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Posts for for October, 2016

Writing a Business Plan Tips to Make it Easy

Posted on: October 31st, 2016 by R. Shawn McBride No Comments

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Writing a business plan is easier than it sounds. You know, when people come to us and we talk about planning, people get scared. There’s something overwhelming about the concept of a plan – actually putting down what’s going to happen, assumptions, projections, thoughts about the future, talking about conditions. . . If you’re reading this you’re probably already getting scared and thinking, “Wow.” Well don’t be scared, we’ve got it covered.

Let me tell you the most important part about planning for a business situation. It’s the unpredictability – the “what ifs” in life. It’s the working through the games of what happens, the thinking about what do we do if different conditions happen. Planning can be complex matter. There are a lot of different avenues where things can go one way or another. But sitting down and thinking about it can add so much value to the business.

Time to Think.  Building a business plan is great, and it does make you think about some things. Do I have enough resources? How long is this going to take? How much is it going to cost me? These are important things to think about, and it does make you work through things in a logical fashion.

“What if” Gaming.  But the often uncelebrated part of planning is thinking about the what ifs – thinking about what if something doesn’t go as planned. What if we go a different direction? What if we don’t sell as much as we project? What if we sell more than we project? What if we have a disruption?

You will get stronger.  The planning process forces you to put pressure on the way that you think and test various different portions of your business plan. This is where you’re going to become stronger, because business is not going to go exactly as you plan. You’re not going to sell exactly the number of items you think you’re going to sell. Your revenue numbers are not going to be exactly where you think they’re going to be. Things are going to change. Things are going to evolve.

Be Ready to Adjust.  Your plan, if well done, and flexible, will guide you on how to redirect yourself and make sure that you have contingencies in place to make sure you get where you’re going. What’s been your experience with planning? What have you done in the past? How have you seen your plans go differently? How have you benefited from planning? Tell us in the comment section below. We’d love to hear from you and learn about what you’ve seen in the life of planning for your business.

This posting is intended to be a tool to familiarize readers with some of the issues discussed herein.  This is not meant to be a comprehensive discussion and additional details should be discussed with your attorneys, accountants, consultants, bankers and other business planners who can provide advice for your circumstances.  This article should not be treated as legal advice to any person or entity.

About the Author

Shawn McBride is the Chief Innovation Officer at McBride For Business, LLC. He is a frequent speaker at events. His signature keynote, The 3 Laws of Empowerment (www.yourbusinessspeaker.com), gives audiences an entertaining look at how they can prepare, plan and protect themselves. You can reach R. Shawn McBride at info@mcbrideforbusiness.com or (214) 418-0258.

Check us out on the web at www.mcbrideforbusiness.com  , www.yourbusinessspeaker.com

Get Shawn’s latest book: www.mcbridebook.com

Add us on Twitter: @McBrideForBus #mcbrideforbusiness  #3LawsofEmpowerment

Like us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mcbrideforbusiness/?fref=ts

 

 

Good Plans Can Mean Big Money 4 Great Benefits to Quality Planning

Posted on: October 28th, 2016 by R. Shawn McBride No Comments

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Business plans may sound boring, but they’re really important. Why are business plans so important? Why do they matter?

There are a lot of reasons why it’s critical that you have a good business plan. Let’s break it down a little bit. Let’s think about how and why business plans are so important. We discussed in an earlier blog the good, the bad, and the ugly of business plans. http://www.mcbrideforbusiness.com/blog/business-plans-the-good-the-bad-and-the-ugly/ Let’s assume you’ve done the hard work to make a good business plan. Why is having a business plan so important?

#1 A good business plan is your road map to success. It requires you to analyze and think through the various different issues in your business. Literally, to figure out how you’re going to get from here to there. It really makes you concentrate on connecting the dots.

#2 A business plan can be used to get equity investment. If you approach an investor about bringing investing money into your company, they’re going to ask about your business plan. They’re going to want to know what they’re actually investing in. They want to understand the investment and how it will benefit them.

#3 A business plan can also be used for securities law compliance. Not only are you going to want to show your business plan to an investor, but you may want to use it as a document as legal protection to show that you’ve explained the business to an investor and that they understood the risks associated with the business and that the investment has been fully vetted.

#4 A good business plan can be used for financing. If you need to borrow money from a bank, you can show them your business plan. By showing that business plan and what you develop, they can understand the risks. This business plan may be used as a bridge to a loan.

There are a lot of great reasons why you need a strong business plan and they can really help to fuel your business. Where are your business plans at? What are you struggling with? What do you need to make a better business plan? How would a great business plan help you? Discuss it in the comments below.

This posting is intended to be a tool to familiarize readers with some of the issues discussed herein.  This is not meant to be a comprehensive discussion and additional details should be discussed with your attorneys, accountants, consultants, bankers and other business planners who can provide advice for your circumstances.  This article should not be treated as legal advice to any person or entity. FreeImages.com/ Hans-Gunther Dreyer.

About the Author

Shawn McBride is the Chief Innovation Officer at McBride For Business, LLC. He is a frequent speaker at events. His signature keynote, The 3 Laws of Empowerment (www.yourbusinessspeaker.com), gives audiences an entertaining look at how they can prepare, plan and protect themselves. You can reach R. Shawn McBride at info@mcbrideforbusiness.com or (214) 418-0258.

Check us out on the web at www.mcbrideforbusiness.com  , www.yourbusinessspeaker.com

Get Shawn’s latest book: www.mcbridebook.com

Add us on Twitter: @McBrideForBus #mcbrideforbusiness  #3LawsofEmpowerment

Like us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mcbrideforbusiness/?fref=ts

 

 

Business Plans: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Posted on: October 27th, 2016 by R. Shawn McBride No Comments

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I work as an attorney and business strategist.

One of the unique things about being in the position that I (and my team) are in, is that we get to see a lot of business plans. We’ve seen the good, we’ve seen the bad, and we’ve seen the ugly. There are certain lessons that we can take away from these plans that we can apply to others. There are things you want to be looking for, to determine which bucket your business plan might fall into, and then uplifting yourself to a better level. Why is a business plan so critical? It’s because people are looking at the business plans – they are making decisions on your business based on your business plan. It’s also a road map for business.

Let’s talk about the elements we see. We’ll start with the ugly, and we’ll work to the good. Obviously, your goal is going to be to get to the good. The ugly business plans just aren’t thought through. They don’t have the details – they don’t contain the standard elements. You’re going to want to include some standard things in all of your business plans:

  • Who your management team is;
  • What your market opportunity is;
  • How you plan to capitalize on that marketing;
  • Your financials;
  • What you expect to do with the company, projected financials;
  • How you’re going to get from here to there; and
  • What is your ultimate plan to commercialize and roll out whatever your business is?

Ugly Business Plans:  The ugly business plans typically contain very few of these, and they don’t make logical sense. The reader doesn’t understand why or how, or what’s different about the business, or even why this opportunity looks different than another business.

Those are the ugly business plans.

Bad Business Plans:  The bad business plans start to mix in some of the elements that we’ll see in a good business plan, but they aren’t developed. Once you get into it, and you start working with investors, they’re really going to expect a developed business plan. They’re going to want a lot of detail, a lot of color, a lot of information, and it really needs to be connected, and really needs to make sense. They’ll poke holes through it. If you have a bad business plan, you probably haven’t spent enough time visiting with experienced business people, having them ask questions and answering those questions within your business plan.

Good Business Plans:  The good business plans are a step better. They typically are logical, they make sense – they connect the dots. They explain how we’re getting from here to there. They contain the standard elements that we expect to see in a business plan. They really make sense. It doesn’t mean you’re going to get financing, and it doesn’t mean the business is going to succeed. But it does mean that you’ve done the right things and you have a much better chance to succeed. When we are interfacing with third parties, they’re going to respect a really good business plan. You really want to develop the details. You want to make sure you have all the different elements of your business in there, and you want to make sure it makes logical sense.

Let’s Chat:  What have you seen in business plans? What has made business plans good? What has made them bad? What has worked particularly well in your past business plans? What things are you thinking about getting in your business plan? Put some ideas in the comments below, and let’s discuss it.

This posting is intended to be a tool to familiarize readers with some of the issues discussed herein.  This is not meant to be a comprehensive discussion and additional details should be discussed with your attorneys, accountants, consultants, bankers and other business planners who can provide advice for your circumstances.  This article should not be treated as legal advice to any person or entity.

About the Author

Shawn McBride is the Chief Innovation Officer at McBride For Business, LLC. He is a frequent speaker at events. His signature keynote, The 3 Laws of Empowerment (www.yourbusinessspeaker.com), gives audiences an entertaining look at how they can prepare, plan and protect themselves. You can reach R. Shawn McBride at info@mcbrideforbusiness.com or (214) 418-0258.

Check us out on the web at www.mcbrideforbusiness.com  , www.yourbusinessspeaker.com

Get Shawn’s latest book: www.mcbridebook.com

Add us on Twitter: @McBrideForBus #mcbrideforbusiness  #3LawsofEmpowerment

Like us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mcbrideforbusiness/?fref=ts

My Learning Experience Speaking To Tech Ranch

Posted on: October 26th, 2016 by R. Shawn McBride No Comments

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Last week, I spoke on The Three Laws of Empowerment at Tech Ranch. http://techranchaustin.com/ The room was full of a great group of entrepreneurs, and there was a lot of interaction in the room, and as always, I learned a lot from others when I spoke. One of my goals is to have a two-way conversation going during a speech and to learn about my audience and what they see, and then to address their concerns. A couple interesting topics came up from the conversation.

#1 Planning. Is planning still needed or is planning an outdated concept? Some of the audience thought that the concept of planning was outdated, so we had a conversation about that. Digging deeper, we found even though some people feel the long, detailed business plans are outdated, they still understood that planning is needed. Things do need to be planned. Things do need to be developed and implemented, so maybe the term “planning” just feels too stale for people, and that’s something for all of us to think about when we’re in conversations with others.

#2 What you do when you’re the only owner of a business. Do really all these laws of empowerment apply? Do you really need to do a lot of the planning that other people would need to do? I think the answer is yes. You still need to address things, if you’re a single-owner business. You still need to have your plans for developing. You still have to understand how you’re going to deal with contingencies. You still have to understand when you are moving forward to figure out who your stakeholders are, and how you’re going to protect them.

It was a great conversation, and we’re going to develop some of these topics into separate blogs, so please keep an eye out for that. What are your thoughts on empowerment? What challenges do you have? What do you think about the needs for plans? What do you think about the needs for strategic decision-making if you’re the only owner of your company? Let’s discuss in the comments below.

This posting is intended to be a tool to familiarize readers with some of the issues discussed herein.  This is not meant to be a comprehensive discussion and additional details should be discussed with your attorneys, accountants, consultants, bankers and other business planners who can provide advice for your circumstances.  This article should not be treated as legal advice to any person or entity. Freeimages.com/ Davide Guglielmo.

About the Author

Shawn McBride is the Chief Innovation Officer at McBride For Business, LLC. He is a frequent speaker at events. His signature keynote, The 3 Laws of Empowerment, (www.yourbusinessspeaker.com), gives audiences an entertaining look at how they can prepare, plan and protect themselves. You can reach R. Shawn McBride at info@mcbrideforbusiness.com or (214) 418-0258.

Check us out on the web at www.mcbrideforbusiness.com  , www.yourbusinessspeaker.com

Get Shawn’s latest book: www.mcbridebook.com

Add us on Twitter: @McBrideForBus #mcbrideforbusiness  #3LawsofEmpowerment

Like us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mcbrideforbusiness/?fref=ts

 

 

Protecting the Client When Selling Their Business Or Do I Really Need to Hire a Lawyer?

Posted on: October 25th, 2016 by R. Shawn McBride No Comments

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I recently read a blog article suggesting that person selling their business SHOULD NOT involve a lawyer in the process. I replied to the original blog, and since then the original blog was updated.  Here is the updated version:

Planning Your Liquidity Event: Four Groups to Consult with Prior to Selling Your Business

 

I found this advice shocking!  As a lawyer I take the contrarian view to the article.

While you typically don’t want a lawyer leading the sale of your business, you do want a lawyer keeping an eye on things.  Making sure that the terms make sense.

There are a lot of details in investment documents, merger agreements and sale documents that could really trip a company or seller up.

I know business brokers and others don’t like lawyers involved because they can complicate a deal, but they can also add a lot of value in protection.  And, in some cases, they might have a client walk away from a deal if the terms are bad for the client.

I’ve had business brokers get mad at me because a client didn’t do a deal.  But in those cases we protected the client from a lot of risks that weren’t fully being disclosed.  So I think the result for the client — not engaging in a transaction they didn’t understand or want — was best for the client.

This posting is intended to be a tool to familiarize readers with some of the issues discussed herein.  This is not meant to be a comprehensive discussion and additional details should be discussed with your attorneys, accountants, consultants, bankers and other business planners who can provide advice for your circumstances.  This article should not be treated as legal advice to any person or entity. Freeimages.com/domiwo.

About the Author

Shawn McBride is the Managing Member of The R. Shawn McBride Law Firm, PLLC. Shawn can be contacted at shawn.mcbride@mcbrideattorneys.com. His profile is available on www.mcbrideattorneys.com.

Add us on Twitter: @RSMLAWPLLC #mcbrideforbusiness  #3lawsofempowerment

Like us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheRShawnMcBrideLaw/

October Book Review

Posted on: October 24th, 2016 by R. Shawn McBride No Comments

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This is the first blog post that will be published monthly as part of McBride For Business, LLC’s Book Review series. The following books reviewed are a collection of invaluable reads, topics include: career planning, delegation, ideas & achievement, Russian investment and women’s advancement in the workplace.

The Inequality Equalizer by Jen Abernathy is a valuable guide for career planning and management.  I would definitely recommend it as I see others encounter similar issues. Abernathy takes a look at how to move ahead in the career game and all of the different corners you need to cover. While there is a good deal of focus on women’s issues it will also be a very beneficial read for men.

If You Want It Done Right, You Don’t Have to Do It Yourself by Donna M. Genett, Ph. D. is a great little book with reminders on the how and why of effective delegation.  I enjoyed reading this book to sharpen my thinking on how to be more effective at delegation. Regardless of where you are in the growth of your business this book will be a great read!

Learning How To Avoid The Gap by Dan Sullivan is an interesting look at the concept of “The Gap” – which is the difference between what we want in an idea-world and what we have achieved. Dan Sullivan’s discussion of The Gap and the concept will be helpful for years to come in setting realistic expectations for myself and achieving fulfillment.

Red Notice by Bill Browder is an intriguing story about investing in Russia, political corruption and the chain of events that follow.  While this book had great business lessons underneath it, it was just a fun read and intriguing. I was impressed by the heroic story of man fighting for our fellow man.

Nice Girls Still Don’t Get the Corner Office by Lois P. Frankel is a great book offering reminders of how females may be holding themselves back and not getting the advancement they deserve. Just a few tips here could make a difference in a woman’s (or a man’s) career.

All of these books are available on Amazon.com. If you missed previous posts in this series, the following are books previously reviewed.

If you have any questions about the content of this blog or any business law issues not discussed here, please contact us. If you have any suggestions for blog topics, please send them to info@mcbrideattorneys.com.

This posting is intended to provide readers with a list of business law and related topics book reviews for general reading purposes. This is not a comprehensive list nor should this article be treated as legal advice to any person or entity. FreeImages.com/Mikolaj Satchowiak.

About the Author

Shawn McBride is the Managing Member of The R. Shawn McBride Law Firm, PLLC.  R. Shawn can be contacted at shawn.mcbride@mcbrideattorneys.com.  His profile is available on www.mcbrideattorneys.com.

Revving Up Your Business by Building Your Team

Posted on: October 18th, 2016 by R. Shawn McBride No Comments

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If you’re going to be successful, and I do mean really successful, as in a great leader in your industry . . . you are going to have to fire up your business. You’re going to have to grow, and growing involves getting a team together. All of the most successful people have supporters. You’re going to need supporters too. You’re going to need people that help you get to the next level. Don’t fight economic history. Adam Smith taught us in The Wealth of Nations about specialization and focus, and the fact that some people are going to have economic advantages in certain areas, and other people are going to have economic advantages in different areas.

Focus on Strengths. I don’t need to bore you with a lecture about economics 101. What I do need to say is if we are going to be successful, we’re going to have to focus on what we do well, and spend less time on the things that we aren’t great at or don’t add tremendous value. That’s how we build amazing businesses. That’s how we transform industries. That’s how we make something bigger than ourselves.

For instance, if your focus is like mine – making and helping people build plans that really work and  helping people achieve their dreams – you want to spend the majority of your time doing activities that lead to people achieving their dreams. That’s where the economic value is. That’s what people are paying you for. And if that’s your focus, and if that’s your goal, then people really don’t want to pay you to do other activities. You’re not adding as much value when you’re doing bookkeeping, typing, reconciling credit card statements, and emailing your staff. You can quickly see where the economic value is and where it isn’t, and we want to get you focused on your greatest value drivers, not on other ancillary items.

Focus on your Specialization. The first step in this whole process is to focus your attention on what creates value for your business. By building a team that takes care of the things that aren’t your greatest economic drivers, you are able to focus on your own specialized traits. This is what Adam Smith taught us hundreds of years ago.

Our future blog entries will talk about how to specialize, how to delegate and how to target in to your focus. But the first step is start thinking about focus. We need to realize that we deserve to have supporters to help us with our business.  If the market is paying you for certain skills and efforts, you need to start thinking about what those are, and hone in on them.

Have you delegated? Have you built your team? Have you kept your focus? How are you getting to the next level? Write some notes on the comments below. We’d love to learn from you.

This posting is intended to be a tool to familiarize readers with some of the issues discussed herein.  This is not meant to be a comprehensive discussion and additional details should be discussed with your attorneys, accountants, consultants, bankers and other business planners who can provide advice for your circumstances.  This article should not be treated as legal advice to any person or entity. Freeimages.com/Katy Smith.

About the Author

Shawn McBride is the Chief Innovation Officer at McBride For Business, LLC. He is a frequent speaker at events. His signature keynote, the 3 Laws of Empowerment, gives audiences an entertaining look at how they can prepare, plan and protect themselves. You can reach R. Shawn McBride at info@mcbrideforbusiness.com or (214) 418-0258.

Check us out on the web at www.mcbrideforbusiness.com, www.yourbusinessspeaker.com

Get Shawn’s latest book: www.mcbridebook.com

Add us on Twitter: @McBrideForBus #mcbrideforbusiness #buildingteams #3lawsofempowerment

Like us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mcbrideforbusiness/?fref=ts

Fuel for Growth: Understanding the 5 Stages of Business Growth and Development – Finding Out Where You Are and How You Can Grow

Posted on: October 13th, 2016 by R. Shawn McBride No Comments

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When analyzing businesses, we often see that they go through 5 stages of business growth. Figuring out where you are and what stages are coming up, and how to order things can give you a lot of fuel to figure out what you should be focusing on next, and what are lower priorities. What are your short-term objectives, what are your long-term objectives?

Running a business can be bewildering. You’re constantly fighting this tension between “What am I doing now? What do I need to do next? And what is long-term?”, and you need some practical answers. People will tell you need all kinds of things, and you’ll be getting advice and direction from multiple different sources, and they’ll often conflict. Of course there’s only 24 hours in a day, and hopefully you’re finding some time for sleep and your friends and family, and you’re not spending every minute working on your business that you’re awake. So you need some practical strategies.

To get over this hurdle, and to help you get to the next level, we’ve put together a framework where we think of business in 5 distinct stages — and almost all businesses go through these stages — or at least aspire to. Ideally, if you’re building the type of organization we hope you are, you will eventually go through all 5 stages. Let’s take a look at them.

Step One is Preparing and Planning. You know you have things you want to accomplish. You know that you have a certain business you want to engage in. You think the market might accept it. You need to build certain skills, and build a fundamental business plan. Once you have that, then you’re ready for step two.

Step Two is Engaging in the Business and Finding Strength. Finding that “captured power” – something you are so great at that others value too that you can focus your energy on. What creates more value than the amount of time expended? Now, it’s very important on this step that you focus on your time and energy put into the business, because just making a profit off selling your time is not going to lead to a sustainable business. You need to be able to buy the help of others or you combine resources and control costs so that you can sell a product or service at a price that’s greater than what the cost is to you. You have to make it to this level if you want a sustainable, repeatable business. So value your own time and create something that’s really powerful, something that creates more wealth than what it costs. That is your secret sauce.

Step Three is Building the Systems and Making the Business Repeatable. This lays the foundation for growth, because then you can repeat the business, involve other people and make the business grow.

Step Four is Making the Business Run Without You. This is where the business gets big enough and repeatable enough that most of the business functions can be run without the owner, and then the owner can focus on more strategic-type activities. Long-term planning, strategic negotiations, targeting huge growth opportunities and redirecting the business to take advantage of entrepreneurial opportunities.

Step Five is the Self-Sustaining/Managing Business Phase. Here the business is running itself, largely without the owner’s input other than on strategic and long-term directions. The owner can focus on that, can possibly start other businesses at this point, can add strategic opportunities to the business, or can possibly even sell the business and move on to the next opportunity.

The 5 stages give you a fundamental framework to understand where you are, and in each stage, your goal should be to move into the next stage. You don’t need to look 3 or 4 stages in the future, you should only be looking 1 to 2 stages in the future and doing things to prepare you for that. Allow things to develop, and then worry about the 4th and 5th stages down the road.

I hope this framework is helpful for you, and I hope that it allows you to figure out where you are. Let us know in the comments below — what stage are you in? Where are you headed to next? What you are doing to get from this stage to the next? How can others help you get from your current stage to the next stage? And what will your life look like when you get to the next stage? I look forward to hearing from you.

This posting is intended to be a tool to familiarize readers with some of the issues discussed herein.  This is not meant to be a comprehensive discussion and additional details should be discussed with your attorneys, accountants, consultants, bankers and other business planners who can provide advice for your circumstances.  This article should not be treated as legal advice to any person or entity.

About the Author

Shawn McBride is the Chief Innovation Officer at McBride For Business, LLC. He is a frequent speaker at events and speaks to audiences on the 3 Laws of Empowerment – how you can prepare, plan and protect your business. You can reach R. Shawn McBride at info@mcbrideforbusiness.com or (214) 418-0258.

Resources for Speakers

Posted on: October 12th, 2016 by R. Shawn McBride No Comments

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At The R. Shawn McBride Law Firm, PLLC and R. Shawn McBride Strategy Firm, McBride For Business, LLC, we take great pride in helping business owners achieve their dreams. One way we work with business owners is by getting our clients – from where they are to where they want to be. That may be – forming their business entity, executing on a contract, or making additional plans.

A large percentage of our clients are in the professional service industry and some of these industries utilize professional speaking as a means to get the word out about their business, much like R. Shawn McBride does (for more information, visit www.yourbusinessspeaker.com).

One resource, most professional speakers ought to consider is using the National Speakers Association – like many national organizations this one has local chapters nationwide. R. Shawn McBride is a member of the local North Texas Chapter of the National Speakers Association.

At local meetings, you will typically get to see, firsthand, an experienced speaker who will spend approximately two hours with the group analyzing and dissecting the speaking business. The speaker will discuss how they have been successful in the speaking business and will share meaningful tips and advice on how you can achieve similar success.

Just this past week, on October 8, Shawn McBride attended a meeting given by the North Texas Chapter of the National Speakers Association and saw speaker Todd Cohen. Todd spoke on sales strategies and how businesses are currently strategizing to uncover more sales opportunities. Todd’s strategies were invaluable to piecing together a strategy on how to effectively interface with customers, potential customers for our law firm, for R. Shawn McBride’s strategy firm, and for all of our clients.

If you have not been able to see how public speaking can benefit your business and how learning from other speakers and coaches can elevate your sales, I highly encourage you to truly consider whether this amazing opportunity is the right step for you.

Photo Credit: FreeImages.com/Brad Harrison