Are your online files at Risk?

Tracy George, Traylee LLC

If you are on line your files are at risk. It is important to do a few simple tasks to help optimize safety. (1) Check with your hosting company as to where your files are being stored and backed up. If it is on the same server it would be best practice to make a backup copy of your files on an external hard drive to keep them safe from cyber criminals. Ensure the hosting site is 256 bit encryption. (2) Also, use a VPN service which will encrypt your internet traffic and protect your online identity.  (256 bit encryption) (3) Use your usual security suite to block cyber criminal activity and viruses. (4) If more security is needed consult with an IT Security Specialist. 

What a crazy week to come …

This is going to be an exciting week. First up, one week from today is the 2019 WAM! Charity Golf Classic. I dare to say, the most exciting and best value of any of the many captain’s choice golf tournaments in our area! If you haven’t signed up yet, do so right now! This a ton of fun for golfers of all skill levels. For only $75 each player will receive green fees, range balls, a goody bag with items like golf balls, notebooks, chapstick and more, lunch from Panera bread, free beer all day, dinner from Outback Steakhouse, prizes, contests and more. 

For the month of September our WAM! meetings have been discussing the sales process. Listening to a lot of these conversations I have learned that if we were to spend more time and energy on defining who we need to prospect to and why we could save a lot of time and energy that we are currently spending on trying to make the sale. This is similar to my discovery from our August training, setting your goals. During those months meetings I learned that most of us don’t have clearly defined goals or plans to achieve them. All of this has really helped me out and I hope to figure out more ways to help our members with this going forward. It just makes more sense that a path with definitive destinations and a clearly defined route makes much more sense. 

We are kicking off October with the launching of a NEW MEETING. Personally, I have been wanting an early morning meeting for a long time so I am excited that Tom Langston is getting one started that meets at 7:30am. This one will meet the 1st & 3rd Tuesday mornings in the conference room at his office in Forrest Hill. The address is 9211 Forest Hill Avenue, Suite 110 and the company name is S.L. Nusbaum Realty. Meanwhile, there are four opportunities this week to dive into “The Sales Process” and whatever other items that come up. Tuesday at 11:30am at A Taste Of Italy near Brandermill, Tuesday at 5:30pm at Bacchus, Wednesday at 11:00am at Casa Grande in Short Pump and Thursday at 11:30am at Bar Solita.

In between taking care of all that, there is regular pool league and a playoff tournament, a golf tournament, an event with Veteran’s and Athletes United, our monthly Marine Corps League meeting, meeting with clients, taking care of dad and maybe even spending a little time with my wife 😊 I told you, it’s an exciting week. I hope you have a fun filled week too.  

Focus Forward, Not Backward

As you read this today I am traveling through Kentucky with my father. I am extremely thankful for the opportunity to spend the time I am able to with wife, mother, father, family and friends. I am very committed to spending time on myself and on them.

I have spent a lot of time working on my time. A big part of this is prioritizing. My priorities are to first schedule time to take care of myself and then family and friends. Then I work on scheduling the work related stuff. In doing this, I have chosen to schedule time everyday to work on the future of my business. This can be hard at times as there are always so many things to do, so many fires to put out, etc.

I was talking to Mom last week about the path I have taken over the past several years. It has been difficult. I made a lot of sacrifices in order to stay on track but they are starting to pay off now. What sacrifices you ask? The biggest things I sacrificed were financially. I did without a lot of the fun things my friends were doing, didn’t buy the toys and focused my spending on my priorities. 

All that said, when I say this picture this morning from Zig Ziglar it really resonated with me. I’m like a river. I’m not going in reverse, I’m not focusing on the past, I can see my future, I will stay positive and regardless of all the twists and turns along the way, I will achieve the goals I have set.

Have a fantastic week my friends.

Don’t Give In To The Guilt

As a new business owner and mom, I’ve found managing my time extremely difficult. It’s not the practice of actually planning and blocking off my time that’s difficult. It’s the guilt from family and friends when I’m working on a weeknight instead of going out to dinner to ensure that I make a deadline. What they don’t consider is that with a one year old, I’ve taken a decent amount of time away from work during normal business hours to take care of personal appointments and issues. 

One of the things that I’ve noticed with many of the people I’ve met through WAM! is that none of us are counting hours or doing busy work. We have a goal or a deadline and we do what needs to be done, when it needs to be done to make sure that our goals and deadlines are met. 

For me, the struggle isn’t the responsibilities that come with being a wife, mom and business owner. The struggle is with the guilt that others project onto me. I’m not perfect, I make mistakes, and I’m definitely still learning how to manage all of these titles. The important thing is that I know what I want and I have a plan that my husband is supportive of. My friends and mentors see the effort that I’m putting in and are supportive of my dreams. 

If the most important people in your life are supportive of your dreams and plans to achieve them, who cares about the people who are guilting you for the decisions you make about your time management. To quote one of my favorite authors and podcasters, Rachel Hollis, “Don’t let someone in the cheap seats have an expensive opinion in your life”.  

Social Media isn’t all bad

So how was that first week back to school? I was able to enjoy two date nights with my wife, attend a great WAM! Meeting, a couple person to person meetings, some super productive meetings with some great business owners, got in a couple runs and some exercise, a round of golf at a cool golf course with great friends, shot some pool, smoked some cigars, enjoyed some Jamaican food, dinner and drinks with my dad, breakfast with a friend and ran a 5k! I even got some work done 🙂 

I also enjoyed all of the pictures of all of the little ones. I know social media includes a lot of negatives but I really enjoy being able to stay in touch with so many people. While there is no substitute for person to person time it can be too easy to go months or even years without being able to make that happen for everyone and it’s amazing how much I have been able to share with people I haven’t seen in a long time because of what we have shared on our social media. 

This coming weekend, those of you who are friends of mine on Facebook are going to see pictures of my father and I in Mayberry visiting everything Andy Griffith related and in the mountains of Kentucky with our family there. I’m so thankful that I am able to spend so much time with my mother and father. 

Are you participating in the 2019 WAM! Charity Golf Classic? We will be sharing more and more about our gracious sponsors over the next few weeks and there is more about the charity we are working for in this newsletter. We of course still need donations for the raffle, more sponsors, more golfers and volunteers so it’s not too late to get involved. You can write myself, write one of the wonderful ladies from Better2gether RVA or just follow us on the tournaments Facebook page – 

I hope you have a great week too!  

Do the math!

During one of our meetings last week I watched as a member was taken through the process of calculating the time their employer expected them to call prospects, the expected meetings made and the time those would take and then the expected sales and the time that would take. If prospecting is part of your sales process, have you ever put the math to it like this? If you did, what did you think of the results? 

One of the big things that our members are working on helping each other with is the maximizing of their time. Almost every time, you can put the math to it and should. Putting the math to it will help you to make better changes going forward. 

Without the math, many will end up on a path in which they are working harder and harder but still unable to achieve their goals. What else in your business should you be breaking down in this manner? Write them down and bring them to your next WAM! Meeting. While everyone helps you figure this out, you may in turn be helping everyone else in the meeting.

I hope that “sums” it up for you! 

Personal Development

The most successful people in business work longer hours and don’t take care of themselves. Wrong! While working longer hours and neglecting personal care might describe a large percentage of people and while many may even brag about doing so, the most successful take care of themselves first.

How do you think your decision making skills are affected by your stress level? Do you think you might have a better decision making process and make better decisions if you are less stressed? I do. If you don’t take the time every day to mentally prepare yourself and take steps to better handle stress you could very easily become another victim of burnout.

How’s your health? You don’t have time to exercise? You don’t have time to eat proper meals? Hard work is a part of almost every success story. That success is much better when you can actually enjoy it. Spend a couple extra dollars on the healthier food, take a little longer to eat properly and even if it’s only fifteen to thirty minutes a day, find a way to get some real exercise in. If you can’t squeeze it out of your work schedule, squeeze it from other activities that aren’t helping you long term. 

Finding the right combination between working hard vs. working smart, spending vs. investing and being selfish vs. taking care of yourself can be challenging but it is possible. Join us in one of our meetings or contact me if you need help figuring out how to make this work for you. Have a successful week.

What’s next?

Last week I had the chance to meet with several of the leaders and/or facilitators in WAM! for a great strategy session. It’s getting more and more exciting to think about what is in store for us. I’ve been in Myrtle Beach the last few days and although I am having a great time with my wife and friends I can’t stop thinking about what’s in store for us. 

Summarizing what we do and who we do it for has been more challenging than we predicted. Going through the process has brought to light how much we are doing for each other and what an impact we are having on our members lives. We are helping people optimize the processes within their businesses, maximizing each other’s time, improving our margins, increasing the value of our businesses, creating enduring value and working on personal development. 

Outside of the meetings we are doing things like the LinkedIn workshop this Thursday, the Member Happy Hour in just a couple weeks and the charity golf tournament at the end of the month as well as all kinds of meetings, communications, collaborations and development between the members on their own. 

So what’s next? When I decided to go this direction, I named the organization WAMrva. Who would have thought that we would be removing the “rva” and going to a new name with “USA”? That’s right. We are going to duplicate what we are starting here, all over the country. It’s going to take a while, it’s going to be hard to get it going but it’s pretty awesome working on it. I know what you’re thinking and you’re right: There is no way I could do this on my own. I have some really great people in my corner. People with more experience, knowledge and creativity than I could ever think of having. They will make this work.

It’s the last week of the month so there are only three chances for you to attend a regular WAM! meeting this week – Tuesday for lunch with Brandermill WAM!, Tuesday for dinner with Tuesday Night WAM! at their new location and Wednesday for lunch with Short Pump WAM!. I hope to see you soon. Get out there and be successful!  

How are you giving back?

Being self-employed has afforded me so many opportunities to meet so many great people, learn about so many different kinds of businesses and to help some awesome charities doing some amazing things. 

One way I have been helping over the years is by hosting a golf tournament each year to raise money for them. This year, our 7th year, we are helping a very special local charity formed when two women met while tending to their ill children at the same time. One child was diagnosed with cancer; the other with a rare lung disease. Both children started treatment plans at the same hospital system; yet there was a striking difference in the non-medical support services available to their families. At that time, no family support services existed in Richmond for children with complex medical illnesses. Better2gether RVA was born from both mothers’ desire to ensure that all families — regardless of the diagnosis — receive the support they need. 

With the support of volunteers from both WAM! and Better2gether RVA, players and sponsors we have been able to keep our rates down for the golfers, only $75 each, add all kinds of fun games and perks, and raise even more money. Because of the graciousness of Stonehenge Golf & Country Club, Panera Bread, Outback Steakhouse, Call Federal Credit Union, Albert Sestak of 1st Call Mortgage, Scott Hicks of BallyHoo Digital, Skibo Adams Photography, Matt Escobar of State Farm Insurance, Tracy George of Traylee Accounting, Ernie Rogers of River City Auction & Realty, Carl Duffey of Heritage Insurance, Rebecca Phillips of Dave & Busters, Shelby Haydel of The RVA Office Sub, Steven Sykes of Enliven Global, Lisa Linkous of Your Paperless Office, John Rabil of Launch Legal Services, Bill Davis or Supporting Strategies and more. 

We are so appreciative of the support of our sponsors that we are going to be sharing more about them everywhere and as often as we can, at the tournament and more in hopes that you will support their businesses as well. So if you recognize any names in that list, please thank and support them. You can follow it all on our tournament Facebook page and you can learn more about Better2gether RVA here I look forward to seeing so many of there on September 30th and thank you in person.

What does a successful salesperson look like?

My answer continues to change. As a matter of fact, just about everything I learned about sales has changed. I went through a lot training when I was selling advertisement, cars, timeshares and landscaping. I was also taught that a successful sales person was the one “closing the most deals”.

What if the most successful people don’t sell anything? Crazy right. I have been meeting with more and more folks who are helping new clients on a daily basis, continuously growing and at the same time, telling that they are not salespeople and hate everything about selling. How can this be?

The most common way I see this accomplished is that these folks have positioned themselves in very unique ways or with specific expertise and are referred in such a way that they are more of a consultant and instead of making a sale, they are simply offering solutions to problems. They don’t have to create the need, their clients come to them already in need. They don’t have to “close the deal”, they simply offer the solution and the client either agrees to the terms or walks away.

As a salesperson, I was constantly under pressure to find another lead, try to convince someone else to buy and then enter that ugly world of negotiation. Have you been there? Do you want to explore a different path? Does this change your prospective of what “success” looks like?