Thursday, December 31, 2009

Create Powerful Results in 2010—Tap into the Theme for the Year

The theme or focus for this next year became clear over the last few months. As I’ve delved into research on how to market and do business in different ways for the upcoming, critical 18-24 months, this concept and change presented over and over. It’s revealed itself in conversations about personal development, business success, and how the world is changing.

So while you’re setting your intentions and creating your plans for the coming year, you can increase the effectiveness of everything you do by tapping into this powerful theme.

How do you do this? Start by asking yourself what is the difference, to you on a personal level, between cost and value?

We have been socialized, raised, and trained for a cost-oriented world and mindset in most developed countries. And most of us are weary of this process, the orientation to evaluate everything on a cost basis.

So what’s the difference? The measure and process of cost is all about the scales. Is the amount of money spent in balance with what one receives as a result of the investment? Does the energy expended justify the results (or the reverse)? And here lies the fatal flaw: every exchange is evaluated on the basis of what comes in and goes out. This conflicts with the idea that people, services, or raw materials have an inherent value.

Perhaps the best example of this comes out of the current effort to translate the concepts of Buddhist Economics into practices that are not tied to any given dogma. One of the problems in our global economy and recovery is that we do not have a value for raw materials, specifically for those non-renewable resources.

Business can tell you to the penny what it costs to obtain those resources (mine, refine, cut, shred, etc.). And no one has effectively assigned a value to the raw existence of the resources. This means we have no idea about the value of is lost or consumed by removing them from their current state. So we’ve got an economy that revolves around the process of consumption and gives no credence to the value of something existing before it’s consumed.

Now you may be wondering how the heck that has anything to do with how you do business and plan for 2010. Let me make the connection—it’s essential for your survival in the market in 2010 and beyond.

This cost-analysis reality has seeped into education, family values, social structures, and even religion in the developed world. We have completely lost track of the essential value of virtually everything.

Is any human being actually a renewable resource? Absolutely NOT! Every individual is unique—even identical twins are not 100% identical in their lives and selfhood. So the disconnect is the need to experience individual value of self apart from any other measurement.

What is a single human life worth?

What is the potential of any single individual worth on its own and to the entire spectrum of humanity?

And what is the worth, the value, of your inherent gifts and your commitment to bring them to rest of humanity?

The measurement of cost is breaking down. How quickly each person connects with individual value and the value of what we have to offer is the keystone to succeeding in the immediate future. You have heard that “People don’t care what you know until they know how much you care.” Knowledge as a benchmark is another way to calculate cost. While it’s true that people need to know you care, what’s even more essential is YOU need to KNOW WHY you care and what you care about. THAT is how you establish value.

"Value Added" has been a sales concept for a long time. The idea of adding value to close the sale, to get the customer is just a regular thing that is done in business. It's time to realize that this is really the cart pulling the horse. Instead of adding value: BE value!

You cannot create more value than you experience for yourself. (Others can create incredible value based on what you offer, but your experience of satisfaction and service is directly related to your own perception of your value and the value of what you do.)

So if you want your goals and plans to be incredibly effective in 2010, determine what you value and why—and make experiencing that reality a daily priority for your success and service.

Have a blessed New Year. With all my heart I wish you Fulfilled Success for 2010.

Heidi Sue Roth

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

What is an "Anti-Niche" Website?

That's what I'm hear to answer for you today. Not only what it is, but why and how this happens. I found a blogpost Eric Thiegs wrote that led me to the deliberately non-niched website (that's Eric enjoying his daughter in the picture). He gave me a gracious, generous interview...check out how two guys instinctively responded to the changes in the market reflecting the problems with Niche Marketing.

Sometimes need, fortune, and brilliance converge

That’s exactly what happened for Eric and Joe, the founders of I had the opportunity to interview Eric after reading a blog post he wrote about being an Anti-Niche website. As my experience, research, and intuition all point at the ongoing need to discover marketing success beyond niche marketing in the New Economy, I was excited to speak to Eric by phone.

The site,, came into being based on the experience of Eric’s wife trying to conduct and create her own meta-searches. This was shortly followed by Eric hearing how other companies wanted meta-lists of potential costumers—and were willing to pay handsomely for them but they didn’t exist at this point—along with the decision to not make their brain-child website small, “niched” silos. Instead, the founders have them open to curiosity and potential investigation for individuals in specific stages of life with the ability to look at other transitions "sub-sites".

The website and their approach is impressive; I was surprised how long I spent simply visiting different channels. I went way over my “budgeted” time to check out the site before our call. Eric recognized a couple of important factors; this realization is one many Start-Ups and service-oriented businesses can use.

“I told Joe we’re going to spend all of this time to the niche, but we find out that college [age group] is just crazy and we should’ve put our resources in a different category. We’re going to be fighting for market share, it makes sense to do only one site.” Their decision to not chose a single age-group or life transition has created interesting affects. “It’s hard to [write] SEO this broad” Eric revealed honestly.

In the same vein, the visual identity of the site was a challenge. Finding images that would communicate across ages and stages without being inaccessible for any given age group was a hurdle. They tapped into custom artwork that reflects another change in taste that’s also at the beginning stages of becoming a wave: custom artwork rather than custom photographs.

The website reflects the newest, quietest trends in marketing. Best of all, this reflection is created for the best reasons: the need of the product, market and vision for the website. It’s not an artificial decision created to establish a niche or carve out one more sliver of marketing communication in a saturated arena. The art, the cross-transition design and meta-information approach create an amazing opportunity for website guests because they are a perfect match for the objective.

The real message of not immediately picking a niche market is to be true to your mission, your objective, and your reason for being in business. As a new business, choosing a niche too soon may very well be a waste of time and money.

Many new businesses discover they have a website, graphics and printed materials that end up not being a match for the actual market. Many business coaches will tell you that you have to create these things to succeed. I’m here to tell you that times have changed: niche marketing it not the foundational truth it used to be. Niche Marketing is part of the landscape, not the map. demonstrates this change beautifully.

And others, like Eric and Joe, have noticed that being too specific too soon is not always a recipe for success. Stay tuned! More interviews highlighting success apart from the message of Niche Marketing are headed your way.

Wishing you Success & Heart,

Heidi Sue Roth