Slanted. Always Slanted.

I stood in the backyard with a couple of kids from the neighborhood. I was five years old and my jet black hair was hot from the direct sunlight as I watched these children perform a rhyme. I heard the first word, and my face burned.

“Chinese, Japanese, dirty knees, look at these,” they shouted while using their index fingers to distort the shape of their eyes. Slanted. Always slanted.

I grew up in what I affectionately call a “railroad town.” It was at the very bottom of the mitten of Michigan, and if you blinked twice, you’d miss the main drag.

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The red lipstick.

Ouch. Ouch. Ouch. That’s just a small sliver of how the rejection I had just experienced felt. While I won’t get into all of the details of the rejection at hand, I will say that at the end of it, I felt pretty unattractive, like all of my sexual appeal had just become flattened under a semi truck blasting down the highway that was my confidence. I felt my mood rapidly begin to deteriorate as my subconscious looked for a way to get revenge while also dealing with this overwhelm of emotion. 

I began to think of ways to feel more attractive -- to get my sexy back, if you will -- and one of the first things that popped into my head was, “Where’s my red lipstick?” 

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6 People Who Have Changed the Way I Think About Business

Every time I‘ve made noticeable progress in my business, it’s been because I changed the way I was thinking about business. 

It’s been a long journey so far, and I know I’ll continue to make shifts in order to reach even higher levels. That’s why I want to say thank you to those who have helped me make those changes. 

Each person has been a mentor to me whether I’ve personally met them or not. In my experience, it only takes one line of dialogue from one book to completely shift the way I see things, which is such a comforting reminder to me as a writer. If just one line from any of the articles you read on my site shifts the way you’ve been thinking about your business and allows you a bit more freedom, then I feel like I’ve done my job.

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19 Alternatives to Building Your List With a Free Challenge

Running a free challenge is big right now. They started out as longer ones, around 30 days, and they’ve since scaled back to be more digestible at 5 days. 

But, if you’re like, “Challenges are cool, but they’re just not for me or my business,” then here are 19 alternatives to building your list by running a free challenge (with the intention, of course, of building your list).

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5 Online Marketing Tactics I'm Dreadfully Bored Of

“No, I don’t want to be happier.”

“I reject this information to make more money.”

“I’m not interested in being more beautiful.”

STOOOOOOOOOP. 

If I see one more pop-up that makes me choose an answer like this for it to go away, I will start making Internet marketing citizen arrests. 

(I guess I’ll have to first establish an Internet marketing police department. But that is neither here nor there.)

The point is this: not only is that marketing tactic boring but it’s mean, and that’s not cool. 
 

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4 More Questions to Ask Before You Launch

There are a lot of factors, like the size and engagement of your audience, that determine what makes a launch successful. And while you can’t control all of the factors, what you can do is to ask yourself smart questions that help you see your blind spots.

After you ask yourself these four pre-launch questions, then continue on with the four below. 

1) So what? 

There’s a scene in the best show ever (Parks & Recreation) where Ann helps Leslie get over her fear of first dates by role playing the worst date ever with her. She’s really mean and makes it extra awkward to help Leslie realize that a first date is just two people getting to know each other. While I don’t want you to be extra mean to yourself (or even to ask your team member to be extra mean to you) when it comes to your launch plan, here’s what I suggest. 

Fill in the blank: This offering I’m launching is important because __________. 

Then, ask yourself: So what?

When you answer again, ask that same question: So what? 

This simple question is likely to lead the way to objections you hadn’t considered or new, creative ways to promote the launch that distinguishes you from similar offers. 

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4 Questions Guaranteed to Improve Your Next Launch

When she launched her program, nobody enrolled. (It was rough. The crickets didn’t even bother to show up.)

We had just worked around 80+ hours over the past thirty days -- the equivalent of around $4,000 -- to create this thing and now that it was finished, it turns out that nobody was interested. 

My client was crushed. When the idea for the new program had come to her, she had been so excited that she had gone full steam ahead without slowing down to wonder whether her audience even needed what she was creating. 

And after launching several digital programs, products, group coaching programs, and marketing campaigns, I’ve learned a thing or twelve about which questions can make the most impact on your bottom line and your sanity. 

Here are four questions that will definitely improve your next launch.

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How to Stress-Test Your Copy

I’ve worked with a lot of entrepreneurs who saw copywriting as an afterthought. (And I’ve also been the entrepreneur who saw it that way. Tsk, tsk. I know.)

Then when I launched my next big thing, despite having a decently-sized list, and things don’t go well, I would sit and pout while wondering what went wrong. 

9 times out of 10 (real statistic), it’s because I didn’t put enough thought, effort, or energy into my copy.

I failed to convey why this offer mattered to this person’s life. Oftentimes, I made the big mistake of listing just what the offer included (8 live group coaching sessions, one 30-minute 1-1 call, etc.) instead of how this person’s life was going to be different as a result of having spent time in my world. I neglected the way this person wanted to feel and think about themselves.

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Dear business owner, please burn your business plan

“Congrats on being official,” a friend-of-a-friend-turned-client said to me. He had just filed my license to become a sole proprietor in the state of Nevada. He went on to explain renewal fees and my newly-minted EIN number, of which I was very proud to have, especially after three years of not having all of my t’s crossed and my i’s dotted. 

Despite finally being official (along with 34% of the US population) and having done freelance work with a couple of clients, I still wasn’t earning enough money to live independently. It wasn’t that I didn’t have the skills to earn a sustainable income. I just didn’t know how to do it.

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