Do You Know A Georgia Small Business Rock Star?

Nominations are open for the 2019 Georgia Small Business ROCK STARS! Nominate yourself or another great Georgia small business who you think is deserving of ROCK STAR status for this year.

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What’s New This Year?

There are new categories so please be sure to check the one that best describes your business. They also now peer-to-peer judging which includes the current 2018 ROCK STARS who will also be judging the finalists.

Criteria:

  • All types of Georgia small businesses can apply. Nominate your own company or another great Georgia small business.
  • You must employ under 100 (total Georgia employment).
  • You must be a Georgia-based, for-profit company.
  • If you have been assisted by your local or state economic development resources (see application for details), you will receive BONUS points.

Winners are expected to: 

  • Attend the awards luncheon.
  • Take part in producing a short video about your business on location at your company.
  • Provide a high-res product or service photo(s) to be included in promotional materials, size 1200px or higher.

Awards Luncheon: 

  • March 18, 2019, in Atlanta – Location TBD

About the Program:

The Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) and the Georgia Economic Developers Association (GEDA) team up every year to recognize the outstanding, unique and impactful small businesses in the state of Georgia.

This unique endeavor for Georgia is a huge success only because of the small businesses that impact Georgia every day…the risks, the innovation, the outreach, the reasons why…all of these qualities abound in Georgia and we want to recognize them.

APPLY NOW

Deadline: September 15, 2018

See the complete list of all the 2018 nominees and where their business is located in Georgia. And you can view all the previous Georgia Small Business Rock Stars here

Does Your Business Standout and Get Noticed Online?

Today 3 out of 4 shoppers search online when they want to find a business, and 7 out of 10 made a purchase from a business they found using a search engine.

Businesses with optimized Google Business listings have a much better chance of getting a customer’s attention when they are searching online.

Google research suggests that customers are 50% more likely to consider purchasing from businesses with a complete listing. 

 

Does this sound like you…

  • Claiming your Google Business Listing has been something you’ve been meaning to do, but just haven’t gotten around to it.
  • You’ve claimed your Google Busines Listing but it’s not fully optimized with photos, business services listed, or branding messages.
  • You’re so busy, you honestly don’t have the time to do it. And the thought of giving up family time to watch a set of YouTube tutorials on how to do it properly is unappealing.

Six Books You Need to Add to Your Reading List

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“Tell me about a book you read recently and really liked?” 

I love asking this question!

The setting doesn’t matter, business or social. If the opportunity presents itself, I will ask the question. And when I get an enthusiastic recommendation that triggers my interest, I make a note and add it to my reading list.

In the course of my work with coaching and consulting clients, I’m often asked for book recommendations. Many times, the recommendations are based on specific questions they have asked me. While other times, the recommendations serve as a resource that clients can use as they navigate seasons of growth, transition, or when facing challenges. So, books like Start With Why, Strength Finders 2.0, Good to Great, or The Energy Bus are favorites to recommend. 

I’m not sure what books you may already have on your radar, but these six books merit consideration for your reading list this Spring. 

Living Full Out

Radio Show Guest Appearance

I had a great time appearing with Nancy Solari on her nationally syndicated radio show, Living Full Out!tom-martin-coaching-living-full-out-radio

 

My Living Full Out episode, When You Believe You Can Overcome Limitations as You Live Full Out, originally aired on February 10th. Nancy and I discussed overcoming adversity and finding hope in the most challenging of circumstances. Plus we talked about the life lessons I’ve learned from battling merkel cell cancer three times and how this was a catalyst for me to leave the automotive industry and become a certified executive coach.

You can listen to the Living Full Out show using the Spreaker Audio player below. And you will find my two segments with Nancy starting at the 15-minute mark of the show. 

            

I share my story to share the life lessons I’ve learned along the way and even offer hope. You are not alone, and feel free to reach out with questions. You can learn more about my cancer journey on my blog and also in the Huffington Post feature, Voices of Strength – Stories of Survival  

Guest Appearance on Podcast for Business

Creating Raving Fans of Your Business

Recently I had the privilege of being a guest on the Podcast for Business show. The podcast is all about business conversations over coffee where the discussions focus on the journey of business ownership.

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Podcast for Business is hosted by Diane Campbell who owns Gratitude Goodies, a specialty gift basket company. Being a business owner herself, Diane’s understanding of business and perspective as a business owner lends itself to compelling conversations with other small business owners.

Actually, Diane’s mission at Gratitude Goodies of helping corporations express their appreciation to customers in meaning and memorable ways set the stage for our conversation about how business owners can create raving fans of their businesses. You can listen to my episode of Podcast for Business using the audio player below. 

Happy New Year

Make 2018 Your Best Year Yet!

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9 Questions to Ask Yourself as You Begin the New Year

One of the greatest gifts you can give yourself before starting the New Year is to set aside some for reflection. Reflecting on where you’ve been and where you are going can help you set the stage for your best year ever. 

Take 20-30 minutes to reflect on these 8 questions:

1.  What are my top three memories of 2017?

2.  What are three memories I want to create in 2018?

3.  What area in my life worked best in 2017?

Remembering The Point Of Christmas

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It’s easy to lose sight of the point of Christmas amidst the hustle and the bustle of the holiday season.

This is the time of year where Holiday activities and seasonal to-do lists capture our attention and occupy our time. Surf the internet or turn on your television and you’ll be bombarded with all sorts of Christmas messages. But somehow in the midst of all of those messages, the point of Christmas can be lost.

In fact, even the Pope “tweeted” his frustration, saying the point of Christmas has been taken hostage by worldliness.

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In society, the majority typically rules in establishing culture. This dynamic is certainly in play when it comes to how we view Christmas. And in recent years, culture has had a knack for trivializing the momentous, ignoring the profound, and embracing the superficial.

We’ve marginalized it.
• Simplified it.
• Distracted from it.
• Established laws against it.
• De-emphasized and blurred the core point of it.

I serve on board of One Thing for Men, a ministry designed to help facilitate men’s group Bible gatherings. For December, we created a three-week message series and men’s group discussion curriculum focused on the Point of Christmas.

In the message series, Executive Director Ron Dunn, reminded everyone the Point of Christmas originated with God, way back in time. God invented Christmas and there is only one message that really matters.

It’s a perspective and truth that we can’t afford to miss. Fellow board member Jeff Brethauer and I had the opportunity to share when we got the point of Christmas. You can watch the message by clicking the image below. 

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In a recent devotional, Rick Warren shared the point of Christmas is quite simple:

You believe, and you receive.

You believe that Jesus Christ died for your sins, and you receive him into your life.

God sent his Son to Earth 2017 years ago to die for you. That’s God’s very first Christmas gift, sent to you thousands of years before you were even born.

Merry Christmas!

~ Tom

A Guide to Setting Goals You Can Achieve

5 Key Steps to Setting Goals and Achieving More

Have you thought about what you want to accomplish in 2018, by 2020, or maybe by your next birthday milestone?

Are you clear about what the key objectives are in your personal life, your career, or your business?

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If you want to succeed, you need to set goals. Without goals, our focus wanes and our sense of direction is dulled. 

To accomplish your goals, you need to know how to set them. You can’t simply say, “I want” and expect it to happen. Setting goals is a process that starts begins with careful consideration of what you want to achieve and ends after a lot of hard work to actually do it. In between, there are series well-defined steps that transcend the specifics of each goal. Knowing these steps will allow you to formulate goals that you can accomplish.

Why You Need to Optimize Your Google My Business Listing Today

When business owners start looking for ways to attract more customers, what is the first thing that comes to mind? The internet, right? But before they start having conversations about SEO, SMO, and social media ads, they need to make sure they have fully optimized the free online marketing platforms available, like Google My Business.

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When digital platforms like Google My Business and Nextdoor are fully optimized phones start ringing, customers start showing up, and traffic increases on websites.

Sadly though, many small business owners fall under the misconception that a website, some search engine optimization and a few social media posts are all they need for business growth to occur.

Your website doesn’t need to be found by everyone; it just needs to be seen by the people who live in your community. You get this right, and the results can be significant.

4 out of 5 people use search engines to find information about your business.

Your potential customers are searching find local business information like business hours, location, phone number, online reviews, and more. Customer surveys reveal that businesses with detailed online profiles and complete business listings are twice as likely to be considered reputable by consumers.

How to Stop Indulging Your Limiting Beliefs

The struggle is real. And with the dawn of each new day, our confidence must do battle with the limiting beliefs that echo around in our heads.

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If you look at the image above you’ll see an assortment of limiting beliefs I’ve heard in the course of my business coaching and life coaching with clients. 

According to Wikipedia, a Belief is the state of mind in which a person thinks something to be the case, with or without there being empirical evidence to prove that something is the case with factual certainty. 

Our beliefs can either be empowering or disempowering. And over time, because our actions or inactions follow our beliefs, they will create our reality. 

So if the battlefield is our minds, what strategy can we use to silence our limiting beliefs, gain confidence, and achieve more in life and in business?

What You Can Expect During Eclipse 2017

So you think you’re ready for the once in your lifetime total solar eclipse 2017?

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  • You have 1-3 pm blocked off on your calendar so you won’t be interrupted during the eclipse.✔️
  • You’ve purchased your ISO certified solar eclipse glasses. ✔️
  • You’ve scouted a perfect location to view the eclipse. ✔️ 

Great job preparing for Eclipse 2017!  

But, do you know what to expect? Do you know what to look for as this grand spectacle unfolds?