Friday, February 27, 2009

Ayn Rand and Atlas Shrugged - Still meaningful today?

I read Atlas Shrugged in 1984 when I started my first business, Treasures of Asia, in Honolulu Hawaii. My best friend Jennifer Plumbo gave me the book and said that the protagonist, Dagny Taggart bore a striking resemblance to me in philosophy.

The book changed my life. It helped shape my libertarian views and mold me into the person I am today. I have a first edition of Atlas Shrugged in near perfect condition that my husband gave me as a wedding present and I've gone through several paperback books.

While it's obvious that the absence of government regulation is tied to the economic crisis we are experiencing today, I think Atlas Shrugged has lessons we all need to be reminded of: a strong work ethic, a positive attitude, reward for those who take the risk to create their own businesses, and the injustice of government-mandated tax collection forced on business owners – these ideas are still valid today.

As a business owner, I always resented being an unpaid tax collector for the government. Having to charge sales tax and then spend the time to create reports for the government was not the best use of my time.

Here's a great article about Ayn Rand and Atlas Shrugged: Why Do CEO's (Still) Love Ayn Rand?

In light of our current economic environment, I have dusted off Atlas Shrugged and placed it on my bedside table. Feeling the weight of a whining world wallowing in depression that is unable to shake off a crisis of confidence, I recognize that it's time to read Atlas Shrugged again. Atlas Shrugged is definitely still meaningful today.

Suzanne Muusers
Business Coach for Entrepreneurs and Financial Advisors

Monday, February 16, 2009

Is Technophobia Keeping You From Growing Your Business?

Newsflash: I'm hearing more and more about technophobia - the fear of using technology to grow a business. This may mean fear of using the latest social media, fear of using a website for growth, or simply fear of using internet marketing to bring more traffic to your website. I hear murmurs from all walks of life – from the one person start up to the ultra successful independent professional.

What I hear:
"I don't want to write a blog. It's too much work."
"Huh? What's Twitter?"
"Write articles? I don't have time for that."
"I'm not computer savvy so that stuff scares me."
"Why would I need Search Engine Optimization? My clients all know I have a website. (I wonder why I haven't gotten any new clients lately)."
"All that stuff is just a waste of time."
"Send out an ezine? What would I say?"

The truth is using technology to grow your business is a sound strategy that ANY business can utilize. If it seems like a huge undertaking, start small. Analyze your website statistics and find out where your traffic is coming from and what keywords are being used to find you. Then build a strategy based on the results.

One thing is clear, the world has changed and if you don't change with it you'll realize far less success that others who got on the technology bus.

Suzanne Muusers
Business Coach for Entrepreneurs and Financial Advisors

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Give Yourself an Attitude Adjustment or Hire a Coach to Kick You in the Rear

Yes, I know it's tough out there. Negative news assaults us daily and it's difficult to keep getting up out of bed and going to work.

But we have to!

What's the alternative?
Give up? Get depressed?
Believe that we're never coming out of this?
Infect others with our bad attitude?

If you know me, you know that the paragraph above is not my philosophy. It does however sound just like a prospect I spoke to on Monday. I was giving her the GIFT of a sample coaching session. She was hostile, cynical and completely antagonistic in her attitude regarding what to do about her failing business. She said "It's tough out there, in case you haven’t noticed. People are putting guns to their heads in desperation. No one is open to investing in my product."

Well – I HAVEN'T NOTICED. Because I'm not sitting around on my rear waiting for business to come to me all the while complaining and moaning about how unfair life is.

What have you done today or this week to get new business???
Who have you called?
Who have you visited?
What new marketing strategy or technique have you employed?
What new BRAND have you created for your business?

People want to do business with entrepreneurs who are positive, action-oriented and solution-minded. So get yourself a new, CAN DO attitude and get out there.

You must start preparing for tomorrow TODAY. If you wait you will be left behind in a sea of failure.

If you don't know what to do, hire a coach and reinvent yourself. A professionally-trained coach will look at your business with new eyes and help you create a strategy to lift you up and take you to the moon.

An attitude adjustment will do you a world of good.

Suzanne Muusers
Business Coach for Entrepreneurs and Financial Advisors