Thursday, January 28, 2010

Fear as a Reflection of the Cost Mentality

Many entrepreneurs deal with the mentality that perfection and exactness are essential to success. I had the opportunity to hear about this extensively from one of my local, favorite businesses and the owner today. Thankfully, our relationship is very much based on my being a friend and customer, so listening and connecting is what it’s really all about.

If you find you’re ever trapped in the model of doing it all yourself even when you have support staff to do things for you, it’s time to check into fear motivations.

One of the confusions from the cost-measurement model as the only way to assess your business is to encourage fear of failure. Who in this market can afford for anything to not work? Actually, you can't afford for things to be perfect.

For a small business, the fear imposed by this as the primary assessment model can lead to micro-management and over-investment in doing all the work in your business. If you’re sure you are the only one who can do it right, you likely have a subconscious belief and fear that it’s got to be perfect for success to happen. The cost-measurement model can support attention to negatives and eliminate your ability to notice what is working

The most disturbing part of this pattern is how a person can end up focused on all the things that didn’t go well and totally miss what IS working. And the loss from this pattern is almost immeasurable.

If you find yourself in this place, one of the negatives is that undermines confidence, both your own and the person who deals with your expression. This creates a setup where someone learns to stop listening to you and you reinforce your ability to not value what is going well. Everyone’s satisfaction drops, along with everything else.

You reinforce your focus on what’s not working in your business, what you’re unhappy with. This simply guarantees more of what you don’t want. And in reality the best way to improve your business, your life, is to expand what is working well.

So if you find yourself in this pattern, amp up your awareness and discipline to work the well-known “good news sandwich.” Tell what’s good, describe opportunities for improvement, and close with more what’s good.

Perfectionism is a habit that limits you and your success. Notice and change this one for a happier life and stronger business!


Heidi Sue Roth

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Idea of Value can be just plain Confusing!

I was speaking with a respected and wonderful colleague today. We are working on doing some business together in a way that's definitely a win-win. He and his business have skills I don't and the opposite is also true.

One of the things that was reinforced for me during our appointment is simply how hard the concept of value is for most of us to wrap our minds around.

Inherent value, a worthiness that exists simply due to existence, is a concept that receives a lot of lip service. Sometimes in religion the idea is espoused, occasionally you hear the idea in political or social realms. Typically the idea is followed by something so antithetical to the reality of value that the words get completely lost in the actions and admonitions that follow.

Here's a personal example--with names changed to protect all of us!

I have a long-term friend who chose to make some radical changes in life. These changes had medical, social, familial and financial impacts. Many people were touched as result of these choices being made and followed up on.

As a result, I got a chance to really decide if and why I'd remain friends with this person. It was not an easy wrestle. My life was one of those that got rocked from trust to finances as a result of the choices and changes.

I realized that how I felt about the choices wasn't even the point. My disagreement or agreement with them wasn't what was really getting tested. My perspective was being tested to find out if I valued this person as an individual apart from what what said, done, or intended. Since I don't have children, perhaps I came to this late or simply needed this situation to gather this lesson. I discovered that the only way I could be true of myself was to continue as this person's friend even as choices hurtled the person down paths I couldn't see or understand.

Regardless anything else, this individual had inherent value simply by existing.

You know what shocked me the most? A number of people close to me were adamant that what I needed to do was break off all contact. What was the BEST thing to do was to never see, speak or even email with this person ever again.

I was beyond surprised. I was shocked. After really wrestling and doing a lot of soul-searching to reach my decision, I felt blind-sided by the opinions. This was explained to me with everything from bible verses to quoted psychological principles.

As a result, I felt really sad that what had been a pivotal process and learning seemed inaccessible to some of the people closest to me (blessings be not all of them). And I felt so confused over the demand by others to change my mind regarding the value of a single person and my relationship to that decision.

No doubt it's just as confusing to being working with the idea of experiencing your own inherent value! The inherent value of the planet and the resources of our world. We've lived in a cost-centric, humanity-serving model for a long time.

I'd ask that while you commit to making this change in mindset and awareness in your life, that you also be gentle with yourself along the way. It's not about always getting it right. It's not about righting all the wrongs NOW! This is beyond a shadow of a doubt about increasing your ability to recognize and experience value apart from the measurement of consumer cost.

It's okay for this to be a two-steps forward, 1 step back process. If anyone says it will always be forward momentum, it's time to be a bit more skeptical. That's probably hype and not authenticity.

Heidi Sue Roth
Coaching business from a radical, maverick perspective

© Copyright 2009-2010 Heidi Sue Roth. All Rights Reserved.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Betrayed by Untouchables (Rant Warning!)

Is there a way we can impeach Supreme Court members?

I realize that impeachment implies there was an election previously. Still, I don't know about you, but I'm feeling completely betrayed. Any illusion that remained that those appointed to the Supreme Court had the good of the people or the country in mind has been ripped away.

The frightening part is how this is so in line with the theme--and primary conflict--of 2010 and I believe even beyond.

What value does a group of elite individuals with the power to drastically change the quality of our live offer each of us? There is no effective way for the populous to communicate with this separatist-organization (and I do realize not everyone on the highest court bench in our nation agreed with the action to overturn the limits between business and politicians) but even those who voted against the measure remain untouchable. Even in their disagreement they are completely insulated from the experience of helplessness and pointlessness such action has created.

We have no way to communicate with them.

We have no immediately effective way to address this situation--THEY must approve the test of any legal change we manage to convince the benefactors of this action to enact upon themselves. And yes, I find that an unlikely event. Do you imagine any politicians have lost benefits or pay while the governments they operate have ceased paying salaries and benefits to employees or recipients? (Personally, I find this inappropriate, abusive and a bad way to do business!)

We have no reasonable means through which to divest ourselves of this travesty of how we want OUR country, the business reality in OUR commonwealth to be conducted.

When those who hold the keys to the kingdom so forgot what matters to those who live in that kingdom (don't you feel more like a serf or peasant these days?), the potential for outrageous change grows.

Do I hold with violent change? Completely, absolutely not. Do I sense the potential for that path increasing around me? Sadly, I do.

When it comes to value, those who claim to "lead" have little or no value to the average person at large. They are entrenched in their patterns and simply have lost the ability to really see, understand, or feel our reality. They have divested themselves of any value they could offer us.

What unique value do you have that you offer your clients? Will you commit today to keeping your focus on value rather than on only on cost?

We have already paid an inestimable cost for corporate personhood taking over the business reality of the world. The value offered no longer exists--and any costumes used to gloss over this truth are gone. As a friend and previous business partner would say, a pig in a dress and lipstick is still a pig. Clearly the pig have decided to stop dressing up and just let it all hang out (with my apologies to the porcine population who are actually amazing, smart creatures).

On a day when I feel sad about our future, committed to myself and my clients, I continue urging you to relate to value in every aspect of your life. Not simply the cost to acquire and offer goods or services.

Wishing you Heart & Success,
Heidi Sue Roth

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Do you have the Biz Bras you need?

One of my new business friends just put up a great article about the connection between bras, friends and success in business. I soooo loved the headline that I'm brining my version to you.
Remember when women's undergarments were called "foundation garments"? Well, how are the foundation garments for your business?

Check out Aimee's article:

And get some great tips on how to create a better foundation for your success.

Heidi Sue

Monday, January 18, 2010

Playing the Numbers...

Some days it's good to remember that being is business is often a numbers came. Talk to enough people, you get new clients. Make enough offers, someone says yes (and I completely agree--no expect!--all of us to learn how to do this better, with more heart, and NOT fall into the slimy used-car salesman attitude; that will put your numbers in the dumps).

Often, those great ideas for new services, new ways of doing things get lost in the fear of not getting it right. From kindergarten to having a job, the training to do things the right way, or get the right stuff is intense! As you know very well, normal people do not make history, so it would appear being right will just make you more normal, not any more successful.

As I've been offering the free workshops--last ones this year!--on "Don't Pick a Niche"(tm), I can tell you I've gotten a wide range of reactions. One person even said he's coming, but he might want to through bricks at me. I suggested foam yoga blocks; that one everyone can probably survive the experience and stay positive. Am I being deliberately in-your-face with the title? Of course! Do I believe that picking a niche won't necessarily make you a success? With all my heart! There are so many reasons Niche Marketing is passe. Check out the live workshops (1-31 or 2-6) for your best learning experience, or get in on the TeleSeminar 1-30 so you can at least cover the bases (register at

Have you seen any Tim Burton movies? Bet you never thought about how many you didn't ever head on over to Seth Godin's blog and find out just how the opportunity to fail is one of the keys to success!

Wishing Success & Heart,
Heidi Sue

Can we choose something other than Shock as motivation to change?

I was lead to The Shock Doctrine through Raj Patel's latest book. I'm about 100 pages into Ms. Klein's frightening book (lots of documentation so it might just be terrifying as this isn't stuff to just dismiss), and last night I noticed how much the idea that shock or extreme experience is required for a single person, let alone all of humanity, to change.

And my question is, can't we make another choice? I've seen this in persons who struggle to heal from a horrible illness or disease. I can't tell you the number of people I've met who try all the "main stream" stuff and get nowhere. Then finally begin exploring the alternative world basically out of desperation.

The most amazing part of the people I've met, and others have reported the same thing, is that 90% of people will do 90% of what will bring them health and healing. Only 10% of the people who seek to be week will do 100% of what is needed. Can you imagine? You're 90% better than you've felt in perhaps years and you absolutely refuse to do the last 10% that will make it unlikely you ever have to be this sick again.

And you refuse.

Well, I have to admit, I've seen the same issue when working with my clients. People often don't commit to the last couple steps to complete the transformation of their work. And this brings me to my point:

Perhaps as s species and for our planet, what we really need is to learn how to make choices and changes BEFORE it all comes tumbling down! Seriously, how messed up do you need something to get before you will take action to make a difference?

I think of a couple different points with this. I have a long-term friend who only buys a lottery ticket when the jackpots are insanely hight. Since I basically don't play at all, it's not something that really makes sense to me. What I tease this person about is that every one and their dog is buying tickets so whatever tiny, tiny change there is to win, has become completely insignficant. Add to it, really, an average American Family making maybe $100,000 between both people couldn't make any real change with ONLY a couple million dollars? Even if you took home only $500,000 heck, one could pay off a mortgate, create college fund, etc. (And yes, I'm completely aware the average winner is worse of in 12-18 months; that's something else completely).

What I'm pointing out here, is our belief and assumption that only big changes have value. This is such layered in our culture, that I have a strong feeling it's time to question this underlying assumption. Look at the news: big problems, big box office, etc. is what gets time.

Compare that with the well-documented reality that someone who looses weight slowly with smaller changes is more likely to maintain that weight-loss than someone who crashes it off.

So why must we insist that only big changes and big problems are worth our attention? How much more will you accomplish if you make one small change every day?

It's truly time to question our addiction to "shock" and the belief that this is what really makes change.

Choose one small change you can make each day and maintain for 30 days in your business. Track what you gain, and test it! You don't have to believe me. I suggest you try it though. Apply some of that scientific method to your own situation. Change one variable, notice the impact and decide to keep the change, add more, or let it go.

Begin reducing that cultural addiction to big impact is all that matters.

Wishing you Success & Health,
Heidi Sue

Friday, January 15, 2010

IS there something Better than Free?

When you really dive into research, sometimes you make interesting discoveries. I’m integrating a long-term (1 year) test into my business model reflecting one of those discoveries.

Do you know what happens in the brain when you, or I for that matter, make a decision? One of the challenges is related to the threshold reality.

Body workers, trainers and healers have known for a very long time—long before modern science proved it electronically—that muscle fibers need to reach a certain level of activity before the entire muscle responds. What this means is that the messages to move must reach a certain level of concentration before an action happens. Much like a liquid solution balances across a membrane based on chemical saturation levels, an action of your muscle literally happens when enough individual fibers have been recruited to overcome stasis or inertia.

Turns out, a similar process happens in the brain. Enough tiny reactions of various types must accumulate in brain tissue before a decision is made. Regardless whether is a decision for, against, or something else entirely, the process is the same.

What’s really interesting in these studies is how there is a plateau between risk and threshold. There is not a 1:1 relationship between what a person risks when making a decision and what level of change must reach a certain level before change happens (aka making a decision).

Okay, now you may be wondering…so what and who cares? This has the potential, as studies continue, to give us a greater understanding for why people frequently connect greater value to something they pay for versus something they get for free. Basically, it takes just as much internal effort to choose something that’s free as it takes to choose something they would pay for. BUT the payment may create a greater need for rational activity (very little of the decision process is from the reasoning centers of the brain)—or the post-decision justification process.

You know you’ve done it and you’ve heard others do it! Some people call it Post-Purchase Anxiety or Sticker Shock. That time of re-living the decision experience and using different parts of the brain to assess the situation based on logical or rationale.

With this being the leading each of scientific learning about the tiny physical realities of decision making, it appears there is very little difference between “free” choices and “paid” prices. So in 2010 I’m testing the model that there IS something Better than Free.

The introductory classes and Teleseminars already scheduled (until February 6) are the last free ones I’m doing this year. For the rest of 2010, these events will be hosted for a nominal fee ($5-$10).

There are even more reasons why: You know that feeling when you do a free session or consultation that is the pressure to make a sale, get a customer, get a commitment? My clients and I have found that when an event covers the basic cost of offering—materials, renting the space, etc.—we can do an end-run on this feeling.

It’s just easier to be neutral on the outcome because my initial investment in the process is covered.

So far, the small steps I’ve taken in this direction are generating a positive response such as double the registrations! I’ll keep you posted on if or how this changes business development. Instincts matter and I look forward to seeing how my instincts on this change and the scientific data combine.

What in your business might actually be better than free?

Heidi Sue Roth

© Copyright 2009-2010 Heidi Sue Roth. All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Is ROI actually an expression of Inherent Value?

A quick update on the idea of value.: I had a great conversation about this topic with a consultant this week. He talked about how he communicates value to his clients and about specific projects. The approach he described is effective, common, and still not really about value.

He uses one of the common ROI (return on investment) computations to speak to his clients about the value of the project. It’s normal in these conversations to use the word value as an accessible concept to frame what a customer will invest in a solution and what they will get for that investment. To express this in a simple manner it’s:

Monetary Gain from the Benefit – Cost of Investment = Net Return on the Effort

Basically, this kind of calculation shows if the money spent on the project will generate more output than it cost to implement the change. And this is commonly called an expression of value. Unfortunately, value isn’t actually part of the equation. If you “reduce” down the elements, you get two numbers that reflect money spent vs. money earned. So what is really being quantified is the inbound cost of the process and outbound money generated by the process. Even if you take ROI up a level and quantify over all how much money the change will generate in the company over the long term, you’re still a long way from any real meaning of value.

ROI remains a binary equation, even if you put multiple calculations in front of the net return of the entire process. Until we can articulate and experience value apart from cost calculations, we are still buried in the mindset and behaviors that have brought our finances and society to this point.

This brings me back to the reality that to truly survive, thrive, and impact the economic reality of our world, we’ve got develop a relationship with value. This is highlighted by how the non-monetary perspective of value is listed later in the dictionary: “8. import or meaning; force; significance: the value of a word.”

In contrast the definitions of the word cost really hone in on the ways we constantly frame all the realities of being in the world:

1. The price paid to acquire, produce, accomplish or maintain anything.

2. An outlay or expenditure of money, time, labor, trouble, etc.

3. A sacrifice, loss or penalty.

I encourage you to begin framing your time, energy, and passions through the “latent” meaning of value instead of cost.

© Copyright 2009-2010 Heidi Sue Roth. All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Don't Pick a Niche OR Master the New Marketing Economy Workshop--NEW MATERIAL

Good Afternoon!

New workshop dates are open effective today. And the best news is that I already have new information for you. Can you believe that between 12/20/09 and 01/30/10 there's already MORE?

Well, there is and I'm bringing it to you in our next workshops.

Here's the lowdown on the new dates:

Two new dates for the Live Presentation (if you can be here live, I highly recommend it. You'll get to see these new ideas in action for greater impact!)

Sunday, January 31st from 10:30 AM to 12:30 PM in Sebastopol, CA
Saturday, February 6 from 10:30 AM to 12:30 PM in Pleasant Hill, CA

Give me a call at 707.228.3958 or email me at to register for either event.

But if for some reason you just can't be there in person, I'll present the concepts during a TeleSeminar. While this honestly isn't my first choice for you, I'd much rather you get this information in whatever format we can put together than miss out completely.
Saturday January 10:30 AM to 12 PM Is the Teleseminar

You can sign up for the TeleSeminar at

Reserve your spot and get the Seminar Information from the website.

More to follow!

Heidi Sue Roth

Monday, January 4, 2010

The Wave continues to build...are you ready?

One of my consulting friends and peers has really felt how the Marketing Reality has changed.

In fact, George also honed in on how most people aren't even getting what has changed and how. Obviously, Mr. Moskoff can tell something is up!

George absolutely nails how most of us feel about these things today.

You may remember that a few months ago I challenged you to ask other professionals how they react when they know that elevator/snap/30-second commercial is approaching as an insert into a conversation. I asked this question for over 2 months. This was a casual pole--and over 90% of the folks who have been in the biz for a few years admitted they don't even listen any more.

So I'm with George--just stop! Stop saying things people no longer want to hear simply because the "experts" tell us to. If it's not true to your're better saying nothing and simply asking the other person a question.

In our culture, the question "What do you do?" has taken on the same meaning as the greeting, "How are you doing?" Very few who ask the question actually want to know, and we've all learned that the expected response is "I'm fine" regardless what's true.

So are you willing? Are you willing to go against the grain of all the experts out there and stop answering the questions, "What do you do?" and even better, stop asking it?

I trust you will seriously consider it. At the very least, you'll be moving a small step closer to the New Marketing Reality.

Watch tomorrow for the announcement for the New Marketing Reality introductory class that is going to be repeated in January and February. The first, select group really enjoyed the debut and we had a super time. There's even more information that the first time through and more detail on what's going on and what's changed. See ya tomorrow!

Heidi Sue