Online business and the chocolate experience

Chocolate tour

I had a dream come true today in Ecuador!

As a MEGA lover of pure, high-quality (dark) chocolate, I’ve always wanted to see and experience the entire process, from the cacao tree to my mouth.

So when I heard of this opportunity, I drove nearly 3 hours on windy, rainy roads through the Andes to get to El Quetzal in Mindo, Ecuador. And I LOVED it!

I got to see the entire process—from the big yellow pod hanging on a tree, through fermentation, drying, sorting, cracking, sifting, melting, stirring, tempering, cooling, sweetening, forming, cutting, packaging — was JUST what I’d been hoping for. It gives me an even greater appreciation when I bite into one of their artisanal chocolate bars!

Business is a little bit like the chocolate experience: when you learn and really understand the steps of a system you need for an online business, you’ll have so much more appreciation for the end product—yours and others’—even if you don’t end up doing all the work yourself.

Where are your people?

table (2)

Wherever your ideal clients congregate—online and offline—is where you want to be. That also goes for people you might collaborate with for mutual business growth. Where they are, you be there, too.

First, know specifically WHO you are looking for, and then look for a function or location that fills that with your ideal people.

If your ideal audience members frequent a gym or spa, could you offer a workshop there? A ghostwriter I know chats up attendees at several strategic business conferences where her ideal clients—and ideal referral partners—are gathered.

One example: while here in Ecuador, I wanted to find out about the lives of people who’ve moved here to Cuenca. I’m not much for bars, so when I discovered a “dinner club” restaurant with communal tables and a social hour before dinner, I jumped on it.

Wednesday night’s dinner was JUST what I wanted! A variety of folks telling their stories of how and why they landed in Cuenca, sharing their insights of the culture here, offering insider tips on where to go and what to do. Fascinating stories!

Think outside the box. Where are your people, and how can you get in front of them?

The Guest House

An inside shot from where we had lunch at the gorgeous Hacienda Uzhupud

An inside shot from the gorgeous Hacienda Uzhupud outside of Cuenca, Ecuador.

 Lovin’ this piece from Rumi today…

THE GUEST HOUSE

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!

Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice.
meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.
Be grateful for whatever comes.
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

Does her business benefit from this view?

mountains

Utterly stunning view of the Paute Valley from ‪Lynne Klippel‘s front porch! The river that is outside my home in Cuenca is one of 5 that flows into this bigger Paute river seen here that now flows down to the Amazon.

This is where Lynne runs her company, working with book writers and training business ghostwriters. WOW! Having been “watching” Lynne for a few years, I can tell you I have definitely seen a big uptick in her visibility and creativity since she moved here.

“Without poetry, there is no city.”

writing

Translation: “Without poetry, there is no city.”

Cuenca, Ecuador, is full of the musings of this street philosopher. I couldn’t agree more, and I would stretch it to include all of the arts…without poetry, without art, without music, without theater, without dance, there is no city, no community.

How does this relate to your business? Where do you need to take a more “artistic” approach with your business strategies? Or a more poetic approach to your marketing? How do dance and music fit in…do they help make YOU a better businessperson? Worth pondering…