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Episode 57: Lead Through Strengths With Lisa Cummings

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On this episode, Bella spends time with Lisa Cummings, Founder of Lead Through Strengths.  Lisa talks about how it is her life’s mission to help people get over their obsession of fixing weaknesses instead of focusing on their strengths, the things that make them happy, give them energy and make them successful.

pet sitter marketing

Lisa Cummings

“Notice what works to get more of what works!” – Lisa Cummings

Pay attention to what is working. Make sure in your customer surveys you aren’t just asking what needs improvement. Ask customers what they loved most about the various parts of the service. You may find that some simple little thing you do, like giving out a little “report card” at the end of a stay, may be the thing that keeps them coming back and gets them referring you. After all, it is easier to replicate what is working for you than to try to figure out the 50 or 60 potential solutions to something one client says they don’t like.

To zero in on your strengths Lisa recommends the book Strengthsfinder 2.0 which gives you a code to take an online strengths survey. It gets away from skills and knowledge and helps you find your natural talents, the way you think, feel and act that feel good to you. It gives a filter for helping figure out the best way for you to approach issues. The book explains the definition of the 34 potential talent themes revealed by the survey.

Another way to zero in on strengths is to look for what brings you ease, energy and enjoyment. If a particular activity causes you to lose track of time, stop and exam just what about it really kept you engaged.

On her website, Lisa  has a list of things you may want “more of” in your daily life. It can give you clues as to what activities you are more attracted to.

Two books that Lisa recommends are First Break All the Rules by Gallup Press and Now Discover Your Strengths by Marcus Buckingham. She says that if you read them from the standpoint of managing people and then combine that with a strengthsfinder of those people you manage it is most helpful in managing people.

When you have a business challenge imagine putting it through a funnel.  You drop it in at the top and you filter it through all the top talents and strengths in your business.  Try thinking how to solve it using each of those strengths.  Lisa says is causes your brain to think in ways it normally doesn’t and can lead to some creative solutions.

One first step you can take is to decide what you want your company to remembered for and what you want to be remembered for. Come up with a list of words and phrases around that which will serve as an outline of what is most important to you.  Another is to list out the values that are important to you. Lisa has a list of values on her website you can use as a reference.

Lisa also recommends finding out similar information from your customers.  Casually ask customers what word or words come to mind when they think of you or your business.

Finally, she suggests you make a list of at least 100 responses to “I am good at _________!”. It helps you not only affirm how much you are good at but you can group them into trends and see if you are truly applying them in your business.

About Lisa

Lisa Cummings has delivered training & speaking events to over 9,000 participants in 14 countries. You can see her featured in places like Harvard Business Publishing, Training Magazine, and Forbes. She’s the CEO of a company called Lead Through Strengths. When she’s not out spotting strengths with teams, you’ll find her rescuing stray dogs or playing drums.

Links mentioned in this episode

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Episode 55: Financial Planning in Your Business With Paul Adams

On this episode of Bella in Your Business, Bella spends time with Paul Adams, President and Founder of Sound Financial Group.

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Paul Adams, President and Found of Sound Financial Group

They discuss:

  •  The roles finances play in our business
  • Why it is so hard for the self-employed to pay themselves
  • What happens when we don’t focus on being financially fit
  • Steps you should take to get yourself financially fit
  •  How Luke 16:10 pertains to building business & wealth.

Paul Adams is President and founder of Sound Financial Group where he and his team help clients maintain healthy balance sheets, stop forfeiting money unnecessarily to the IRS, and to build and protect their plans for the future. The cornerstone of his advice relies on the belief that people should always make their financial decisions based upon indisputable math and independent scholarship, not based on media hype, hearsay, or trend.

Paul is also an accomplished speaker and the of author two essential financial guides – Stop Burning Your Money and Sound Financial Advice – 
and in 2016 was interviewed by Forbes, Entrepreneur and Inc. magazines.

Links

Also, Paul has made available a PDF copy of his book Sound Financial Advice.  E-mail Bella at bella@jumpconsulting.net for more information.

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Episode 52: Making Your Business Better With Nutrition and Fitness With Char Fazio

On this episode, Bella spends time with Charlene (“Char”) Fazio, one of her coaches who has inspired and motivated her to make a huge lifestyle change.

Living a healthy life and sharing that passion and knowledge with others is exactly what Charlene Fazio believes she was put on this Earth to do. She continues to learn, share, and help as many people as she possibly can. She is no longer the mom sitting on the sidelines of her life – she is out there LIVING and LOVING every moment! Char believes that our time here is short, so you should spend every moment living YOUR BEST LIFE and always being grateful for what you have been given.

There are no topics untouched as they speak about:

  • The story of Char getting healthy
  • Pregnancy loss and still birth
  • The benefits of her healthy lifestyle
  • The benefits of bio nutrition.

Listen in as they show you how proper nutrition can actually HELP your business and poor nutrition could hinder it. Hear how pet sitting business owners have been able to start achieving their goals because their mind was right after they joined our pet sitting fitness group.

If you want to learn more about the (growing) group of pet sitters 25+ who are getting serious about their health and nutrition by working out and meal prepping and planning together, contact Bella: bella@jumpconsulting.net to learn how you can join the group too!

 

nutrition

You can find out more about Char at http://MyBalancedChaos.com
Also mentioned is Mel Robbins 5 Second Rule.

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Episode 50: Get Anything You Want With Consistency

Join Bella 1:1 for the 50th episode as she opens up and talks about what it means to be consistent in your life. Hear how you are a product of all your choices in life and how it applies to your business, relationships, and life:

When I first started this podcast, I was just trying to do it because I knew I should be doing it. But the problem with doing things because you should be doing it and not because you have intent makes for a sloppy or inconsistent work.

As an example, here is the publication date of the first few podcasts:

6/11/2014

7/3/14

9/15/2014

11/7/14

3/28/15

It wasn’t until Oct 2016 when I got consistent with doing episodes with my team….Posting every single Thursday for the past 9 months!

Now it has grown to 50 episodes and 600 downloads a week!

I was pondering if I should break the routine and just talk to you on this 50th episode?

Then I turned on the TV and a local church I love was on TV and guess what he was preaching about?

Consistency.

I have also started reading this awesome book called The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy and guess what he talks about?

Consistency.

So I took it as a pretty clear signal that yes – in fact, I should break the routine, and let’s talk consistency.

I got to really thinking about small businesses in general.

There are so many things that we are all told we HAVE to do. It is so overwhelming, right? You don’t know which to focus on. You feel like a dog chasing it’s tail… you just don’t know which direction to run.

Are your communication systems something you should focus on? What about marketing? What about hiring? What about pricing? What about office manager? What about keeping existing clients happy? What about…. what about…. what about….

So what happens is we try to do it all and then end up spread so thin we feel like we are about to crack or you want to speed down the freeway and throw your phone out the window.

Am I right?

My friends…. we are not a microwave business.

Darren Hardy talks about how we live in a microwave society and want everything NOW.

We don’t want to wait.

We don’t want to put in the long and hard work.

It is a tough thing to stay consistent because we don’t see the fruits of our labor for a really long time.

It reminds me of relationships and dating days.

Think back to your own dating days or maybe you have a child who is dating? Those relationships that are quick to start, often end quick, don’t they? The ones that are slow and steady tend to be much more fruitful.

Heck, it is like our marriages. What are we consistently doing in our relationships? Are we avoiding? being negative? are we not spending enough time? Are we always absent physically or emotionally? Or are we pouring into the other? Working on it daily? doing the things we know the other person wants and needs and vice versa?

Something that also struck me are YOU make your choices and then your choices make YOU.

Isn’t that right?

Let’s think about hiring. You make the decision to hire someone, and if you made the wrong choice, then that choice will shape part of your company.

So today – if there is one thing that I want to resonate with you is I want you to take an inventory of your day. Then I want you to compare it to your life.

You are exactly where your choices led to you be TODAY. It isn’t someone else’s fault that your business is exploding or not growing… it is your own.

It isn’t someone else’s fault that you are loosing weight or packing it on.

I know you can be consistent because we are all consistent right now… and it is a direct result of where we are today.

Thank you so much for being here for my 50th episode. Let me know what you thought of this one as it was from my heart to yours. Did you like it? Or what didn’t you like about it? Your feedback is everything to me 🙂 Thanks for allowing me into your airwaves and trusting me with your mind.

Always Keep Jumping,
Bella

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Episode 35: Identifying and Overcoming Challenges As A Small Business Owner

On this episode of “Bella in Your Business” Bella spends time with Heather Dopson, Community Builder at GoDaddy.

Pet Sitters Overcoming Challenges

Heather Dopson, Community Builder at GoDaddy

Heather has a passion for digital trends and innovation along with a deep understanding of social networks, consumers and branding. As a Community Builder at GoDaddy, she leverages her skills as a connector and her drive to help small businesses succeed. Her mission in life is to help people lose their J-O-B and find their J-O-Y.

They discuss:

  • How Heather got to this position of Community Builder
  • Some challenges she sees happen in small businesses and freelance communities
  • How small business should owners determine what they work on themselves or what they outsource/delegate
  • The biggest opportunities she sees people overlook when it comes to driving awareness and driving revenue
  • “Beyond the Domain” a Facebook live series of videos she is doing for GoDaddy.

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Episode 29: What Type of Pet Sitter is Best for Rover Type Websites?

In this Episode Bella talks with Walt Galvin, an independent contractor working for Rover.  They discuss how sites like Rover can be a viable option for some pet sitters and walkers who are just starting out or want to keep it simple.

Walt Gavin, independent contractor with Rover.

Walt Galvin, independent contractor with Rover.

Some of the advantages include:

  • Not having to handle payments from clients
  • Saving  time and money but not having to handle marketing
  • Not having to deal with all kinds of administrative headaches and paperwork.
  • Ability to set your own work schedule

For Walt it has turned into a substantial retirement income and he points out that it is also a good option for those who don’t have the desire to hire other sitters and walkers as staff.  Walt also recommends that you pay close attention to the service agreements, particularly in regards to what insurance covers and you may need to purchase additional insurance to cover yourself.

Many of these online websites do not provide adequate coverage for the pet sitters. Only the clients.

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Episode 25: Compassion Fatigue

Holly Cook, author of My End of the Leash

Holly Cook, author of My End of the Leash

In this episode of “Bella In Your Business”, Bella speaks with Holly Cook, author of My End of the Leash: Compassion Fatigue From a Pet Sitter’s Perspective.

She started pet sitting in 1994, and won the Pet Sitters International,  Pet Sitter of the Year award in 2004;  She has been serving the pet sitting industry by becoming a state Ambassador for PSI in 2005. She has also authored several articles presented at many pet sitting conferences. She has developed donation drives for communities devastated by disaster (From Missouri floods in 1993, 9/11, Hurricane Katrina to Hurricane Sandy.). 

Holly also became a certified Compassion Fatigue Educator through the University of Tennessee School Of  Veterinary Social Work in 2016. To say she is an advocate for the pets and the people who care for them is an understatement. 

Bella and Holly discuss what compassion fatigue is and how it differs from “burn out”  Holly discloses traits common among those susceptible to compassion fatigue including:

  • Being a highly dedicated professional
  • Always expecting positive feedback about work
  • High demand for personal competence
  • A personal history of exhaustion
  • A large workload
  • Lack of trauma training
  • Identification with those in their care
  • Those is a non-supportive work environment or unsupportive friends and family

Holly then details some of the symptoms of compassion fatigue:

  • Bone-tired exhaustionpet sitter compassion fatigue
  • Insomnia
  • Persistent physical ailments
  • Apprehension
  • Over exaggerated startle reflex
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Abnormal anger
  • Rumination or excessive thoughts about an incident
  • Clumsiness
  • Nightmares and flashbacks
  • Difficulty concentrating and forgetfulness
  • Tendency to isolate from other people
  • Inability to make a decision
  • Intrusive imagery
  • Reduced ability to feel sympathy or empathy toward other people or animals
  • Denial of any of the above symptoms

Grab her book here: My End of the Leash: Compassion Fatigue From a Pet Sitter’s Perspective

If you feel like this might be you, Holly encourages you to take the quiz on her website

Learn more about Holly and her book in a previous article we wrote back in June when her book originally came out.

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Episode 16: Getting Rid of Toxic Relationships

Bella In Your Business

In this episode of “Bella In Your Business”, Bella discusses getting rid of “bad apples” otherwise known as bad relationships.  At some point in your personal or professional life you have had that person who is a vampire of your time or energy.  And they can be very influential in your life.

You need to constantly take inventory because it is said you are the sum of the 5 closest people in your life. Bella says she sees a lot of pet business owners not “trimming the fat”  of these toxic relationships when it is really necessary and they end up with “tummy aches”.

Bella Has Dealt With Bad Apples…

Bella confesses that she has had to deal with “bad apples” over the years.  She reminds us that some “bad apples” may not have started that way.  Life can change people.  And sometimes it is even harder to get rid of someone if your relationship with them started out great.

Consequences To Keeping Negative People Around:

There are many negative things that can result from keeping “bad apples” in your company.  For one, it could put you in a bad mood and that might spill out in the next conversation you have with a client or another employee.  You may be disappointed in yourself because you know that you are being walked all over.  Or you might feel stressed or scared over what retaliation might happen if you do dissolve or walk away from that relationship.

These types of toxic relationships are like a disease.  They can continue to grow and take over more and more of your life and spoil a lot of things.  We need to protect ourselves, our business, and our employees.

Are YOU The Bad Apple?

Of course, it doesn’t always have to be a bad worker.  Sometimes YOU can be the “bad apple” as sometimes it is a bad boss.  Are you the one creating bad relationships? For instance, if  instead of helping and building up employees who seem to ask the same questions all the time, you lose your patience and yell at them.  Bella references a recent article that points to bad bosses as being among the chief reason people leave their jobs.

But whether you or one of your employees is the bad apple, not addressing it can have consequences on your business.  It can affect morale if employees see you treating another employee badly or if you accept bad behavior from another.  If you allow a “bad apple” to stick around it takes the power away from you for running your business.  For instance,  if someone has a lot of job responsibilities and they develop a chip on their shoulder it could bring about a negative attitude that will multiply when you bring in others to start taking on some of that person’s responsibilities.

So when people have a “bad apple”, why don’t they take care of it right away? Fear.  They might be afraid that by getting rid of that person there is some service or benefit that person still supplies that they will lose.

Don’t Fear The Break Up Of The Bad Relationships:

It could be fear of retaliation or of getting sued.  For that fear Bella suggests that you have a good team of legal and HR professionals you use who can help guide you through the correct process.  She points out that fear is just not understanding information.  Bella says that if you have more information and knowledge you are more able to make better decisions in life.  Do not let fear hold you back!

There is also a fear of who you will get to replace the “bad apple”.  To that, Bella says always be hiring.  Even when you think you don’t really have the business to support a new hire, still consider it.  Because, if you find the right candidate and you have the right pricing structure and strategies in place, you can be instantly boosting business and getting the new person some work.

Another fear is that  of the unemployment rate going up.  Many business owners are afraid that the terminated employee will file for unemployment potentially causing their unemployment rate to go up.  Bella says, once again,  the best way to overcome that fear is to educate yourself.  Call up your state’s Department of Labor and find out what it would mean if the terminated employee filed. But, don’t be afraid to fire them even if your unemployment is going up.  Just compare that increase to what it may cost you by  maybe ticking off some of your best clients or missing out on opportunities or not having your sanity day to day.

Is It Really Them, Or You?

One final important point that Bella stresses is that once you realize that an employee is a “Bad Apple”, and you choose to keep them on staff, they are no longer the problem. You are!  You are the problem.  Holding on to “bad apples”, in addition to giving you headaches, will hold your business back from becoming everything you dreamed it would be.  You have every right to build the team you want, with great relationships, and people that work well with you!  

Just remember, you are going to get back what you give.  If you show people that you appreciate them and that you care, they will give that back to you tenfold.   But if you are constantly struggling with hiring and finding the right people for you business, or you are having trouble with people respecting your business, or there is a constant struggle with your team, you might just want to take a deep look inside yourself.  It’s just possible that you might just be the “bad apple”!

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Why Happiness In Your Business Isn’t Just A Number

 

When I coach people, my main goal is to give them freedom. The freedom that their life is currently not giving them. One of the things I always ask before beginning is, “What do you have this business for?” Nine times out of ten they tell me they started this business in hopes spend more time with their family, go on trips, and not work so hard.
Read more

Why Happiness In Your Business Isn't Just A Number

 

When I coach people, my main goal is to give them freedom. The freedom that their life is currently not giving them. One of the things I always ask before beginning is, “What do you have this business for?” Nine times out of ten they tell me they started this business in hopes spend more time with their family, go on trips, and not work so hard.
Read more