Bite-Size Chunks of Wisdom

September 2010

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As solopreneurs or owners of microenterprises, we’re indestructible….or, so one would think by the way in which we protect what we work so hard to build.  A recent conversation with a colleague again reminded me of the importance of having income protection in place. Let me tell you what I mean with a little slice of my personal story….a peak, if you will, into the Founder of Synnovatia®.

I had just relocated from Virginia to Washington State.  In the midst of the move, I was undergoing treatment for breast cancer.  Doctor appointments, daily radiation treatments, and business activities to re-establish in the new location dotted my calendar.

One early morning in December 1995, I chatted it up with a colleague also diagnosed with breast cancer.  We jokingly compared our battle scars and strategy for continuing to generate revenue during such a stressful time.

My heart ached for her.  It was tough to hear how hard she was working in the midst of extensive medical treatments.   I remember wishing there was some way to relieve some of the stress of generating income during such fatigue-producing medical treatments.

That’s when I remembered! Tucked away in a file was a decision I made in 1986. I purchased disability insurance planning, of course, on never needing it.  In fact, I purchased two policies – one that covered lost income while the other covered business overhead.  What a stroke of genius!

They weren’t huge policies nor did I need to stop work completely during my treatment.   However, they did provide a modest compensation during a very difficult time that allowed me to focus on a return to health.

Which brings me back to you….. I think it’s safe to assume that you’ve worked very hard to establish your business.  You’ve likely protected your house, your car, and your health.  Nevertheless, what are you doing to protect your income?

If you’re unable to work, as a solopreneur your ability to generate business revenue will likely be affected.  How will you pay your business overhead should something happen to you?  What will you do to cover personal expenses?

These are good questions to ask oneself.  The answers help to develop a plan of action that allows you to feel safe and secure in the midst of a personal adversity.

Why do I share my story?  Trust me; I’m not working with or being compensated by any insurance company for this PSA (Personal Service Announcement).

I know you.  You work diligently to develop and grow your business.  Moreover, I want you to know what’s available to protect all your hard work.

Due to compliance issues in the insurance industry, I’m unable to post the name(s) of those who can provide additional information for you BUT those resources are only a click or call away.

At Synnovatia®, we make it our job to know people who can support your efforts.   Here’s to your continually vibrant health….and a disability policy that gathers dust in your drawer!

Recently, a colleague and I attended an off-line face-to-face networking event. We were both excited to meet the lone accountant in the group. We have been on the hunt for an accounting firm to partner with and had yet to find a good fit.

The conversation with the accountant started out enthusiastically as she shared her “elevator pitch” (aka the 10-word introduction that states who you work with and what you do in general terms). My colleague posed a question. Simple. Direct. It really only needed a ten word response at most.

My colleague inadvertently unleashed a lengthy narration of the inner working of the accountants firm. Frankly, it sounded like she was reciting her web site – THE ENTIRE THING!

Apparently she didn’t notice our eyes glazing over with the amount of information she was providing. We would have politely interjected – had she taken a breath. I wish I could say we were captivated by what she said. Unfortunately, it felt like we were held captive.

The bottom line? We dismissed that particular accounting firm from our list of potential partners.

Sadly, this is an all-too-common scenario; one in which well-deserving, qualified firms never benefit from their networking efforts because they “over-sell” themselves during the initial interaction. (See “Nine Steps for Building Trust Online & Offline“)

Apply a few simple guiding principles to your online and offline networking activities to ensure your net works for you, including:

* Share your well-developed “elevator pitch” with those you meet

* Allow others to engage you with further questions

* Provide answers that are crisp, clean and targeted

* Ask genuine questions that demonstrate your sincere interest in them

* If further discussion is warranted, exchange business cards to schedule a time to share more detail

Strategic Coaching Takeaway:  What steps can you take to ensure your net works like you intended?

Core Business Assessment


Brooke Billingsley

Vice President
Perception Strategies

Synnovatia is a strategic coaching firm that is detailed and knowledgeable about business. i have a small business that grew from $150K to $750K because of the goal setting and resources that Synnovatia provided. It saves me years of learning on my own.

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