Issue No. 3

Hello! If you’ve landed on this issue of the Nectar newsletter, it’s because our flight paths crossed at some point. If you enjoy reading it, you will continue receiving it in the future. But if this isn’t your cup of nectar, please scroll to the bottom of the page and click “unsubscribe.” Thanks!

Welcome to the third issue of Nectar — food for thought from Hum Business Coaching. So, why Nectar? First and foremost, nectar is the favorite food of Hum Business Coaching’s mascot, the tiny yet mighty hummingbird. While hummers enjoy nectar from a variety of flowers, they are especially fond of the sugary delicacy found in backyard hummingbird feeders.

Likewise, the Nectar newsletter shares sweet tips and juicy information on topics of interest to small business owners and entrepreneurs.

In this issue,

-A former VP Marketing/Chief Branding Officer at a nationwide startup shares some timely thoughts on the importance of engaging content.

-We’ll also hear from some great minds regarding attitude and mindset.

In the Guest Nest column, we’ll get to know Burton Brown — partner at Atomi Financial Group, Inc.

– And before we fly away, we’ll explore the difference between thinking – and doing.

So sink your claws into the nearest branch and dunk your beak into the Nectar. If you enjoy it, please let us know. If you have suggestions for a future issue, please share it. And, by all means, tell your friends about Nectar.

What to do when your back is against the wall.

Anyone who’s been in business more than a decade remembers the (Not So) Great Recession of 2008-2010. That event was described as the worst economic catastrophe since the Great Depression. Until the The Pandemic.

Too many small businesses are circling the drain. Financial and emotional resources are wearing thin. The only reason many of us are still standing upright is because our backs are against the wall.

Having your back against the wall can be the splash of cold water in the face that wakes you up and opens you up to facing the truth.”

For people who procrastinate, or tell everyone that “everything’s fine” —  and believe their own nonsense — having one’s back against the wall can be the splash of cold water in the face that will wake you up and open you up to facing the truth.

How about you? Is your back up against it? Do you have a strategy for dealing with it? Here are a few things to do right now:

  • Write it down. Jot down in succinct fashion, in bullet form, exactly what you are facing right now. Eyes wide open. Putting it on paper may reveal how clearly you are seeing and thinking about a situation. It might also reduce tension and defuse the situation a bit. When that’s done…
  • Write down three things you can do to address the problem(s). ONE of these things should be something you can do RIGHT NOW.  So maybe do it…right now. As in right now—right now. Stop reading this and DO IT (did I say “right now”?)
  • Put things in perspective. Ask yourself “what’s the worst thing that can happen?” Even if you don’t like the answer, you will at least know where things stand. Doing an honest reality check might keep your business from drying up, turning to dust, and blowing away.
  • Once you’ve put your plan into action, find someone who will hold you accountable. Call or send a message to a colleague, partner or friend. Ask for their support.
  • Still stuck? Climb out of that box! Shift yourself mentally. Take several deep breaths. Walk around the block. Go watch the hummingbirds flit around in your back yard. Scrub the bathroom tile grout. Watch an episode of your favorite sitcom. Take a siesta in a hammock.

The point is this: When your back is against the wall, don’t beat your head against it. Get some perspective. Gain some clarity. Then take action.

Targeting Your Content Campaign for Maximum Engagement

We all know that getting content in front of customers and prospective customers is important.  We also know that creating a steady stream of content can be daunting!  In some cases, this leads to off-target content – and thats usually detrimental to the effectiveness of the content campaign.

Imagine for a moment that someone is constantly sending you emails about things that are of no interest to you.  Before long, youll stop opening those emails.

The same holds true for your content campaign; quality is more important than quantity.  If youre sending too much fluff content thats of no real interest to your customers and prospects, theyll eventually ignore you.

To avoid this result, try evaluating your content through the eyes of your customer using this 5-point checklist:

•  Will the content be perceived by your customers as helpful?  Informative?  Motivational?  Uplifting?  (If none of the above, consider a re-write!)

•  Is the content short enough to be readily consumed, but long enough to include some good information?

•  Is the content written in a way thats accessible to your audience?  Or is it too technical?  Or too lofty?  Or too rudimentary?

•  Will the content be delivered with a look and feel that supports your brand?

•  Is there some kind of call-to-action that leads the reader to an appropriate next step?

Create a schedule for content creation that allows you to deliver meaningful content on a regular basis – even if its not as often as youd like. Avoid posting content thats thrown together just because its time to post something.”

Well-constructed content can build good customer relationships, and poorly-constructed content can do the opposite.  Now is the perfect time to put good content to work for you and your business!

Rick Rickards has accumulated a wealth of hands-on experience in marketing and advertising, having worked as a copywriter, art director, video producer, creative director, VP/Creative, VP/Marketing, VP/Electronic Media, and most recently as Chief Branding Officer of a start-up company.  Today, he leverages this experience through consulting and contracting with a wide variety of clients across the U.S., in Western Europe, and in the Pacific Rim, specializing in branding and marketing communications. 

To learn more about mindset coaching for entrepreneurs, go here.

Q&A with Burton Brown, founding partner at Atomi Financial Group, Inc.

When did you start your business?

Atomi Financial Group, Inc. was established in 2012, however Ive been practicing since 2006.

Why did you start your business?

The primary motivation was to deliver professional financial advice and access to strategies that the majority of investors traditionally couldnt access.  We wanted to serve the broader public — not just the super wealthy.  

What has been the biggest challenge youve overcome?

There are always challenges with running a small business, in addition to challenges brought on by the markets and the economy.  However, the biggest challenge Ive overcome is simply being a Financial Advisor.  In our industry, half the people who study for the Series 7 licensing exam fail.  Of those that pass, half will not make it through the first year in business.  Of those that last the first year, half will be out of the industry by the third year.  Roughly 88% of those who took the initial licensing exam are out of the industry. After 14 years, Im humbled and grateful that I am able to help families and businesses reach their financial and investment goals.

What is the achievement youre most proud of so far?

It’s difficult to single out a specific life event or achievement.  Im proud to be the first generation within my family to earn a Bachelorsdegree, along with a dual MBA.  Im proud to have been conferred the designation as a Certified Financial Planner or CFP®.  Im very proud to have served my country as a United States Marine and US Army soldier for a decade, surviving two conflicts on foreign soil.  Though being a husband for over 17 years, and a father of two young men, gives me the most pride!

How has business been this year (2020)?

Business has actually been great.  Weve been able to grow both our assets under management and our client base.  Because our investment philosophy involves assets that have limited-to-no market volatility, our strategies didnt experience the shock and downward pressure during the onset of the COVID 19 pandemic.  Atomi offers much more than just stocks, bonds, and mutual funds.  We provide tax-alpha strategies that may provide the deferral, reduction, or even the elimination of certain taxes.  We provide risk mitigation in the form of Life, Long Term Care, and Disability Insurance.  We advise on business 401Ks, Pensions, IRAs, and other business retirement plans.  Life still moves forward, even during pandemics and shut downs.  There are still deaths, births, marriages, divorces, college funding needs, career changes, and retirement.  Each of these life events have financial implication tied to them, and Atomi is here to provide solutions to help relieve financial burdens, grow financial assets, and protect our clients’ wealth.    

Which business or personal skills are your biggest strengths?

Listening, empathy, courage, determination, and above all maintaining a positive attitude.

What is your favorite aspect of owning your own business?

That I can provide my clients with a unique financial solution created specifically for them.  When I worked at prior firms, my offerings were limited to what the firm wanted us to promote.  Today, I collaborate with my clients to create tailored solutions. I also appreciate the work/life balance owning your own business provides.

In simple terms, what sets Atomi apart from your competitors?

Atomi, like most ethical investment advisors, does whats in our clients’ best interests.  I believe our experience with non-correlated assets and tax-alpha strategies sets us apart from other advisors and advisory firms.  Atomi advisors aren’t paid commissions, which eliminates the desire to just sell something” to our clients.  At Atomi, whether or not you work for the firm, or are a member of the firm, you are treated like family.

What other hobbies or activities do you enjoy?

I enjoy coaching my kids in sports and in life.  I continue to serve within our community by volunteering with the Marine Corps League which supports our local military and Veterans.  In addition, Im a strong advocate for small business and am currently serving as the Chairman of the Board for the San Clemente Chamber of Commerce. I enjoy good beer, wine, and whiskey, though Im at peace in nature.  My family and I make camping trips whenever possible.  I hunt and deep sea/offshore fish when I can.  Being a Texan, I love watching college football.  Gigem, Aggies!

What is something your clients — and even friends — might not know about you?

Ive competed on the Family Feud TV game show three times!

This ANONYMOUS cartoon — author/illustrator unknown — reminds us to turn thought into action. For a fast, focused, action-oriented approach to coaching, check out the HUM Success Process.

About HUM Business Coaching founder and owner, Rob Wagner

Rob begins each day hoping to connect with someone who is seeking creative, surprising, apple cart up-ending ideas. Sometimes, it’s a fresh, stimulating, unconventional approach to making their professional or personal lives richer and more rewarding with personal and professional coaching. Other times, that means a fresh, unexpected, impactful marketing campaign.

Business & Marketing Coaching
HUM provides strategic, marketing and mindset coaching to small business owners and entrepreneurs.

Business Writing Consultant
Rob has been a professional communicator, advertising copywriter/creative director, and small business owner for over 30 years. His writing experience runs the gamut from traditional media (print and broadcast) to digital (web content, email, blogging and social media).

What do you want?

Whether it’s more clients, increased revenues, higher profits, more productive employees, or increased satisfaction for your work life, HUM’s coaching and consulting capabilities offer support, guidance and inspiration for owners of small enterprises.

Rob Wagner