Morning Motivation – Week of February 18, 2019

Hello, friends!

I love to start each week with words of wisdom, and this week’s are:

There’s a reason it’s hard to see the “next big thing.” Most of us can only ever perceive the world as it is right now. Remember, Henry Ford famously said that if he asked people what they wanted, they’d have said faster horses.

Do you remember life before phones were stuck in our hands almost 24/7? Remember life before scrolling and swiping endlessly? Remember life before Google? You probably do, but could you have PREDICTED any of this? No. Neither can most people (me least of all).

But when it happens — when something huge happens — when you start hearing people you trust shouting about a massive shift — it’s time to dig in and learn a bit.

One of those shifts is happening right now. I will tell you all about it in my message next week.

Carlos

Morning Motivation – Week of February 11, 2019

Happy Monday once again, friends! And Happy Valentine’s Day!

As you know, I start each week with some positive words of wisdom, and this week’s are:

In last week’s message, I started talking about how you should use storytelling in your business to set yourself apart from your competition and to brand you and your business. I started laying out a few steps that will help you use the power of storytelling in your business. I only got to #1 last week, but here is the entire list:

  1. Show, Don’t Tell – Don’t talk about yourself. Instead, use stories that convey your expertise and values, maybe even showing the “superman” side of you.
  2. Use Stories as a Problem Solver – Humans use stories to make sense of the world around us. As your prospects struggle with the problems they are facing in their lives, you can use stories to answer important questions. How can you help? Why should they buy from you?  Well-crafted stores can show people the benefit of choosing your product or service.
  3. Be Relatable by Sharing Other’s Stories – Set yourself apart from your competition by talking about your customers, not yourself. Use clients’ stories to help undecided shoppers relate to your clients. When satisfied clients talk about you and praise you, it is more credible than anything you could say.

People love stories. Use stories to get and keep the attention of your prospects and referral sources and create an emotional connection with them. We make decisions emotionally, so when you take advantage of stories, you will be able to influence others thoughts, behaviors and maybe even buying decisions.

Although the human brain is able to process emotional and observational information, research has shown that emotional responses are stronger than rational responses and therefore decision making isn’t logical, it is emotional. Research has also shown that emotional response to an advertisement has far greater influence on a person’s intent to buy a product that the ad’s content does.

This means that when you use storytelling in your marketing, your audience is more likely to have an emotional response and remember your message!

That is it for this week!

Carlos

Morning Motivation – Week of February 4, 2019

Happy Monday friends!

I hope that you had a great weekend and are ready for a great week. You know that I like to start each week with some positive woods, and this weeks are:

We hear a lot these days about the power of “storytelling”—and why it’s so critical for businesses and brands as we continue to operate in the digital age.

But, like so much of what we talk about in the sales, marketing and branding space, storytelling has always been important. It has been the essence of the greatest and most successful communicators since the beginning of man. If you’re interested, check out the 7 best storytellers of all time by clicking here.

Consumers have more choices today than they ever had before. Traditional marketing just isn’t as effective as it once was. Most businesses aren’t using storytelling today.

My mentor and best friend #TheMan once said to me, “Many times the missing ingredient in a successful sales message or presentation is an interesting story.”

Not only is telling a story a tried-and-true method for getting attention, but an engaging story will also keep your audience’s attention.

I want to share with you a few steps that will help you use the power of storytelling in your business:

  1. Show, Don’t Tell – Don’t talk about yourself. Instead, use stories that convey your expertise and values, maybe even showing the “superman” side of you.

For more steps regarding harnessing the power of storytelling in your business, make sure to read my message next week!

Carlos

Morning Motivation – Week of January 28, 2019

It’s Monday once again, friends!

Are you ready for this week’s motivational quote? I know you’ve been eagerly awaiting its arrival!

The new year is well underway, and I don’t mean just on the calendar. The sun is coming up on an age where people will measure your ability to serve them based on three specific categories you’re definitely not tracking today:

  • Velocity – How fast can you deliver what you sell?
  • Friction – How easy is it to do business with you?
  • Connectedness – How easy is it for your customers to communicate with you?

How you answer these three questions – as well as how you build and align your efforts and interests to serve this – will determine your success or failure in 2019.

The nuts and bolts of your answers, the answers to the HOW questions (which are far more important than WHY questions any day of the week) are what you need to be shopping for right now.

Go out and find your HOW. Read up on it. Research it. Ask around. Buy it. Invest in it. Because how you get your shelves stocked and shiny and screaming out to the people who need you to thrive? Well, that’s the big deal.

Need help finding your HOW? Let me know – I have resources that I can share to help you with your business in 2019 and beyond!

Carlos

Morning Motivation – Week of January 21, 2019

Happy Monday, friends!

You know that I like to start each week with some positive words of wisdom:

The New Year is upon you. I’m watching the sunrise on the first day of this year and drinking a plain black cup of hot coffee while Kathy is sleeping in. Meanwhile, I am thinking about the absurdity of retail stores in the modern age. It’s all because of needing a pair of slippers…

The Bummer of Empty Shelves

I told you last week that I had wandered into some big box retail stores for a few last minute stocking-stuffers. Every store I visited seemed to somehow be missing huge swaths of items on their shelves. On the 29th, I wandered into a Bed and Bath store to find (of all things) a pair of men’s slippers. But when I finally tracked down a nice woman in a grey shirt, she pointed me to the three pairs of men’s slippers that were left in the store – all were size Small. (Having wide feet, this meant no slippers for me.)

Compare this to the Amazon app on my phone, or Alexa who I can just ask to pick me out a pair of slippers. They’ll be here the very next day!

But This Isn’t a Story of Slippers or Retail Stores

This is about the marketplace. It’s about you. It’s about your website and your business. Amazon just exists as an easy analogy. Ask yourself the following questions about your business:

  • Do people even really know what you sell? Is it explicit enough?
  • Is it clear from your website how and where to buy it?
  • Are your “shelves” stocked? Can people see quickly that you have their item?
  • Do you deliver what you sell fast enough to satisfy today’s market?
  • How are you staying top of mind with your clients and referral partners?
  • Have you stayed ahead of the curve with methods and means to stay connected to your clients and your referral buyers?

Look at those six questions. Ask yourself whether your business– however big or small– passes the test. And where you find yourself lacking (because most of us including me can’t answer these all with a yes) ask yourself how you’ll fix these issues fast.

Remember, you and I are in the same boat – just trying to build a better business. If there is ever anything I can do to help you in this endeavour, don’t hesitate to reach out!

Carlos

Morning Motivation – Week of January 14, 2019

Happy Monday to you, friend!

I have another great quote for you this week, as well as my continuation of last week’s message!

Just a few days ago, Twas the Day Before Christmas

I went to some real live brick and mortar stores for a few stocking stuffer gifts for Kathy (we stopped exchanging gifts years ago) and found that most retailers had all but given up. Target was dirty and their shelves were filled with big open gaps of “I don’t care.” Kohl’s was the same. All kinds of places looked like they weren’t even going to try to keep up with the intent to look vibrant and ready for business.

But Amazon was ready! They wanted my business, and they were ready to show me how fast they could deliver (literally and figuratively). Lots of other places that weren’t Amazon did okay, too. They acted big and ready.

And then this other store said, “We’re out until January 3rd, so if you place any holiday orders now, they’re not arriving before mid-January.” And this was online retail. Well, okay then!

The World Changes Every Day

That may sound scary and daunting, but it’s no more scary than deciding what you want to eat from day to day. There are plenty of variables in life, it’s not too scary. You just have to commit to the mission and the goal of your business more than the straightforward practice.

If you want to win, the big plan is to serve your customer or buyer in some very vital way. Everything you put in place for your operation then must be in line with their needs.

Why did subject lines on newsletters and blog posts change? (Did you read my message last week?) It was because people are too “busy” (or so they say) to click if your link says “Best business tips ever.” You’ve got to give them even more reasons to open.

That’s what’s true in all of all this. It’s all in service of your buyers in some way, and whatever you’re doing that doesn’t serve that or that doesn’t better increase your capabilities for that is probably wasted effort.

Happy New Year (how long can I keep wishing Happy New Year?), Happy Monday and happy new selling year!

I’m here for you.

Carlos


Morning Motivation – Week of January 7, 2019

You know that I like to start each week with some positive words of wisdom:

While at Christmas Mass, I was thinking about the story of Jesus from a business perspective. He comes along and tells people that huge chunks of what religion and government are doing are all messed up through telling stories. His perspective shakes up everything.

You don’t have to be religious to follow along. Just think about a guy showing up on the scene and saying, “I’m the son of God and you’re doing it all wrong.”

All the Rules Have Changed

The other day, I was on a coaching call with one of my clients and I pointed out that the rules for subject lines on newsletters and blog posts have changed. Instead of simply stuffing in a few keywords, the new rule is to create a subject line that will really grab the reader’s attention and encourage them to click in. What we had originally been taught was wrong!

Everyone tells you to use lots of pictures. I started doing the opposite… (maybe I’m wrong, but my email open rate increased immensely!) This is the big point: lots of things change. Lots and lots of the rules change. You CAN’T adhere to something just because you learned it once.

You Have to Learn Over and Over and Over

When I launched my coaching program, I made sure that what I was coaching still worked. Sometimes, within a very short period, the subject that I’m coaching on has changed. Other times, I’m safe, because what I coach on has worked for me for the last 15 years and for most savvy business people for eons! But some things do change and I have to learn things over and over.

Before I sign off for the week, I want to thank you for your time and attention in 2018. I hope that I continue to add value to your inbox. I’m here any time you want to hit reply – I’m never too busy to talk with you.

I appreciate you.

Carlos

Morning Motivation – Week of December 31, 2018

Hello again, friend!

Are you ready for my last words of wisdom for 2018? Here they are:

Last week, I talked about how it is hard to market your business nowadays because it is so easy for messages to get lost in the crowd. In the old days, it was enough to get a logo, a tagline, some colors and maybe a theme song. That was a brand. But those days are LONG gone.

In 2019, brands are about action and motion and relationship building and connectivity and repetition. (Repetition. Repetition.) And I can bet that you’re not doing NEARLY enough to help your business by creating the relationships and actions necessary for excellent branding.

Here’s what you should be doing to win even be recognized in your space:

  • Show what you do into something memorable
  • Show that you care about your community and other businesses
  • You need to say and do what you’re afraid to express
  • Use your brand to support your friends and customers’ stories

The newest ideas or shiny objects that have worked in the past are not going to take you far in 2019. You have to build something concise, flexible, repeatable, and that connects and serves others (the people we most want to see win).

(Name here), let’s rock this coming year together, and let’s do that by starting with a look at how we are branding ourselves. And make sure that you stay tuned for my first message of 2019 next week!

Happy New Year!
– Carlos

Recap: New Year’s Success

“Success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it.”

– Henry David Thoreau

Have you decided on a New Year’s resolution for 2019 yet? Many people around the world will be choosing personal and professional goals to work on throughout the year, but statistics show that many of them won’t succeed! Here at Vargas and Vargas Insurance Agency, we want to make sure that you achieve all your goals, so we shared some tips to help you make your New Year’s resolution a reality this year:

  • Choose a goal or two, but don’t overextend yourself by trying to do too many things at once: remember – quality over quantity.
  • Make sure that your goal is well-defined by using the SMART goal guidelines.
  • Hold yourself accountable and do what it takes to ensure success in your endeavor.
  • Treat yourself to small rewards on your journey – they will help motivate you to keep going and make process toward your desired result.

If there is anything our agency can do to help you reach your goals this year, please call us at 617-298-0655. We can review your insurance policies, refer you to a local professional, and much more. Here at Vargas and Vargas Insurance we are passionate about helping our neighbors, so let us know what we can do to help you in 2019 and beyond!

Morning Motivation – Week of December 24, 2018

As you know, I love to start the week with some words of wisdom:

How much of what you know you’re “supposed to do” are you actually doing? Where are your paths of resistance? What do you still think is “for the kids?”

People aren’t seeing most of what you offer. You’re sharing sometimes, but not enough. You’re creating marketing and messaging, but often it’s “same as” and getting lost in the weeds. And it gets worse…

Here are the facts:

  • No one has much of an attention span
  • The stream of life moves far too fast
  • Most people are NOT reading much
  • All business needs media attention
  • Your brand needs constant expression
  • Branding today is an all-encompassing packaging effect around the work you do FOR others

Branding is designed to aide with memory, with recognition, with a sense of tribalism built around an experience, of a service or product. The people who think it doesn’t matter are the ones who are forgotten or ignored.

So, what can you do to stand apart from the crowd? That’s another message for another week, so make sure to watch for my next message.

I hope that you had a great holiday!

Carlos