometimes, making an adjustment in the timeline, process or context of the project can actually save us time in the long run, as long as we stay focused on the end goal.

For example, one time I was working with a client on a new business proposal. Within it we had various ideas we wanted to present but felt it would be done best with a graphic design. The trouble was, we were pressed for time. By asking to reschedule the meeting, we were able to go in with a fabulous graphic presentation of our ideas. In the long run, by adjusting the time frame of the meeting so we could express the idea graphically, we feel it ultimately saved both our team and the client time lots of time that would otherwise have been spent…..

  1. explaining the idea to the client.
  2. getting the client comfortable with including the idea into the overall marketing plan.
  3. making revisions, iterations of the graphic later on.
  4. getting project approval.
8. LOOK AT PROBLEMS FROM A DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE.

When your work hits a snag, or something happens that discourages or disengages you, it is easy to allow the problem to monopolize our time as you wallow in your misfortune. In this situation, I find one of my most helpful time management activities to move past the problem is by looking at it from a different perspective. As a pilot, this is easy for me to do. When you’re literally flying 3,000 miles above the problem, you have a chance to be aware of the true context of the situation. Another thing I do is to actually make a voice recording of myself talking about the problem. When I play it back, I think, “I can help her!” and I do, just because I am now approaching the problem like a consultant rather than a victim. However you do it, looking at your life from different perspectives will infuse it with inspiration and keep you moving forward to maximize your time.

While time management will always be a challenge, by incorporating these time management activities into your life, you can maximize the boundless, amazing blessings that come your way every day. In other words, maximizing your time will maximize your life! Start today!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 

Jacqueline Camacho-Ruiz is an award winning author, entrepreneur, speaker, philanthropist, and marketing and PR expert.  

With a passion for inspiring fellow entrepreneurs she has authored such books as "The Little Book of Business Secrets that Work (also available in Spanish)" that would give you amazing tips dedicated helping your business grow.  As a proven expert in marketing Jacqueline is also the make it happen director of JJR Marketing, an incredible and versatile firm which creates strategic opportunities for brand awareness, lead generation and customer loyalty for your small business.  

To find out more about Jacqueline visit http://www.jackiecamacho.com/