August 2018 - Small business consultant

Monthly Archives: August 2018

Compete business

In business, do you compete with all the others or do you stand alone and do your thing? When times are lean do you console your colleagues saying how you’re finding things tough or do you stand alone and do your thing?

The other day while on my morning walk, I noticed that only a certain type of wattle was in bloom. It was beautiful – bright yellow against a sea of green. It’s Winter in Australia and there really aren’t too many other native flowers in bloom at this time. That said, there are still native bees and native birds looking for food and that’s when I had a thought about the wattle. It’s smart.

Come Spring and Summer, the Australian landscape will be awash with colour. If there are late rains there will be even more blooms around. That doesn’t bother the Wattle. By Summer time, the wattle’s seed will be ready to fall, some may have germinated, and it will be saving up its energy for Winter when all the other plants will be dormant. It’s not bothered by the other trees and shrubs in bloom. It’s not competing with them, in fact it’s ahead of the other plants in their cycles.

That made me think about what I had heard with other business owners.
“It’s end of financial year, no one has any money.”
“It’s holiday season here in Europe/US no one is around.”
These were tales of lack and woe. I’m not saying I’m immune. I lose clients each year in the lead up to the end of financial year. It used to bother me, now I realise that there are always better opportunities about to come by.


So when business quietens down, what to do? Do you do as the other businesses do and sing a tale of woe? Or do you do your own thing and bloom?

I know what I do, I learnt it many years ago now. In my last business, I spent far too much energy looking over my shoulder watching what my competitors were up to. I’d be angry when they copied or went straight to my big clients. I was forever feeling anxious.

The one day it stopped.

I decided enough was enough. Time to stand alone and bloom like the wattle. I decided to forget what they were up to and play my own game and concentrate on my own clients. That’s right, I even stopped worrying about the ones who walked. Why? Because the ones who stay are the ones who deserve my time and energy.

So, when you find that other businesses are feeling the pinch and times seem lean, do you join their tales of woe and shut down or do you stand firm like the wattle and bloom in the knowledge that when the weather fines you will be ahead of them?


eye on the end goal for your business

Eye on the end goal

Many of my clients come to me to learn about social media, Facebook in particular, I teach them the tool but mostly I teach them about their client. I teach them about what motivates their client. The thing is, as a business coach, I’m more interested in what motivates them. I want to know what their end goal is. I want to help them achieve that.

Over the years, I’ve had people tell me that their end goal is to sell their business, that they want more vans on the road, that they want their own premises. They are so varied and I love all of them, I have to say “selling the business” is a favourite and always keeps me thinking.

When it comes to business coaching, the end goal for the business is one of the first things I ask about. I want to know what we are working towards. The thing about social media is that it needs to be drawing your audience to that end goal too. Social media is a tool, a means to an ends and not an end itself.

Focus on the end goal quote by George LucasLet’s just be clear that it has to be more than just money, that’s a thing not a goal. If all you can think about is money, then consider what that money will allow you to do, that’s your goal. Money is but a means to an ends. Consider what you would do with your business if money wasn’t a barrier.

But to be honest, the process of how you come to your goal is irrelevant. Your goal can even change and in fact, it should if it isn’t serving you. However, this post is all about keeping it in sight, not how you come to it. There are some tools in my blog you can refer to:


Why should you play the end goal?

The biggest benefit of playing the end game is focus. If you are consistently focused on your end goal, you’re more likely to achieve it. You’re also less likely to be distracted by other things along the way. Too often I find that business owners are distracted by the idea of developing a new offer or a new tool and they lose sight of the end game. That can waste time and other resources.

Playing the end goal keeps me grounded. Now I’m back to spreading the word about the importance of understanding the psychology in your business, I am dogged. I am centred. I am passionate. All of these things come across to my audience and they are less confused as to what I do and why they need me.

Your messaging is on point. With your eye on the end game, you are focused and that makes it easier to speak to that one thing. To make your point. To move yourself and your fans to that end. It helps you to be brief, clear, and accurate.

So, do you know your end goal?

What would help you play the end goal?

Focus on your end goal a quote by Bob Proctor

I developed this training to help business owners, like yourself work out what your end goal is. It’s not a business plan. Instead it’s a list of questions to dig deep into your why and to determine where you’re headed. It’s much easier to stay on track if you know where you’re going and why you’re going there. It’s a free resource and should take about 20 minutes to complete the questions which draw from my training in psychology & business and my experience with one of Australia’s most prestigious business awards.

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Keys to unlocking your passion

The other day I attended a pre-interview meeting. In this meeting, the interviewer was trying to choose which topic to focus on for the interview. To narrow it down, they said to me “imagine you’re scuba diving. What topic could you talk about for hours underwater”. Now I was often told I could talk underwater with a mouth full of marbles, but I got the point. What was my passion?

I’m a little different when asking people what their passion is. I’d like to know what they would love to yell about into a loud hailer from the top of the tallest building in their town.

But the problem I often encounter from people is: “Kara, I don’t know what my passion is?” So how do you uncover your passion if you don’t know what you’d shout into that loud hailer?

What annoys you most about your industry?

I have to admit that this plays a part in how I came to my passion. I was so annoyed with the constant chatter around images, and metrics, and tools, and hacks. I became disillusioned with colleagues who were all selling the next shiny object. I was heartbroken for the people who contacted me who felt utterly disconnected from their audience and their business. This drove me to flip the social media industry on its head and concentrate on the ‘social’ rather than the ‘media’ everyone else had their eye on.

So what is it in your industry that drives you wild? Is there part of it you could flip on its head? Or could you take a 180 approach to what everyone else is doing?

History repeats itself

In the craze of hustle, push, and achieve, I look back. It’s no surprise if you know how many years I spent in quality assurance or if you’ve done my goal setting & review work, that I will often look back to where I’ve been. The thing is that if you look back through your schooling and your career, you will find commonalities. There is a thread which travels through our lives and ties it together. It doesn’t have to be a vocation, though mine is psychology. You might find that you were often called on for one particular trait. You might find that there was a task you always enjoyed. You might find that there was something you once enjoyed but forgot. Sit down and write these down and look for threads.

So what?

The other week a business coaching client had been watching Simon Sinek’s Ted talk on “Start with why” and was struggling to move their definition from what they do to why they do it. This strategic thinking is not something we are generally required to do, it is something I’ve had to do through my government career. There is a key to flicking your thinking to a more strategic focus and all it takes is repeatedly answering the same two word question: “So what?”

Now I admit to using this technique on myself and yes I annoyed the crap out of myself by doing it, it works. I often find it helps using the tone of a petulant child. When you think you can’t answer it any more, ask it at least once more because you will be surprised just how much clarity you can achieve. Write down the answers and watch the progression.

Break down your passion into parts and ask the question of each of the parts. So what about the audience? So what about the motivator? So what about the benefit? So what!

Still stuck on defining your passion?

What do customers say about you and your business? Is there are key thread? Is there a particular part of the interaction they enjoy? Customers are incredible mirrors and will show you what you don’t see in your business. The glorious part of using their feedback is that it’s in words they will understand when you use it in marketing.

So why do you need to define your passion?

Well other than the obvious scenario like I was in, it helps to guide your business. Having a dogged direction , purpose, and reason makes marketing clear and it makes it easier for any staff to understand and get on board. With this clarity you will save time and be more productive & that’s always a good thing in business.

What is human-centred social media?

Over the past six months I’ve attended a few social media conferences and there’s one consistent trend – human-centered social media. Now, if you’ve been following me for a while, you will know that this is actually nothing new to me. In fact, I first wrote about this back in 2014. I have to be honest, I didn’t think I was that much of a ground-breaker and I hoped that it would take less time for the idea to filter through. Clearly I was wrong. Anyway, what is human-centred social media and why should we care?

Human-centred social media is more than benefits and WIIFM

Guy Kawasaki quote human centred social media Kara Lambert social media marketing coach psychologySay what now? Ok, so some of you might be surprised and others will be scratching your head wondering what I mean and some will be high five-ing me. Let’s start with those scratching their heads.

WIIFM, or what’s in it for me, is the principle of perspective taking and looking at what the client gets out of the transaction. Benefits are a business looking at the features of their offer and telling clients what they will get out of it. It’s essentially two sides of the same coin. However there is no guarantee that they will match or align in any way.

I have to be honest there are two main flaws in this approach:

  • Who has time to assess benefits against needs as a customer?
  • It seems a little shallow.

The vast majority of the time I hear this, businesses will talk about outcomes and benefits. I really don’t believe that’s putting the client at the centre of their social media, I feel they are putting their offer at the centre. As clients, there is so much more that drives our decision making than outcomes and benefits and in fact, there are a lot of things which go into these alone.

As a customer, when presented with a list of benefits, I still have to match them with what I want to achieve or what I want. I’m still trying to work out if the offer is the right fit for me. I’m not at the centre of this transaction.

At this point, some of you might think that this is awfully self-centred of me. But stop and think for a moment whose money you’re trying to acquire. It’s the customers. Do you want to raise doubt in their mind? Do you want to make it hard for them to part with their money? Then it also raises the question of how you even come to understand them anyway???

Personally, human-centred anything comes back to putting the following at the centre: what drives us to do what we do, know what we want, make a decision, spend money, like/comment/share. I believe that human-centred social media is more than what we are being told it is. In fact, I know that it’s more than what we are being told because there is a whole heap of psychology which drives what we define as a benefit or ‘what’s in it for me’.

Matt Goulart Quote human centred social media Kara Lambert social media marketing coach psychologyI want human-centered business practices, not just social media, to be a strategic focus. I firmly believe that it’s good business practice and not just some fluffy feel good add on or differentiator. We rely so much on people, people power, and goodwill. The thing is, I believe that taking the approach I advocate is a strategic focus as it looks at people at their base level, their psychology and their motivators.

I believe it’s time to move social media marketing away from a focus on the platform and the tools, to the person you’re aiming for who is using the social media. This is human-centred social media. By focusing on the person, the platform becomes somewhat irrelevant. By focusing on the person, we can address them the same way across platforms. By focusing on the person, we can continue conversations more fluidly between platforms and off of them. By focusing on the person, we reduce the overwhelm felt by business owners trying to understand the platforms. By focusing on the person, our message becomes clear. By focusing on the person, they feel understood. By focusing on the person, they don’t have to guess how we serve them. By focusing on the person, they are more closely aligned with our brand. By focusing on the person, they are more engaged. By focusing on the person, they are happier with the service they receive. By focusing on the person, they are more likely to buy from us. By focusing on the person, we grow raving fans.

How do I define human-centred social media? I define it by looking at what motivates us. I believe that there are five key motivators of any and all human behaviour. I’ve put together this 30 minute training package which outlines precisely what these motivators are and from there you can use them in your human-centered marketing to align and motivate your clients to action. You can purchase access to the training through the online shop. If you have any questions or would like to interview me on this, please contact me via email at