Are You Marching in the Parade

Are You Marching in the Parade?

While watching the Parade of Lights during the holidays here in Flagstaff, I was reminded of something I read a long time ago.

It said something like “If you aren’t marching in the parade, it is passing you by.”

Will Rogers said something similar:  “Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.”

This applies to us as entrepreneurs as well.  Every one of us, home-based or not, should be using this time of year to design a campaign to announce our business.  Because competition is so tight, a business needs to make a lot of noise to survive in the marketplace.  That’s especially true for a new business but even established ones often could use a good shot in the arm.

Getting people to pay attention to your business takes more than money.  It takes a willingness to think past the obvious and explore the unknown.  But that shouldn’t be difficult for you.  After all, that’s why you started your own business, isn’t it?

And on a different note . . .

Unless you have a local networking group of peers within your industry (which most of us do not), you are walking in that parade alone.  The big bands and huge decorated floats may make you feel small and all alone even if you are marching behind them.

This is where we come in.  We offer that opportunity to network with peers who know what you are going through and are willing to share what they have learned in exchange for your doing the same.

In the early days of our industry, the AOL and Prodigy bulletin boards excited us with the opportunity to network with others in the same boat that we were in.  The Jubilee and Gift Basket Connection conventions gave us this extra boost once a year.  Actually, when I first began, there were two Jubilees each year.

When Cherie Reagor announced her last Gift Basket Connection convention, there was a huge feeling of loss that has never been filled.

And then there are the Facebook groups.  Here are the problems with them:

  • They simply aren’t structured to help your small business grow and thrive.
  • You never really build meaningful relationships that can support and guide you.
  • Because they are free to join, there are no standards for who is in them.
  • You never really feel comfortable while sharing your ideas because your competitors are lurking in the corners and you don’t even know they are there.

You can pay for individual coaching which can be expensive.  There is group coaching available but there’s no “one size fits all” answer.  From what I’ve heard from some who have paid the thousands of dollars a year for coaching, I’m shocked at the canned advice that is oftentimes being pass out.

Your situation, your location, your business, and even you and your passions are unique and you need unique answers to your questions.

I’m not suggesting that you drop your coach.  There are a few that are very good and aren’t too expensive (Mike Neese is one that I’ve heard great things about).  I’m not going to say that I’ve started a new coaching business that will give you everything you need.  Because that just wouldn’t be true.

I consider myself a business coach but I don’t charge you thousands of dollars for the information that I provide to you.  I don’t even use the word “coach” to describe what I do.

I’m a writer.  I’m a publisher.  I am a business owner that has been successful in a variety of businesses for many years.  I’m available to answer your questions and — even much more important — I provide a platform where others who are as experienced, if not more so, will jump and provide their suggestions as well.

What is this going to cost you?  Not thousands of dollars.  Heavens forbid.  I couldn’t go to sleep at night wondering if I had provided that much value for that much money.

It won’t even cost you a few hundred.

All it will cost you is $34.95 for a full year.  That price will go up on March 1st, our 6th anniversary of publishing, however.

What do you get for $2.50 a month?

You get 12 monthly issues of our magazine written by experts in our industry who share what they have learned along the way.  You get a private forum where you can ask your questions and share with others going through the same problems that you are.  And, yes, I’m there to provide my “bit of coaching” as well.  You become — not a part of a large Facebook group with few relationships (although that is available as well)– but a part of select gift basket business owners just like you.

And only until January 31st, you get a free copy of the ebook, “Make 2016 Your Best Year Ever!”

So what are you waiting for?  Is the parade passing you by as you wave to us as our Gift Basket Business Owners float goes by?

Want to join the parade?  You can do so here.

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