The Secret Life Of Fear

Fear is like a super villain. It morphs from one form to another. You can play it at any speed or ball it up and swallow it whole, or stand completely still while it engulfs you.

I should know. I’m the queen of gut-wrenching, horror movie fear. I grew up on it. And like every addiction, I’ve been on and off the wagon over the years. Mostly off.

But there comes a time when you hit rock bottom and you know it. Something has to change, and that something is you.

Or in this case, me.

Imagine that.

Fear is a mountain of secrets that I spent years refining, tamping down until it had become a concentrated cube of lethal beliefs, and it was costing me plenty.

But as the saying goes, when the student is ready, the teacher appears. Enter Lynn Grabhorn’s book, Excuse Me, Your Life Is Waiting. Finally, somebody gave me life’s little instruction book on overcoming addiction to negativity…and I was ready.

What’s this got to do with business? Everything.

What we believe plays out in front of us everyday. It’s a lot like magic. That’s how powerful your emotions are. Don’t believe it?

Tune into your thoughts for just one day. What are you saying about your business, your staff, your customers, yourself?

Now look around you. What do you see?

What you say to yourself all day long is acted out in intimate detail.

If you don’t think you can grow your business by XX%, you can’t. You make the rules, only you can break them.

And that’s where I am right now, re-writing old rules, replacing them with positive ones, creating a foundation of belief that what I want is actually possible.

Already I have picked up a major new client and I have had several new inquiries regarding my newsletter business.

Coincidence? There are no coincidences.

The truth about success is this. You can buy all the business tools in the world, hire all the greatest gurus, but if you don’t believe in your abilities AND let go of your need–yes, need– to be negative, it won’t happen.

It can’t because your belief is law.

And isn’t that the  second scariest part; declaring not to the world, but to yourself, that you have the right to be who you are and earn great money doing what you love? The first fear, of course, is actually allowing yourself to put those positive thoughts into action!

Start noticing what you say and the intensity behind it. That’s your secret life working for you or against you all day, everyday. You’re in charge of it!

There’s no need to ask, “Where do I want to go with my business?” until you answer the question, “Who do I want to be?” That secret belief determines everything about your life.

Susan offers business coaching in the areas of marketing and personal development for salon, spa and medical spa owners. Her newsletter service is used around the world to retain existing clients and to get them spending more money with you. Learn more about the wide variety of subscription options here.


The Message Of Procrastination

“I’ll do it tomorrow. “Sound familiar? It’s one of my favorites. Whenever I say those fatal words, I know I’m in trouble, especially if I don’t write down the task to be accomplished.

Like you, I have days where I feel like my head is going to explode and there’s no way in hell I’m going to get everything accomplished. And, of course, I have the proof to back it up:

  • My internet connection is running incredibly slow
  • No one has returned my emails or phone calls
  • The cat just barfed on the rug

These are all classic signs that I’ve wandered far and deep down the road of procrastination. Hate when that happens.

Procrastination is a message. It’s a desperate attempt to both thwart your efforts at creating the life you want and to slow your butt down! (in a good way)

That’s where it gets so confusing. Success gurus tell us it’s old programming sabotaging our new efforts to break free. I think that’s true. It happens with me all the time.

But there is another edge to procrastination. It’s the one telling you to stop and rest. The trick is to know the difference. If you’re spending most of your time on projects that don’t advance your financial freedom then procrastination has you where it hurts most.

When I have those days, I literally force myself to do one task I have put off for weeks. The sense of freedom is mind blowing. I’m suddenly weightless and giddy.

At other times, I realize my eyes hurt from focusing so much on important tasks at hand, my contacts have dried out. I’ve forgotten what my husband just said and the cat barfed on me! That’s when it’s time to TAKE A BREAK!

The message of procrastination is tricky. To decipher it, you have to be honest with yourself and that’s the one thing procrastination hates!

Be good to yourself,





If your marketing efforts don’t seem to be working, or you’re just not getting the response you want, let me know. I’d be glad to give you 15 minutes of my time to take a look at what you’re doing. My email address is:

When Should You Fire A Client?

Is the customer always right? Of course not. But most of the time it behooves us to pretend that she is because it means more business in the long run.

But what do you do when the client is downright bitchy and mean? Here’s what happened to me. This woman, a doctor, was referred to us by the adjoining hair salon. Lots of money and lots of entitled attitude, but hey, we could handle that.

That is until she started booking 3-5 appointments with us on Saturdays and not showing up.

Until she brought her coffee and her dog into the facial room. She complained that she couldn’t drink her coffee during the facial. The dog farted mightily and was escorted back to the car.

Until she started accusing us of doing poor work. I called her on the phone. Of course she didn’t answer. So I left a message that she was no longer welcome at our spa. Have a nice life, etc., etc.

I couldn’t believe how good I felt.

Here’s the point. We live in an age of political correctness. And that’s too bad because it means we’re giving up a generous amount of our power to please the Great Unknown Public.

Instead of cowering in fear with, what will she say about my salon or spa? Instead, think about her friends. Who are they? Would you want them in your salon or spa? Chances are you don’t.

Then pick up the phone and wish her a happy life…somewhere else, preferably with your competitor.

Unpolitically Correct,

The End Of John Doe: Rest In Peace

John DoeJohn Doe, the ubiquitous everyman for well over 60 years, has passed away. Loved by millions and highly sought after by outbound marketers like radio, television and newspapers,Doe’s demise has left the marketing world in chaos.”When I was a child, people used to talk about John Doe,” said Peter Francese, advertising consultant for New York-based Oglivy & Mather advertising firm.


He was the Average American in a relatively even society where vast numbers of people had the same sort of needs for consumer products and services,” Francese said. But apparently those days are long gone.

What was the cause of Mr. Doe’s death? Fragmentation appears to be the answer.

Today’s market is a multi-cultural, multi-segmented AND multi-generational.

Twenty years ago, the most coveted demographic was 18-49. Not so any longer. Now there are markets for nearly every age, especially 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s. And these later generations have a bigger impact on what their children and grandchildren are doing and buying.

It’s a big reason why cable, radio and newspapers are scrambling.

With such a fragmented audience, it’s hard to predit what cable channel your target market is watching. But directly reaching your desired audience through print and email with a highly targeted message, dramatically pushes the cost per sale down and profits up.

Doe’s demise levels the playing field for small business, allowing the market’s fragmentation to work for them, appealing directly to the people who want their services the most, and cutting out the waste. There really are riches in niches.

 Services for Doe got lost in the shuffle as businesses everywhere embraced the extraordinary opportunity to speak directly to their targeted audiences through print and email newsletters and postcards.

But hey, we respect all that you did for us, John. It’s just that we like the new way better: Spend less on advertising and get more bang for our buck.

Why Your Current Advertising Isn’t Working–And What To Do About It

When it comes to marketing and advertising, it’s very easy for frustrated spa and salon owners to point a finger at the public and yell, “What’s the matter with you?”

But there’s another way to view a marketing mishap. The public is giving you some very good feedback.

Every failed or so-so ad has a story to tell if we will only listen.

If your advertising isn’t working, ask yourself these 3 important questions:
Are my ads designed to get the phone ringing?

Most ads are nothing more than a glorified business card or discount coupon. Neither works very well for bringing in qualified customers.

Is your ad responding to customer demand or just what you want to sell?

Trying to cut the salon costs of getting new people in the door by promoting a service that doesn’t have a lot of value to the consumer is just plain shortsighted and wasteful.

So is discounting. It’s just a money pit for spas and salons, breeding only discount customers. Get rid of it! Instead, pile on value with your offers.

Are you constantly chasing after new customers and neglecting the pot of gold in your own spa/salon?

Most spas and salons have very poor follow-up systems. That means they spend wads of cash on chasing after new customers. It costs 5-7 times MORE to get a new customer than it does to keep one. So, if you’re going to market to new people, you better have a tracking system in place.

But what’s more, there’s more money to be made with existing clients. They already love and trust you! Why not sell them on a monthly membership or upsell them on a current service? Using value-add offers will get them back in the door more often.

And you don’t have to work as hard or spend as much money catering to your current clientele.

The key to keeping and building a good clientele is to create a salon or spa experience worth having, value-adding your services and through regular communication with your customers. Giving people information that’s important to them is one of the best ways to keep them connected to you and buying regularly.

5 Ways To Properly Proposition Your Clients

“A customer’s reaction to price is colored by the proposition attached to the price.” Dan Kennedy
If your clients have held you price hostage, there’s a good chance they simply haven’t been properly propositioned. There are five ways to do it; all of them not only perfectly legal, but grossly under used.

Take a look:

1. Unique Selling Proposition-If anyone else has the same kind of business you have, you must answer the unspoken question, “Why should I do business with you?” Most businesses are not unique, but the value you bring to your clients can be.

2. Unique Value Proposition-In a nutshell, what matters to your clients is what they SEE that screams VALUE more than price. What are you doing to promote that?

3. Irresistible Offer-Creating an offer that they simply cannot pass up! Can anybody say, “value add offers”?

4. Unique Safety Proposition-Is it safe to buy from you? Do you stand behind what you offer? Then put it in writing. Make sure you have a kick butt guarantee.

5. Unique Experience Proposition-Make the experience a tangible one through stories, testimonials, explanations. This converts the skeptical so that they are true believers.

Price objection is often resistance to not seeing or understanding the value of a product or service. It’s not just, how will this make my life better or easier? It’s more of, how are you going to make this an experience that’s memorable AND gets me the results I want?

When you properly proposition clients, price resistance fades. That’s why it’s critical to show clients every. single. day. the value you bring to them. Don’t be afraid to proposition them. Do it fearlessly!

That’s what your customers are really asking for, and it’s a money maker. Propositioning builds client loyalty and repeat sales. You definitely want that.

What Makes An Ad Pull Like Crazy

To get an ad to work requires two mind shifts on your part:

1.    Let go of what you think is a great ad

2.    Embrace what actually works

Business owners forget that marketing isn’t about the business ego, it’s about the client ego; two very different points of view.

That’s why your marketing must appeal to a problem or concern that your clients want solved. Forget about how many awards you’ve won, how many years you’ve been in business and so on. The bottom line is this:

 Do you solve problems?

Take a look at the components of an ad that brings in the bucks:

  • A benefit-rich headline or a curiosity headline, e.g., “Who Else Wants To Look Years Younger Without Surgery?” Or, “Love Your Next Cut Or It’s Free!”
  • Copy that speaks directly to your target audience, e.g., “I was looking forward to the sun and the beach…and then I remembered my feet!” Or, “We change dry, damaged hair into soft beautiful hair. Here’s how!”
  • Great Offer-Value-add your services and create packages that sell. For example, “$319 in facial or hair services for an incredible $99!” You must break down your offer so clients can see what they’re getting.
  • Limit the number of packages you sell. This creates scarcity and encourages people to pick up the phone and book. Tracking your offers allows you to see which ones are your best sellers.
  • A kick butt guarantee-A strong guarantee reassures your clients that you have their best interests at heart. It will bring you new business, too! I cannot stress this enough. Don’t be afraid to use it.

Placing value added promos in your newsletter increase the value of it. Your clients want to know what you’re offering this month. So, listen to your customers complain about their hair, skin, nails, etc. and pick up a common theme. That’s where your next ad campaign is lurking.

Got questions? Feel free to email me: