Change Your Mindset Before You Dump Your Strategy


You’re stuck—no growth, no excitement and stagnant profits. Where do you go from here? In these incredibly frustrating standstill moments, it can be difficult to know what to do next, and it’s easy to see why a complete rebranding or daring new marketing strategy is an attractive thought–but that may not be completely necessary. Sometimes, a simple shift in perspective can be all that is needed to move forward. Before you jump head-first into a costly and potentially unnecessary overhaul, think of the following ways you can improve, change and adjust your mindset:

  • Priorities. By focusing on the wrong things, you could be holding yourself and your company back. Should you be investing your time and effort into a another area? Reprioritizing is simple, yet can be quite effective.
  • Approach. Any type of business-related strategy should be a combination of both creativity and careful analysis. There is a need for balance, and too much of a good thing, one way or the other, could actually be a bad thing.
  • Focus. Seeking authentic and sustainable growth requires you to think beyond right now. A forward-thinking mindset is more than wishful thinking; it can help you find creative solutions in challenging times as a business owner.

Changing your mindset also involves personal growth. As an entrepreneur, as you grow and change, so will your approach to running your business. Read, learn, seek counsel and research market trends—there is a practically endless list of ways you can improve yourself and initiate growth on various levels. If you change the way you think, it could very well change the way you do business, ultimately sparking growth and progress.

Before you throw all your existing strategies and plans out of the window, start by changing your mindset. Even small shifts in the way you think or approach a problem can give you an edge, push your business forward and help you connect with your target market in a new, fresh way.

By Meagan Kerlin for Vertu Marketing LLC

Why You Need Stress Management Skills

Stress Management

There are a lot of “tools” you need to survive as an entrepreneur: social media skills, the ability to close a sale, etc., but few people know how to effectively deal with stress. When you do not have stress management skills, it can take over your life, affect your health and eventually derail your career. Doing any kind of business is stressful from time-to-time, but you do not have to let these stresses take over your life. Even the most high-strung of us can learn how to confront stress and channel it productively, and if you can learn this skill, you may even be able to avoid a few ulcers and gray hairs.

When you start to feel a bit out of control, there are a few simple things you can do to avoid letting stress have a detrimental impact on multiple areas of your life, such as:

  • Manage. There nothing like a mile-long to-do list to send you straight into panic mode. One of the best ways to make this less intimidating is to take larger tasks and break them down into smaller items. It’s kind of a mind trick, but it’s remarkable how multiple easier tasks are less intimidating than a few huge tasks.
  • Prioritize. Hectic schedules are incredibly stressful. If you have too much to do, then stop trying to do all of it. It is quite possible that you have “non-priority” tasks on your list. Reevaluate your list, determine what is truly necessary at the time and do those things first.
  • Move. Exercise is a productive way to deal with stress because it actually helps to improve brain chemistry. Something as simple as going for a walk, a hike or a short run can do wonders for improving your state of mind and getting you to a mental state that is better for dealing with stress.

These are certainly not the only ways that a person can effectively deal with stress. What works for you regarding stress management may not work for the next person, but you have to find out how you can positively, effectively walk through high-pressure times when you have too much to do and not enough time to do it. Stress is inevitable, but you don’t have to be a victim of it.

By Meagan Kerlin for Vertu Marketing LLC

The Entrepreneurial Challenge Of Being Your Own Boss


It really doesn’t matter what type of business you have, if you are an entrepreneur, you will face the challenge of learning how to effectively be your own boss. As the driving force behind the success of your business, managing your goals, your whims and even your emotions can be some of the greatest personal challenges that you must overcome on your journey. The appeal of working for yourself and chasing your dreams can quickly become a nightmare scenario if you allow yourself to become ineffective, unmotivated and unprofitable.

As you chase your idea of success, whatever that may entail, you must simultaneously put significant effort into managing the expectations you have for yourself and others. Since there is no course you can take to learn how to “be your own best boss”, you can do the following simple things to help you play to your strengths:

  • Learn time management. Leaving the world of office work does not magically eliminate your need for schedules and self-discipline. When you work for yourself, no one can make you get up and get going, yet alone schedule meetings, work sales or put in the legwork.
  • Hire for your weaknesses, focus on your strengths. It’s really okay to admit to the areas where you are not gifted. From accounting to marketing, recognize where you need help and get it. Doing it all yourself saves money in the beginning, but with growth comes new challenges. If you can’t do it all well, it may be a sign that you need to look elsewhere for support.
  • Find a leader. Mentors and business leaders are invaluable sources of information, support and inspiration. If you do not have someone to provide practical information and keep you on course, you may find great benefit in seeking out a mentor.

School cannot prepare you to be your own boss. Whether you quit your job in order to chase a specific vision or ended up running your own business by happy accident, managing yourself may be even more challenging than managing others and the various challenges that pop up. A little self-evaluation and a bit of hard work can help you become the best boss you’ve ever had.

By Meagan Kerlin for Vertu Marketing LLC

Failure And The Good News About Messing Up


Whether you watched the Oscars this past weekend or not, you’ve probably heard by this point that there was a major, historic and completely baffling mistake at the pinnacle of the program. The presenters were given the wrong envelope for Best Picture. The wrong movie was announced. The wrong cast, crew and directors came onstage and accepted the trophy. Eventually, someone came on stage, switched the envelopes and, finally, the actual winners came up. The result was a stage full of confused and embarrassed individuals and an audience full of shocked stars. How does a failure of that magnitude happen? Someone messed up, big time.

It turns out that an accountant tasked with the job of tallying the votes submitted the wrong envelope. That’s it. Just a mistake, but unfortunately for these individuals, this failure happened with the whole world watching. Have you ever felt like that—like everyone saw you mess up? To fail is human, but to fail in front of others can be excruciating. But there is good news about failure: it does not determine who you are. There is always something valuable to be learned, even if in the moment all you want to do is crawl in a hole and never come out.

Setbacks and mistakes happen. Get up gracefully, apologize when necessary and move forward. Failure can stop your forward momentum, but you have the power to decide if this is going to be just a “pause” in the journey or a full stop. Everyone experiences a “wrong envelope” moment at some point in their lives, but this in no way means that you are not qualified, not experienced, not smart enough or not capable to do what needs to be done. The accounting team that messed up at the Oscars may currently feel like the whole world is on their shoulders, but in a matter of a few days, the world will move on to the next viral moment.

People will move on from your failure, and you should give yourself permission to do the same. Learn from it, try not repeat it, but keep going. Failure is inevitable, but the good news is that you don’t have to be defined by that one moment.

By Meagan Kerlin for Vertu Marketing LLC

How To Make Your Work Relationships Actually Work

work relationships

The relationships that you have with your co-workers and people with whom you do business are important, but it can seem nearly impossible to make these key relationships function properly when two parties simply do not get along. Whether it is a one-sided annoyance or sharp disagreements over vital issues, making your work relationships work can be exhausting. While it makes life much easier when you get along with these individuals, it may be good to hear that you can actually disagree or just plain old-fashioned not like a person and still do business. Here’s how:

  • Keep the main thing, the main thing. Good relationships with co-workers, business partners and contacts are wonderful, and they can improve both the success and culture of your workplace. However, the ultimate goal is to do business, so when no other common ground is there, simply focus on your business goals in a polite and professional manner. As hard as it is to believe, and as much as you may want to just give someone a piece of your mind, remember that getting along is not always a prerequisite to doing business.
  • Let work stay at work. Stewing over something for hours or days on end only makes things much worse than they actually are. Whether you had an out-and-out disagreement with someone or simply cannot deal with that guy who always comes back from lunch with something weird stuck in his teeth, it’s almost always better to just let it go. Ranting to your date over dinner about work issues or venting online is almost never necessary and is almost always harmful. Don’t dwell on it, don’t gossip and don’t be unprofessional….and for crying out loud, never put anything online that you would be embarrassed to read later.
  • Look people in the eye; show respect. This is a lost concept for many people in today’s world, but you can be kind and respectful to everyone, despite deep ideological differences or even simple personality differences. Looking someone in the eye and treating people with kindness is, hands down, the simplest and most effective way to move past issues and disagreements. Be nice, do what you need to do and move on—it’s easy!

You will not always get along with everyone in your professional circle, and that’s okay. Learn how to navigate these matters by maintaining a professional demeanor and keeping your eyes on the goal, whatever that may be. Work relationships won’t always be perfect, but they should certainly never stand in the way of doing good business or meeting your next goal.

By Meagan Kerlin by Vertu Marketing LLC