2017 ASBC Awards Training Through the Eyes of AchieveIT360

When AchieveIT360.com was awarded the 2017 American Small Business  Award through the Score Foundation and Sam’s Club, there was an all expense trip to Dallas, Texas included.  AchieveIT360’s Founder, Andrea Samadi, traveled to Dallas, Texas and had many eye-opening experiences.  Her awareness of the her business gaps expanded from this event and she decided to write her “Aha” Moments of lessons learned and how she will implement each idea to improve her business.  We hope that the Score Foundation and Sam’s Club realize how valuable this training was, and how very thankful we were to be chosen as the prize winners for Arizona. We hope our findings will help other entrepreneurs who might be wondering what exactly the Score Foundation is, and how the ASBC Awards could help them in the future to build their own business and take them to greater heights.

BEFORE DALLAS TRIP- SCORE FOUNDATION LOCAL TRAINING EVENT

Our learning started before we left. When we received the Business Agenda for the event, we immediately connected with each speaker via social media to stay connected after the event to keep the learning and momentum going. We did have some ideas of areas of weakness in our business since we attended the local SCORE meeting in Phoenix at the Glendale Civic Center and learned from Executive Coach, Troy Hanson on the “Checkpoints for Big, Bold, Strategic Moves.”

Recap of Troy Hanson’s “Big, Bold, Strategic Moves Presentation”

Bold moves that expand my capacity are messy and chaotic and require the following:

  1. A Clear Vision showing where we are and where we are going.
  2. Skill to combat fear, anxiety and avoidance. What am I missing? Sales? Marketing?
  3. Incentive- What’s my why and what does this mean to others?
  4. Resources- What systems and processes do I need?
  5. Action Plan- What am I doing? What’s my plan? Who knows the plan?

AchieveIT3650’s Aha Moments from Troy Hansen’s Presentation: Our vision is clear to me,  (to expand our programs and services to 200 sites) but I know some of my ideas are technical and confusing, I’m missing a marketing team, and I could improve some of our systems. I always hear “keep it simple” and knew after this presentation that there were some holes that I needed to fill. They are:

  • A clearer vision of where we are going.
  • Improve sales and marketing messages.
  • Hire a marketing team (have been looking at Marketing360).
  • Make my product and incentive crystal clear to others, not just to me.
  • Resources-look at what I am not using (Infusionsoft) and find more resourceful solutions for (email, CRM and E commerce).
  • To the reader: Do you have holes in your business? Do you know what they are? What are you doing about them?

Day 1- Travel from Phoenix, AZ to Dallas, Texas to the Joule Hotel.  A few hours of travel allowed for some time to think about what areas of my business I wanted to improve.  Taking some time away from things can really help to give you a clear slate. I was thrilled to receive Hal Shelton’s book “The Secrets to Writing a Successful Business Plan” in a gift bag, with some other goodies when I checked into the hotel.  With 64 reviews on Amazon, I realized I had better read this book so I started it before I went to explore downtown Dallas.  I always like to keep my eyes and mind open when traveling to learn something new, and saw some interesting landmarks. I finished my night by relaxing by the pool and watched the sun set.

AchieveIT360's Aha Moment

Day 2- Event Day! The event begins at 8am, which gives plenty of time to hit the gym, continue to explore and arrive to the meeting with an open and clear mind. The gym was empty, which I hear would be unheard of in New York City!  Since my business is about forming good habits that are brain-based, I know I must live what my program suggests others do to achieve Peak Performance levels. I also was able to find where the coffee was, to make myself a Bulletproof Coffee for those of you who have heard of adding butter to your coffee for improved focus.

AchieveIT360's Aha MomentIcebreaker Activity- Resa Kierstein, Vice President of the Score Foundation Resa opened up the conference with an ice-breaker activity that got all award winners thinking of their elevator pitch as well as lessons learned along the way. It was an engaging way to kick off this high caliber event!

Speaker 1- Giselle Chapman on  “The Secrets of Top Performers”

Giselle’s session was high energy and kept me paying attention from the start to the end of her presentation. She was a true genius on the topic, and reminded us of where our success my start with Simon Sinek’s “Starts with Why” Golden Circle concept. Now, I have watched Sinek’s presentation over and over again, and even met Simon Sinek a few years ago, but I hadn’t taken the time to really think about my own business in regards to WHAT I DO (connected to the neocortex/logic and thought), HOW I DO IT (the mechanism) and WHY I DO WHAT I DO (connected to the limbic area and emotions). I knew my “why” but had never taken it that next step further to tie it into my WHAT and HOW.

 

Giselle’s presentation went on to cover the most current brain research and “how to escape the cult of the average”  with an incredible review of this valuable brain science to optimize high performance. We teach brain research in our programs but it was a great review since we do this angle differently. We cover noradrenalin, dopamine and acetyl choline as the top three chemicals for peak performance and Giselle covered the happiness hormones (dopamine, oxytocin, and seratonin) and how to keep balance in your life. See diagram below with an explanation of all the chemicals in the brain. Image is from Robert Jerus’ book, Mind Matters.

“Aha” Moment from AchieveIT360.com

  1. My “Why” is to inspire young people to think, create and innovate while helping teachers to reduce stress and optimize learning in the classroom.
  2. My “What” is with a 3 Module Character and Leadership Online Program that integrates the most current brain research and social and emotional learning for academic gains.
  3. My “How” is with engaging online lessons that connect the real world to Character and Leadership lessons so students can implement them in their daily life, yielding outstanding results.
  4. To the reader: I am sure you know your “why” but are you clear about “what” you do and “how”  you do it? Is your message clear, simple and easy for others to understand?

 

AchieveIT360's Aha MomentSpeaker 2- John Pietro on “Effective Communication Wins Business”

I knew there was more to the first person who greeted me into the room that morning, but as he began to present his topic, it was clear that there was no one else who could cover the most important components to marketing than John Pietro, the brains behind the “Where’s the Beef” Campaign that Wendy’s launched back in the 1980s. John’s presentation covered the marketing cycle with:

 

  1. Who is your target audience?
  2. Where are they hanging out? (Insights)
  3. What are 1-2 things they want from me?
  4. What’s their reason to believe me?
  5. What’s my call to action?

As John covered the marketing cycle, he reminded us that we must get our customers to remember us, or they won’t take action. Everyone remembered  the “Where’s the Beef Campaign” but it was interesting to be reminded that the message was not about the features of the Wendy’s burger, but about the fact that there was no beef in the competition’s burger. I knew I needed 15 minutes of mentoring with John to come up with my 3-5 word marketing phrase. I emailed him immediately and he did write back. We had a productive phone session after this event that had me looking at the Marketing Cycle in depth, with more ideas on being memorable, with a simple message.

“Aha” Moment from AchieveIT360.com

  1. Keep it simple.
  2. What’s my product in 3-5 words?
  3. Engage them early with words and pictures or I will lose them forever.
  4. 15 Minutes with this marketing genius changed my entire thought process of what I do.

Speaker 3- Ron Cates, Digital Marketing Expert

I found Ron Cates on all social media platforms before the event, and was impressed that he connected back in a timely manner. Digital Marketing is where AchieveIT360 has spent the most time since launching their online membership site in 2012, so I was open and ready to learn some new ideas, or ways that we could improve our systems. I had no idea that I had a huge lesson to learn from Ron, and he didn’t even need to say anything. It was like all my problems just became crystal clear, and the solutions began to emerge.  Ron caught my attention when he mentioned that he was one of the original members to launch Constant Contact. I had started my email marketing with Constant Contact, and had moved up to other systems, but knew I wasn’t using them to their maximum capacity, and I was wasting resources. It wasn’t that I was going to jump back to Constant Contact, but sitting next to him at dinner, I asked him a question that would lead to my huge Aha Moment with him and initiate some changes in my business.

“Aha” Moment from AchieveIT360.com

  1. It was time to cancel Infusionsoft. I found 3 systems to replace this tool that would use my resources more efficiently. What a relief this decision was as I had been a user since 2012 and never could find the time to jump to a new system. That was it! There were many nuggets of information, but none of them mattered more to me than using the right platform for my marketing.

Speaker 4- Betsy Dougert, Publicity

Betsy gave us tips on the National vs Local Strategy and gave me the confidence to begin to blast out my press releases that I did the minute I got home. She gave us ideas to find a local angle, which I did, the minute I got home. I know how to use social media and reach experts all over the world, but I have not yet promoted my business on the local news. How exciting when my hair dresser connected me to 2 local news reporters whose hair she cuts as well. I contacted them immediately and have not yet had a bite, but I do have confidence now.

“Aha” Moment from AchieveIT360.com

  1. Find a timely angle.
  2. Keep sending my press releases, emails and information.
  3. Remind reporters of what I am doing.
  4. Email, call, social media.
  5. Work with my network to build relationships (like when my hairdresser referred me to 2 reporters).
  6. Develop my relationship with the media.
  7. Strengthen my relationship with the media.

In Conclusion:

The learning is continual, ongoing and constant. I still have my notes with my phone call with John Pietro to look at, consolidate and send back to him. Today I attended a local Score event called “The ABCs of Business” given by Doug Whitney who I found as a local mentor with experience in my field. I have a mentoring session set up with him this week, and want to be sure I have thought of all my areas to improve, holes to fill, and ideas to brainstorm with him.  I was blown away with what I learned from this event and that the learning and momentum are continual. I am not sure where this experience will lead me, but I am confident that it will be catapulting me to heights I dreamed of. Thank you Sam’s Club and Score Foundation! I will be posting updates along the way. #SEL #bizchampion

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