Rewind | BREATHE | Fast Forward

29 03 2013

Time outI’m about to impart a bit of Zen wisdom here. Buddha pose is optional.

Some of us live in the past; we usually call that “baggage.” (Sorry, past dwellers.)

Some of us live in the future; we often label that “forward thinking.” (Don’t toot your horn just yet, “to-be”ers.)

But in between rewinding to memories of what’s already been, and racing into events that have yet to be, there’s where we exist now: the present.

Now, there’s a time and a place for all three branches of living – past, present, and future. And I’m not going to go all “A Christmas Carol” on you in this blog. But entrepreneurs are a notoriously driven bunch – mulling intensely over past actions before surging ahead into future plans.

So today, on the brink of a holiday weekend, I feel compelled to share a little bit of well-worn wisdom that we all lose track of at some point or another:

PAUSE.

So simple. So essential.

A pause can be a vacation, a rare luxury for an entrepreneur, but it can also be as simple as sitting quietly for a few moments – mind parked in neutral – between activities. During those moments, you’re neither fretting over the previous activity, nor puzzling out the next.

You are simply existing.

If emptying your mind feels like a goliath undertaking, try focusing your attention on something instead – your thumb, an elbow, your breath… something completely innocuous.

You don’t need to be a yogi to work this technique. You just have to be human.

What’s the point? Well, I’ll be a monkey’s uncle if it doesn’t give you a chance to catch your breath, stop frantic thoughts, stimulate mental clarity, and/or help you keep things in perspective.

A few moments. Really. Please try it, and let me know how it works for you.

“Don’t just do something — Sit there!”  ~Anon.

Dawn M. Tomczyk-Bhajan  |  DMT Artistry, LLC   |  www.DMTArtistry.com

All content Copyright © 2013 DMT Artistry, LLC, unless otherwise noted. All Rights Reserved.





Target Markets: A Counterpoint

15 03 2013

two men wrestling with armsWell, this is interesting…

Recently, my twin brother, a professor of entrepreneurship, guest blogged about the critical importance and use of target markets in marketing your business.

This is neither a new nor radical point of view, as a quick search on the ‘Net will show. And it is a factor that we take into serious consideration on all DMT Artistry design projects.

However, I’ve just digested a very different view on the subject – VERY different – on the blog of a designer I admire greatly. It aptly addresses the personal side of what we do at DMT Artistry and, more particularly, why our tagline reads: “Designing You.”

I believe it’s important that you, also, have the opportunity to read this alternate viewpoint:

Click here to read the Before & After blog, “Who is your logo for?”

John McWade’s blog has inspired me to reassess how and who I prioritize in the design process.

My conclusion? Depends on the project! Both are essential, though to varying degrees on each and every project. Whether the client’s or the target audience’s preferences take precedence depends very much on the goals of that design, the desires of the client, and the needs of the business.

What are your thoughts on the subject? When push comes to shove, whose input should “reign supreme?”

Please share your thoughts in the comment section! (click “Comment” below)

Dawn M. Tomczyk-Bhajan  |  DMT Artistry, LLC   |  www.DMTArtistry.com

All content Copyright © 2013 DMT Artistry, LLC, unless otherwise noted. All Rights Reserved.





3 Steps to Always Get What You Want (or Need)

8 03 2013

Confused manPretty exciting title, isn’t it?! I bet you’re wondering how I can make such an outrageous claim.

Let me show you…

Long ago, I struggled with career choices. Job ads, career postings, and referral positions alternately bored, repelled, or filled me with dread.

Still, I knew it was time to pick something – ANYthing – to prevent complacency from pitching a tent in my brain.

Thank goodness for Mom.

While I was banging my head against the proverbial career ladder, my mother stepped in with a solution that was epic in its simplicity:

DEFINE IT

Truly, the secret to getting what you want starts with knowing WHAT the heck you want. While waffling between possibilities, I had utterly failed to define what I was looking for.

I may have been unsure, at the time, precisely which field I wanted to enter but, as Mom sagely noted, I sure knew how many hours I wanted to work, how far I was willing to drive, the type of coworkers I wanted to interact with, the quality of management I was looking for, the level of pay, the types of duties I wanted to be involved in, and even whether they would allow pets.

So, riddle me this: What do YOU truly want? Start with the foundation – a career, a significant other, a house, a pet, a lifestyle, a vacation… the list is endless.

Now, define it down to the last detail. What does it look like, feel like, act like? How does it work? How does it make you feel? Who else is involved? And don’t forget to define a realistic time frame in which it should happen.

This process can take days. Some of my lists (e.g. what I wanted in a husband) took several years, but just look how well it worked!! Soul mate!

Remember that what you want has to be something for YOU. You can’t WANT a person into becoming something they’re not. You can’t WANT Mt. Everest to suddenly appear in your backyard. But you CAN want yourself into a role, a relationship, a success, and an adventure.

RECOGNIZE IT

If you’ve done your homework in part one, part two should be a cakewalk. You already know precisely what you want, so you’re prepared to recognize opportunity when it knocks. It may come in unexpected forms – be alert, be open, be adventurous.

And if you want to improve the odds, refer back to your definitions regularly. Read them like an affirmation. The more often you review your list, the more adeptly you’ll spot stepping stones as they arise.

ACT ON IT

You have to believe in yourself to complete this final step – I mean, REALLY believe in yourself. Seizing opportunities can be intimidating, but doing so is how you get what you want.

This is the step where I believe most people lose momentum. That’s why “all talk and no action” is part of our day-to-day lingo. In the words of Nike’s immortal tagline: “Just Do It”.

The results may surprise you. Sometimes the process brings you, instead, what you truly need. Celebrate when this happens. Your “want” has grown up!

And there you have it: Three steps to always get what you want. My business, my husband, my home, my activities are testament to its success.

Let’s hear yours!

Author’s Note: Thanks, Mom!

“If you’re not actively involved in getting what you want, you don’t really want it.”  ~Peter McWilliams

Dawn M. Tomczyk-Bhajan  |  DMT Artistry, LLC   |  www.DMTArtistry.com

All content Copyright © 2013 DMT Artistry, LLC, unless otherwise noted. All Rights Reserved.





Target Markets: Love ’em or lose business (Part II of III)

22 02 2013

Russian nesting dollsPart II of Professor Dave’s (my twin brother!) guest blogger series about Target Markets:

Greetings again! Last week we talked about the four components of a target market. This week, we’re going down the rabbit hole a bit more!

Your goal is to define your target market as much as possible. The more you know about them, the easier it is to design a marketing campaign that will attract them, which we’ll talk about in Part III. But be warned: don’t try to fit all of your customers into one target market. Most businesses have two (or more!) target markets.

Take a realtor, for example. They have six different target markets: first-time buyers, home buyers, apartment buyers, vacation home buyers, commercial buyers, and sellers. While they all share some similarities, there are enough differences between them to treat them separately, especially for marketing purposes.

For example, first-time buyers tend to be much less sure of the buying process and need more handholding than other home buyers. They tend to be just married and/or just starting a family. They also are usually relatively new into their careers, so they are looking for less expensive homes. And… wait a minute. We’ve started to define the target market!

That’s the beauty of target markets—you likely already know what your business’s target markets are if you stop to think about it for a bit. But let’s go through an example of how you can clearly identify one.

TARGET MARKET CASE STUDY: FIRST-TIME HOME BUYERS

  • Demographic: Usually ages 25-35, recently married, college educated, looking for a home in the $100,000 to $200,000 range (incomes in the $50,000 to $100,000 range), may have just started a family (1-2 kids), likely still paying off loans from school.
  • Geographic: Looking to move within 50 miles of the realtor office.
  • Psychographic: Scared or nervous about the home buying process, but also excited about owning their own home. Usually moving from an apartment, so they may not be aware of all the maintenance requirements a house will need. Often thinking about school systems and feeling of the neighborhood. Use the internet a lot to help with the home purchasing decision.
  • Use-based: They will on average interact with the realtors 10 or more times but make only one purchase, which will likely last them for multiple years.

The more specific you can get, the better. Be careful of identifying too many target markets, though! Your goal is to keep the number manageable, so if you find yourself dealing with 10 or more target markets, see which ones you can combine together. We’ll see why in next week’s post.

Until then, happy pondering! And if you need help, I happen to have a twin sister who’s great at identifying target markets…

Author Bio:  ”Dave Tomczyk, is an Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship and Strategy at Quinnipiac University. His background is pretty diverse, including video game development, working at NASA, a Masters in Economics, and some work in astronomy. And a love of target markets!”

Dawn M. Tomczyk-Bhajan  |  DMT Artistry, LLC   |  www.DMTArtistry.com

All content Copyright © 2013 DMT Artistry, LLC, unless otherwise noted. All Rights Reserved.





Target Markets: Love ’em or lose business (Part I of III)

20 02 2013

Target MarketI have a twin brother, and he is easily one of the coolest people I know. Because he’s traveled ALL over the world, David has more stories than you can shake a stick at. These days, he’s busy enlightening collegiate minds in the field of entrepreneurship. I am very proud to welcome him as a guest blogger – both this week and next – on a topic of enormous importance: Target Markets. Let’s begin with Part I, shall we?

Greetings! I’m Dave, Dawn’s twin brother. Dawn is letting me take over the next few weeks to tell you about something near and dear to my heart: target markets. Seriously, I love talking about this stuff! It’s probably why I became a professor…

I’m going to take you through what target markets are, how you can identify your business’s target markets, and last and most importantly how you can use them to quickly and easily build successful marketing campaigns to increase your sales!

Let’s start with what target markets are. Target markets are the groups of customers you actively try to attract to your business. If you tailor your marketing towards your target markets, you will maximize sales. So, let’s talk about what target markets are. They have four components:

DEMOGRAPHIC
The descriptive characteristics of your customers. Basically, if it goes on the U.S. Census, it’s a demographic. Think along the lines of age, education level, number of kids, marital status, income level, etc.

GEOGRAPHIC
Where your customers are located. This could be a fixed radius (“within 15 miles of the store”) or more broadly defined (“anyone with Internet access who speaks English”), depending on the type of business you have. Keep this focused on where 80-90% of your target market comes from.

PSYCHOGRAPHIC
Psychographics cover the defining mental traits of your target market, like being concerned about health or enjoying going out with friends. Sometimes it’s easier to identify your target market by a group or organization they belong to because that summarizes a whole bunch of traits at once. For example, if most people in your target market belong to the Rotary Club, a local church, or a political party, that summarizes a whole bunch of characteristics right there. But make sure you focus only on the ones that relate directly to why people buy from you.

USE-BASED
How often does the target market use your product or service? Do they come every day, once a month, or only once?

In Part II of this series, we’ll focus on using these four components to define your company’s target markets. But if you have questions, let Dawn or me know, and we’ll be sure to answer them!

Author Bio:  “Dave Tomczyk, is an Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship and Strategy at Quinnipiac University. His background is pretty diverse, including video game development, working at NASA, a Masters in Economics, and some work in astronomy. And a love of target markets!”

Dawn M. Tomczyk-Bhajan  |  DMT Artistry, LLC   |  www.DMTArtistry.com

All content Copyright © 2013 DMT Artistry, LLC, unless otherwise noted. All Rights Reserved.





Emotions in Business: Advice from a crabby entrepreneur

8 02 2013

Crabby girlToday… I am crabby.

So today is a perfect day to blog about why that does not matter.

There are many things you give up when you choose the path of entrepreneurship – time, financial security, excuses, and definitely, DEFINITELY the right to be on anything other than your A-game. Some of these things (the positive ones) do come back to you over time – as you earn them – and you value them more as a result.

Until then, “smile, even when it hurts.”

You see, a client operates in a different world than yours. They don’t know that you didn’t sleep well the other night; they couldn’t possibly know that you just spent an hour disputing false charges on your credit card; they have no idea how hard it was for you to give up a family night because an employee called in sick. Your distress is valid, and it’s important. A client, however, is not the correct outlet for your verbal therapy.

Because, if you are serious about what you do, you are an oasis of stability in your clients’ own potentially chaotic world. You are reliable, when everyone else is making excuses. You are available – baggage-free – to make their life easier.

And that is why, when you call as a client, you will always get my best.

Who else will make that pledge with me?

…there will be a time when we must choose between what is easy and what is right.  ~Albus Dumbledore

Dawn M. Tomczyk-Bhajan  |  DMT Artistry, LLC   |  www.DMTArtistry.com

All content Copyright © 2013 DMT Artistry, LLC, unless otherwise noted. All Rights Reserved.





Why, When TED Talks, I Listen

1 02 2013

I am addicted to TED Talks.

There. It’s said. No turning back now.

TED Talks are the equivalent of entrepreneurial caffeine… but without the negative side effects. (I just heard a collective *huff* from coffee drinkers everywhere.)

TED Talks pump you up, restructure your thinking, and generate introspection, motivation, and evolution. It feeds your ideas and curiosity, and the long-term benefits are as incredible as you want to make them.

So, yes, I am addicted to TED Talks. Let me see if I can make YOU addicted, too.

The video below of Simon Sinek’s “Start With Why” is one of my earliest TED Talks experiences, and it makes an absolutely beautiful follow up to my previous blog post about why you are in business. Watch, listen, ponder, and let me know your thoughts:

“People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it.”  ~Simon Sinek in “Start With Why”

Dawn M. Tomczyk-Bhajan  |  DMT Artistry, LLC   |  www.DMTArtistry.com

All content Copyright © 2013 DMT Artistry, LLC, unless otherwise noted. All Rights Reserved.