My latest article on The Huffington Post explores the profound benefits of a simple “thank you,” including business etiquette guidelines for taking care of your best contacts. Check it out here!
This month, I had the pleasure of being interviewed by fellow entrepreneur Barry Moltz on his show Business Insanity Talk Radio. We discuss the crucial parts of your business Game Plan and debate the value of sports metaphors in business.
My segment is below, and here’s the entire show. Enjoy!
This month, I had the pleasure of being interviewed on The Conscious Consultant radio hour. Host Sam Liebowitz asks me about my journey to writing Game Plan, including my origins from an entrepreneurial family, my former performing career, and what it takes to achieve focused goals. Listen here!
Part 1 | My Story
Entrepreneurial Influences, Former Performing, and the Pressler Collaborative Business Model
Part 2 | Game Plan
Authentic Goals and Developing Your Action Plan
Last Sunday, I had the honor of hosting my annual New Year’s Ladies’ Goal Brunch in New York City.
As always, it was an incredible group of women who are working on remarkable things in their New Year: producers, entrepreneurs, performers, mothers, coaches, and more.
Huge thank you to all who attended, and for helping me celebrate Game Plan!
Game Plan has arrived! My second book combines all my past New Year’s goal setting guides and best content to deliver a comprehensive process for clarifying your goals, taking action, and overcoming obstacles.
Get the workbook now on Amazon, and stay tuned for the digital edition, extras, and special events!
Partner Jam wraps up this week with perhaps the most common concern. Jeremy and I ask each other (and answer): What happens when parterships don’t go as planned? Is there any way to save the relationship?
HOW SHOULD YOU HANDLE IT IF SOMETHING GOES WRONG DURING THE PARTNERSHIP LIKE MISSED DEADLINES OR DELIVERABLES?
There are (at least) two ways for a partnership to go wrong. One is where the parties don’t deliver what they were supposed to deliver or deliver the wrong thing or deliver the right thing at the wrong time. The other is where everyone does their part but the deal doesn’t deliver the benefits that the partners were hoping for.
The only way to deal productively with missed deadlines or deliverables is to be clear on timing and specs before the partnership launches since nothing can be objectively “late” or “wrong” without deadlines and standards. At some point in the deal process the parties need to lay out in writing what will be delivered and when. Having clear benchmarks will simplify conversations about whether things have gone wrong, what can be done about it, and how to value any specific misstep.
If a deal is not generating the type of value that the partners anticipated, the first thing to do is test the assumptions that were made about the deal in the face of real-world facts. If you identify a deal component that’s not working as you assumed it would, you can try to come up with fixes. If all your assumptions were right but you actually failed to identify a component, you can try to come up with fixes for that previously unknown component and, as a bonus, you’ll learn something valuable about your business.
Do the exact opposite of what people normally do. In other words, deal with it proactively. It’s important not to be accusational or make assumptions. Instead, ask questions like:
- When do you expect xyz to happen?
- Is there anything you need from me?
- Is there any reason why we couldn’t finish that by the end of the week?
Make sure your partner has all the information as early as possible in the process, whether it’s assets to design a webpage or being aware of your client’s expectation for the project.
How do you make sure business partnerships are equal, especially when there is no money involved?
JEREMY: The key is recognizing that money is valuable only because it is easy to exchange for other things. Put differently, money is a means to a business end; it is not the end itself.
So if you want to do a deal but nobody wants to lay out actual cash you should ask yourself two questions: (1) If I received money from this deal, to which ends would I use it? (2) Is this partner able to deliver any of the ends which I’d otherwise plan to achieve by spending cash?
The answer to question (1) should be an easy one if you have a good handle of your business and your business model. Question number (2) is much harder and you can only answer it when you have a good understanding of who your prospective partner and the types of non-cash value they can provide. Great social presence? They can do some marketing. Great relationships? They can make some introductions. Great design? They can spruce up your logo.
CIARA: It’s vital to write out exactly what is expected of each party. When things are in black and white, it’s easier to see if one party is carrying more weight. If elements of the partnership carry value, ie free show tickets or comped advertising, do the math and make sure it’s equitable. You can apply numbers to most in-kind products and services which definitely helps.
Last Week: Building Strong Relationships
Next Week: Sweetening the Deal
Announcing a very special series: Jeremy Schwartz of Squarespace, blogger and business growth savant, has generously offered to do a blog jam session with me on the topic of strategic partnerships.
Jeremy is one of those people who makes doing business even better. He’s smart, he’s well-connected, he has a diverse background, and above all, he’s kind and generous. Exactly the kind of business (and blog) partner an entrepreneur strives to know – and become.
For the next four weeks, we’ll post our best, most useful advice on building strong partnerships that can build your business. Enjoy!
Hey Jeremy! How do you meet and build relationships with your best partners?
Given that you can’t partner with someone who does exactly what you do, it’s important to find opportunities to meet people who are different than you. One way to do this is to attend networking events outside of your industry. It’s great for an insurance broker to know all the other insurance brokers in her neighborhood; it’s even better for her to know all the realtors in her neighborhood.
Once you’ve met someone, building a relationship will be about developing sincere and long-term connections. Here’s how I do it: I ask questions when I meet people, I pay close attention to their answers, and I make notes about the people I meet. Taking notes is the key step in developing continuity in relationships when weeks or months go by between contact.
Ciara! What about you? How do you meet your potential partners?
Definitely through my other best partners. Not all audience is created equal; every professional or business should identify its MVPs: the people who go out of their way to connect you, to promote you, to sell for you. These are the people who get personal updates from me, event invites, holiday gifts. Good people run in the same circles as other good people. Then we go out of our way to reciprocate favors like intros or cross-promotion.
Next Up: Making Sure Partnerships are Equal – Tuesday 11/18. Stay tuned!
Everyone on our team for The Audience is in high demand, working on their own entrepreneurial and creative ventures (not to mention my own client work), so it’s no small task to get everyone together for a shoot. But last week we jammed five new episodes into one day, so stay tuned for new, better, faster, strategy-er eps coming soon!
In my latest article over on The Huffington Post, I tackle a very delicate topic: is Passion the key ingredient to creating a successful business?
Spoiler alert: No.
(And in case you missed it: no.)
In my work with entrepreneurs, those who stay in business the longest tend to prioritize a very different character trait.
Too many of us fall into the trap of believing that there is a “magic pill” for success — that any single step or campaign or award or client or funding round or hire will permanently tip a business from obscurity to celebrity. This dangerous mentality motivates far too many questionable decisions made in moments of desperation, from spending too much on a one-time ad to building a whole business around one client who could disappear in the wake of a weak quarter. Instead, the best business moves eschew emotion and rely on wisdom from experience, market conditions, expert guidance, and common sense.
Like any healthy portfolio, your investment in your business must carry a diversity of resources, people, growth strategies, and revenue sources. If you can handle enormous risk, fine, bet the farm on a single shot — but if you’re like most of us and want the maximum probability of a reliable return, balance it all with a long-term approach.