November’s Featured Business Owner is Suzanne Burns. Suzanne is the Owner and Designer of www.IntentionalTreasures.com and several other websites. Her works were advertised in Richard Branson’s Virgin America’s Press Release (2007) and The Grammy’s Foundation 2008 Starry Night Gala, honoring the 5th Beatle, Sir George Martin. She has also been interviewed in nationally syndicated radio shows and featured in several bestselling books, such as: Zero Limits, Inspired Marketing and Expect Miracles.
What’s your WHY? Why did you start your business?
I am what I consider myself to be “an idea gatherer.” Starting my own business was the perfect way for me to channel all of my ideas into a creative forum, such as having an online presence. Additionally, I finally went into business for myself due to curiosity….I needed to see what I was capable of and I was ready to take my life to the next level. I always had an inner knowing that I would run and operate my own businesses one day.
What is your background, what did you do before you started your business?
I have been a part of Corporate American for the past 21 years. In all, I have been working outside of the home since I was 12 years old. Not because of a “have to” mentality, but due to a “want to.” In truth, I love to work and enjoy the process of learning, growing and interacting with the outside world. I also enjoy having financial freedom. I am the VP of Operations for Hypnotic Marketing, Inc. and have been with Joe Vitale’s organization for the past 6 plus years. I simultaneously work my online businesses in addition to being a part of the Hypnotic Marketing team.
How soon after you started your business did you start making money?
Is there something that you did that “got the ball rolling” with your business? (for example – a promotion, joint venture, ad, etc)
A few things…..
A) One of the businesses that I own is a jewelry business. Some of my jewelry lines are geared towards a very specific niche market, such as my ho’oponopono line. This line was inspired when one of my millionaire-mentors, Joe Vitale, wrote a book on the subject, titled Zero Limits. A week and a half after I had launched my online jewelry business, Joe was doing a book-signing for Zero Limits at a local retail shoppe in 2007 and I had asked for permission from Joe and the store’s proprietor to set up an area where I could offer and sell my jewelry. All parties agreed and my first “show” turned out to be a great success! I continue to sell my ho’oponopono line of jewelry at various Zero Limits events and other spiritual seminars.
B) The other thing I did was contact prominent ho’oponopono websites and requested that they advertise my site on theirs, i.e. www.ZeroLimits.info
C) Another form of advertising is the word-of-mouth marketing that my customers naturally do for me. They love to blog about my jewelry and other ho’oponopono products that I feel honored to offer.
D) I also participate in media interviews, i.e. radio shows, newsletters, articles in #1 bestselling books, as well as having had the amazing opportunity to donate my products to celebrity gift bags. In 2007, Intentional Treasures was invited to Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin America Launch Party in NYC. In 2008, my company was invited by the Grammy’s Foundation when they honored Sir George Martin, a.k.a. “The 5th Beatle.” In 2010, Intentional Treasures sponsored specialty jewelry at Robert Redford’s Sundance Film Festival.
What do you do now to continue to generate a profit? What marketing methods have/are yielding the best results for you?
The simplest thing that I do is optimize my website by editing the content with specific key words.
In our line of work, this is also known as SEO, which stands for “Search Engine Optimization.” Your webmaster can easily assist you with this.
Time and time again, my customers tell me that they easily find me via Google searches.
Were there any hurdles, obstacles, road-blocks, tears shed or set-backs for you as you created your site/business? How did you overcome them?
I initially worked with a group of people that did not end up having the same vision for my business as I did for myself and once I recognized the discrepancy and incongruence between all parties, I chose to move the energy in a different direction by ceasing ties with this toxic group and the moment I did that, my sales soared. Since everything is energy, it’s VERY important that you only engage in positive situations at all times.
Do you have any favorite quote/s to live and work by?
“Let the beauty we love be what we do” – Rumi, 13th Century Poet
This has been a life-long quote that I’ve always kept close to my heart, for it’s another way of saying: “Follow your bliss” or “Follow your passion.” If we do what we love, then it no longer feels like work.
“Make peace with outrageous abundance.” – Abraham-Hicks
This quote is very important to me because it stretches my mind and allows me to dream even bigger than I ever thought possible.
What words of wisdom or encouragement could you offer to someone just starting their business?
Take action every day. No matter how little or how much time you have, if you apply consistent time and energy into your business every day, you will see results. Remember the famous saying: “Slow and steady wins the race.”
What words of encouragement could you offer to someone that feels afraid, stuck or may be finding themselves at a difficult point in their business?
Ask for help, DELEGATE, don’t do it all yourself. Simply do the things that you love and that you are naturally great at and then give the rest away. As a business owner, we tend to want to “do it all,” when in reality, this simply isn’t possible. Wealth does not only equal money; wealth also equals FREE TIME for you to spend with your friends, family and loved ones.
The other thing that I like to remind people of is to keep moving forward and instead of avoiding your pain or set-backs, move THROUGH IT. The sooner you face your obstacles, the faster you can learn and grow from them and put them behind you.
Is there anything that you’ve learned along the way that you wish you had known early on (“Hind sight is 20/20”)?
Pay attention to the red flags. Prior to when I launched my business, I experienced yellow flags with this group of people that I mentioned earlier, who did not “fit” with my company’s vision and the more time that passed, the flags changed from yellow to orange to red…to catching on fire, so-to-speak (that’s what it took for me to really wake up and “get it.”). Follow your instincts and trust your gut. If something doesn’t feel right, pay attention to the signs. If you don’t, it can cost you a lot of time, money and energy down the road.
What is your favorite ‘Rescue Remedy’ – in other words, what do you do to help you through the rough spots?
I train myself to live in the moment and handle each thing as it comes to me. I don’t allow sour experiences of today to follow me into tomorrow. I do everything in my power to handle what is before me now so that I can let it go and create space for new opportunities to arrive.
The other thing that I do is what I like to call “The Turnaround.” If I happen to experience a failed expectation, I immediately look for the gift in the situation, because I can guarantee you that positive resolution can ALWAYS be found. I once dealt with a very angry customer who swore me off forever. Communication ensued and thereafter, my customer admitted that their issue didn’t have anything to do with me or my company in the first place — instead, they were projecting their pain. Once we were able to get this matter resolved, they turned into one of my most prosperous and repeat customers to date!
What resources do you recommend (business/personal development)?
Study successful people, model them and learn from their experiences. Get a coach or even better, find a millionaire or billionaire mentor. All the great gurus say the same and have done so for themselves. Oprah Winfrey has said it herself, that she loves to surround herself with people who are smarter than she is, so that she can always be in a position of learning and growing. Kevin Trudeau is quoted as saying that you need to “be coachable.” Once you find a mentor that you can work with, let go of your resistance and trust in the process. Leave your old patterns behind and embrace the new!
Too many books and courses to mention here but to name a few:
*Do You! 12 Laws To Access The Power In You To Achieve Happiness And Success by Music mogul and entrepreneur Russell Simmons.
*Meet and Grow Rich by Joe Vitale and Bill Hibbler. My websites were able to come to life as a result of my mastermind group that I met with for over a year.
*Think and Grow Rich by Napolean Hill.
*”The Abundance Paradigm” by Joe Vitale, available at: http://www.theabundanceparadigm.com
What favorite tools, software or services do you recommend? Anything that has been particularly helpful?
What web sites, blogs, forums or discussion groups do you recommend: For Business? For Personal Development?
www.Oprah.com & www.Twitter.com
I love to follow my favorite people, people I admire or people in my line of business so that I can grow and learn from them. Remember, going into business is not about competition (for there is plenty for all), it’s about collaborating and sharing ideas with one another.
Do you have any mentors or people (such as speakers or authors) that you seek your knowledge from (i.e. Joe Vitale, Mark Victor Hansen, Tony Robbins, Derek Gehl, etc..) Please elaborate… why do you like them?
Joe Vitale – I love his ability to combine spirituality with business.
Tony Robbins – I love his short-cut approaches and results-oriented style. I have achieved great success by modeling his techniques.
Jerry & Esther Hicks – I resonate with their spiritual teachings on the Law of Attraction.
Oprah Winfrey – I have been a huge fan and following her for the past 24 seasons. What can I say? She encompasses all.
Dr. Phil – He offers straight-to-the-point and matter-of-fact tips and advice from everything and anything ranging from common sense to personal to business, etc.
Finish these statements in regard to business and/or personal development:
Whatever you DO: Love yourself. Billionaire Paul Zane-Pilzer states that one of the secrets of success is to “accept yourself.”
Whatever you do, DO NOT: Speak negative about anything or anyone. Everything we do creates a ripple effect and not only do we have a great impact on the world and we are more powerful than we think — everything we put out there, boomerangs right back to us (only with greater force), therefore, it is wise to plant only positive seeds. Only think and speak of the things that you want. Let the rest go.
What’s the secret to your success? Or, What is the secret to success?
LOVE what you do! People don’t realize that starting a new business is easier than they think. Simply tune into what you love and turn it into a business. It’s just that easy!
Is there anything else you’d like to share or say that would be helpful knowledge to share with women internet business owners either business wise or personal development wise?
As women, we are nurturers, therefore, it’s natural for us to want to offer help. However, in order to be a success in business, it’s also very important for us to learn how to ask for help as well. Allow the help to enter, even if it appears differently than how you initially imagined it. After all, it is possible for you to have it all, do it all and be it all!
Another thing…no matter what you do, it does not have to be perfect. My website, for example, has been a work in progress for 3 years. I still do not love it and it does not reflect my ultimate vision (not even close), however, as I learned in one of Pat O’Bryan’s Unseminars (in 2007), “It doesn’t have to be perfect…just get your information out there! You can always tweak and perfect it later…”
Connect with Suzanne:
Facebook Personal Profile: http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/suzanne.burns1?v=info
Facebook Fan Page: facebook.com/suzanne.burns1
Suzanne has a free gift for you: http://zerolimits.intentionaltreasures.com/