Firefli Consulting Inc.

From online to Bottom Line – Let us help you increase YOUR value

Firefli Consulting Inc. - From online to Bottom Line – Let us help you increase YOUR value

Your Strategic Planning

For any business to be successful, the CEO’s and business executives must or should start with a strategic plan. I recently attended a speech put on by Toni Newman by our Local CAPS chapter meeting (she is our National President) and I received a couple of reminders at her “Survival of the Fittest” talk where she reminded us that we need to be original and be sure to have solid, good signature keynote speech.

My Personal Strategic Planning

First of all it reminded me to really take a look at what I am doing. The strategic plan for my business hasn’t been touched for a while. Even if I am to perform as a great local Winnipeg Management Consultant, strategic plans should be my bread and butter and even if I choose to avoid gluten, I should eat my own bread. Most of my consulting has been done after I’d experienced a plane ride or two, or the phone, but my own personal strategic planning must be done, and refreshed at least every year.  I was focused more on the products and services that I offered.

I have spent a good time in my business consulting with large companies, and helping them to create IT Strategic Plans, or at least focus on IT Strategic Plan objectives when they focus on their IT Strategic Plans. I recently looked at my own and saw far too much clutter. The easiest way to make progress in your own IT Strategic Plan is to add this house keeping task to your work or environment. Sometimes it is easier to clear this away before putting a focus on your business, and more often this is the case.

What’s next? Decide if you will focus on the long-term strategic planning or the short-term strategic planning. I strongly believe that one will become a much stronger executive if they can have this business focus. Long term strategic planning is typically 3-5 years out, and recently when I gave a keynote speech to a group of nearly three hundred business owners, my focus was on the BHAG or big hairy audacious goal.  I wanted to give my audience something to hang onto, such as Jim Collins hedgehog concept.  They wanted a leadership speaker and specifically goal setting was their wish.

With these entrepreneurs, I focused on at least a ten year horizon. Both in long term strategic plans as well as short term plans, breaking up the action plan into “chunks” or “tasks” and an action plan is best.  I did this by giving them list building activities that were quite simplified, and not too much to swallow.

The strategic plan focus on WHAT will be done, and the action plan will be comprised of a break down on the what, as well as a who, when and maybe even the where. When a leader creates their big vision, and follows in a good strategic planning process, the how can always and should come later.

How to Choose a Career

Career coaching has been part of my business for many years, and so when I was introduced to Talentoday, I was intrigued.  talenttoday-webHow to choose a career is a question many people ask, either when they are in school, or when they are in transition, looking for some direction more in line with their personality and motivation.  Doing what you love during the day, adds empowerment to a person, and adds enrichment to your life.

Coaching certification has been important to me in the past, and Talentoday’s integration with Social Media added some intrigue.  I took the assessment, and having participated in many types of personality and strength tests in the past, I thought it was very cool.  A pleasant and non-stressful questionnaire type assessment that takes approximately ten minutes, was far less threatening for people than I’d seen in the past.

The free assessment report that gives some eye-opening feedback instantly added intrigue.  Later, the person who invited me to see the assessment offered the extensive coaching session and assessment report and it gave me some eye-opening information that I’d never heard before.

If you’ve got ten minutes,and you’ve asked yourself how to choose a career, check it out If you’d like the more extensive report with some eye opening information like I found for my business or your career, connect with me with your information, and you’ll get access to the detailed assessment

Sharon Evans with Lisa Nichols

Lisa Nichols and Sharon C. Evans

Lisa Nichols and Sharon C. Evans

A friend asked me this week if I knew Lisa Nichols.  The reason?  She was taking some training from her and wondered if I knew her. Her name sounded familiar to her so when I said yes, she started tell me all about her.  She mentioned that she had been in the movie “The Secret” and had also taught some training for independent business women.

When she told me all about her, I mentioned a few things….  Lisa and I co-authored a book, with several other very powerful women.  She learned this book co-authoring method from Jack Canfield and Mark Victor-Hansen as they were her mentors and co-authored two Chicken Soup for the Soul Books.  She asked me if I was making a lot of money from the book we wrote together and then I divulged that business model.  The authors that partnered with Lisa didn’t get a dime, except on copies that they pre-ordered and sold on their own.

Now – Amazon and Lisa make money from the book.  Our benefit was purely going through the experience and allowing us to share the honor of saying we were “co-authors”.  She promised that we would be best-selling authors if we accepted her offer to share our stories, and we were.  Approximately 8 hours after the release on Amazon, yes, we were Best Selling Authors.

How did we do it?  well – it was orchestrated far before the book had even a title.  We didn’t really know the theme of the book before accepting the project, and I really did think this was going to be a business book, as Lisa promised how this would help my business and promote business growth.

The book is anything but a business book, but it does have a few stories within about how people overcame their challenges and some shared business stories.  That really did include myself and a few other entrepreneurs.  We all participated in a social media blitz, and the biggest benefit of all were those lessons.  I was already familiar with social media, so I took extra steps over above and beyond what Lisa’s partner coached us through in a couple of short conference calls.

SharonEvansLisaNicholsFrontCover

What did I do extra?  I added SEO to my personal blog site, and wrote a few articles and placed some strategic posts in social media.  I created a social media page for MY version of the book, with MY personalized cover.  Anyone who wanted their name in print had to pony up a couple of extra thousand dollars for printing with the warning that this was a one time shot- and no re-orders would be offered.

I took that offer as I knew this would be my only real opportunity to have my personalized marketing piece.  I didn’t get the allotment of books I was offered on the original deal, nor any mention but I did get this:

  • I owned top billing on Google for 3 months following best-selling date on Amazon
  • I now owned intellectual capital on how to create a best selling book on Amazon
  • I added a new service to my business coaching menu that includes writing Strategic Book Marketing Plans for Best Selling Books (soon to add NYTimes Best Seller to my project list – crossing fingers), using new media tools as well as traditional modes
  • I know how to craft an online author platform that generates revenue for coaching, consulting as well as book sales (read extra streams of income for the author)

I won’t get rich on what I did with Amazon – I am pretty sure that the percentage of anyone who sees more than a small monthly income stream from Amazon is very, very small.

The lessons of creating Lisa Nichols with Sharon Evans ?  Priceless.

SharonCEvansWithLisaNichols

To SharonCEvans from Lisa Nichols

Strategic Planning for Success

Strategic Planning

Strategic Plan Your Way to Success

Strategic Planning is the process that most companies, entrepreneurs and career professionals use to plot their route to success. There are many common processes to do this, but in a nut shell, it all boils down to a few common steps:

1) Assess the past (current state)
2) Rank the outcome and focus on the opportunities, threats, strengths and weaknesses (S.W.O.T.)
3) Assess the data
4) Chart the course (future state)
5) Create an action plan
6) Create measurable checkpoints
7) Start, and regularly measure, assess and adjust.

Sound too easy? Often companies are overwhelmed or are too close to their own situations to objectively perform such activities and so they hire a management consultant with strengths in strategic planning. Inside an IT organization, this may occur in annual IT Strategic Planning exercises, or be drawn out as action steps in alignment with the Corporate Strategy.

Small businesses may gather a few of their key staff and gather in a remote area to focus on what needs to be done. Solopreneurs may dedicate a day to assessing their past year and plot for their future, or revisit their original business plan and adjust.

Whatever you are doing this fall in your Q4 planning, I hope that you can take a step back, be objective and assess from a 10,000 foot view before you get down to the details.

All the best,
Sharon
— P.S. If you need help, I’m close by.

Head Start for your 2013 Business Strategic Plan

Season’s Greetings…

I’ve been remiss in adding regular posts on this my flagship site, and I hope today I can make up for lost ground.

Have you already started making your 2013 wish list for your company?  A business strategic plan that you can start to get excited about?

You’ll need to dig out the strategic markers you tracked in 2012, and if you didn’t do that, you’ll want to determine which key numbers you’ll watch in 2013.  Is it the number of hours you spent prospecting?  The number of posts and tweets you made?  The increase in “friends” or “connections on linked in?”

goal-puzzle

Likely none of these were on your list.  Pull out your goals that you wrote down (assuming you were one of the low number of people who did this), and see how close you are.  In listening to the 2013 Success audio CD I get with my monthly subscription, Brian Tracy suggested that you get a brand new notebook and write out 10 goals daily.  Just simply make a list of the 10 goals you wish to reach next year.  Writing them over and over again will embed them in your subconscious and keep them top of mind.

Before you start your strategic planning in your business – review what you meant to do, actually accomplished, lessons learned and gather your data points.  Spend some time creating your vision for 2013 – really hone in on your key wants, and then before nailing down your strategic plan with the hows and who’s, make your list of goals and brain storm (I like Mind Maps) on the 5 people who can best help you do this – partners, staff, coaches, consultants, trainers, 5 resources you need to gather, and the FIRST 5 steps you would need to take.

It’s amazing how by setting out your first steps before you sit down on January 2nd, how different you will feel on December 18th of 2013 than you would if you don’t do this.  seasons-greetings-2012

best regards for a safe holiday and a prosperous 2013!

 

Sharon

Firefli News and a Happy New Year for 2012!

Just wanted to wish my visitors a Happy 2012!  I’ve got several BHAG’s in store for 2012, and hope you have planned some big goals too.  If not, why not check out my blog post at my author site and set how you can get that done in an hour.

Group Coaching, as well as three new EA courses are on the slate for 2012, and I’ll be publishing news about them more frequently.  I’ve also purchased and am in the process of implementing a new automated system for keeping in better contact with those who are interested in my news, products and services.  I can hardly wait until that is all in place!

The Productivity Coaching Association (IAPC) is now technically defunct, as Dave Crenshaw has decided to pursue other initiatives.  I’ve spoken to other coaches that were part of the association, and all of us are still offering our services, just in a slightly different package.  More news to follow.

I’ve got a second book published now, as a co-author with Lisa Nichols, entitled “Unbreakable Spirit”.  I am now a Best Selling Author :) and the book launch event will be held in Winnipeg January 18th.  You might want to visit my fan page for more details.  Would love to see you there!

 

 

 

 

Group Productivity Boot Camp Now Scheduled

As promised earlier this year, Firefli finally has a public group Productivity Boot Camp scheduled for May 3rd, 2011.

Why is this significant?  This has previously been marketed to individual businesses and now having a group event has made this available to groups outside of individual companies, and enables a group-thinking environment, as well as a more cost effective way to learn.

Take a look at the page that describes this event.  Want an extra 10 hours or more in your week?  Don’t wait!

Sharon Evans

Certified Productivity Coach, IAPC

International Association of Productivity Coaches Certified

New Enterprise Architecture Book Released

It’s about time!  At least that’s what I hear.  After nearly two years, the 368 page book I’ve been working on for 15 minutes here, and an hour there has finally been published.  Zoom Factor for the Enterprise Architect:  How to Focus and Accelerate Your Career went to press for it’s pilot edition November 24, 2010.  The first copies were in my hands within the week, thanks to my lightning quick printer/publisher.  I just so happen to find a couple of typos and then the fun began.

If anyone thinks PDF is a simple format to use, you are right as long as you are taking the default version with MS Word.  It took my media company nearly two weeks to get this second one approved and then magically about five boxes of books arrived on my doorstep on Christmas eve.  Ok – so the beautiful silver earrings and the new three wood I received were awesome but, my gift came in these five boxes.

If you want more info on the book, check out the site for download of sample chapters, news and some video on the book.  You can purchase it there (your copy will be signed, delivered and all taxes in) or you can get it on Amazon, in Canada, The United States or in Britain.  I believe it’s available in Australia too.

As for this site – it’s been quiet but it hasn’t been because Firefli hasn’t been busy – the book has been consuming, along with juggling clients and a family.  There are more books on the way, but they’ll be exposed on my new personal blog – due out before the end of January.  Until then, the personal commentary by Sharon C. Evans, owner of Firefli will continue here.

Happy Architecting and a Happy New Year

Sharon

Winnipeg Enterprise Architect Talks Webinars

A funny thing happened to me on the way to the golf tournament… Well – actually while enjoying a beautiful sunny day with two of my favorite clients at the Women’s Business Owners of Manitoba golf tournament is more precise.

Some time ago I gave Martin Cash of the Winnipeg Free Press an interview at the Technology in the 21st Century Seminar day. For some reason, I can’t help but think he might have passed my name on to Sandy Klowak. I like Martin and read each piece he writes in the business section of the local paper.

Sandy called between the 2nd and 3rd hole and left a message wanting to know if I had any knowledge on webinars or teleseminars. I have been entrenched in the subject for several years so I thought “what the heck”, asked permission of my riding partner and called her back.

She was interested in whether or not I thought webinars were a trend and how they changed the office environment. Given that I probably listen to no less than 5 webinars and teleseminars a week, plus have turned much of my training in that direction, I thought I should tell her how the education world is being revolutionized by this technology. Many companies have slashed or eliminated their training budgets. The big Seminar business has been annihilated. Most have been replaced or supplemented with this technology.

If you’d like the see the entire article, it is here.

I’m happy now that I have blogs that I might to comment on the “not in Winnipeg” comment that was in this article a little further. I am sure there are many people that live in Winnipeg attend webinars and teleseminars. I am just not convinced that there are many others like me that are using it as a main vehicle in delivering educational services or as a marketing tool.

Main keynote speaker Nelly Yusupova and I sat down to dinner on the eve of the Tech in the 21st Century event. “Why do you think business women in technology are behind here in Winnipeg?” she asked. I told her it was exposure. Unless you have had experience in the Corporate world and had the need to add webinar technology to your business, it might be a foreign subject.

Small business owners have their heads down, trying to turn a profit. They might not know how this technology could catapult their marketing.

What webinars can do for you?

  • Broadcast and share your expertise with your clients
  • Save the broadcast for replay on your website  — more content
  • Communicate with your suppliers, vendors and global resources to help you do business better together.

You don’t have to be a trainer, nor a techie to take advantage. What if you wanted to let your favorite suppliers about the benefits that you wish your products had more of, or needed improvement on?

Do you think they’d be happy to listen or see your replay when it comes time to considering how to better serve you?

What about the instance where you want your clients to know more about HOW you do business so they can better get to know and trust you? Would putting on a webinar or teleseminar give you that opportunity? Absolutely!

The web can be your voice and there are so many ways to explore and utilize that voice using technology. If you want more information on this subject or our services in this area, be sure to drop us a note or call us at 204-488-2819.

Engage Today 2010 Review – Vishen brings Nuggets

Sharon Evans and Vishen Lakhiani at Engage Today 2010

Sharon & Vishen at Engage Today Private Reception

I had hoped to post every day to bring you a taste of what I was lucky enough to experience at Engage Today 2010 in early June.  Here is another gold nugget brought to you from my lingering thoughts of Vishen Lakhiani, Mind Valley.

Vishen was a repeat speaker at Engage Today.  While he didn’t deliver another performance, like Bohemian Rapsody that has thrilled YouTube visitors, he did bring solid value in his “Taking Your Business from $100K to $10M in 5 years presentation.  My take aways were many.  His love for personal growth resonated with me, as well as his personal story about how he arrived at that passion.

Intense isn’t a strong enough word for Vishen.  He is very focused in his purpose, and in developing his “theory of awesomeness” at his company.  His biggest message is that one must be happy in the now while holding their vision of the future.  If you can’t have both of those together, success won’t happen.  He calls this “flow” and for those who may not get a handle on that term in his definitive terms, he means “mojo”.

If you aren’t growing, you are doing a disservice to the mission you were set out to fufill.   Other terms he coined were “Blisscipline” where he learned how to keep himself in bliss while he embodied practices in keeping his mind clean and on target to his goals. 

I’ve probably never listened to a more exciting speaker, and the energy he throws from the stage is worth a personal sighting to everyone serious about getting their business vision to reality.  My favorite part was where he shared his method for keeping his vision in his mind.  Many create vision boards, while he has a vision note book.  He has a method for tracking his current state vision statements as well as his gratitude log which keeps him balanced.