Be In Charge, Take Action and Get Results!

September

30

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If you feel like your business is running you, you’re not alone. Nothing happens in business by magic! Things happen when we take charge and take action. Erin Marcus has 20 years of business mentoring and coaching experience. We’re going to talk about conquering your business.

Join Erin Marcus and Tim Fitzpatrick for this week’s episode of The Rialto Marketing Podcast!

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Be In Charge, Take Action and Get Results!



Tim Fitzpatrick
If you feel like your business is running you, you are not alone. I have been there myself multiple times. Most of us have. But here's the thing nothing happens in business by magic. Things happen when we take action and we take charge. And our special guest today has 20 years of business mentoring and coaching experience. We are going to talk about conquering your business. Hi, I am Tim Fitzpatrick with Rialto Marketing, where we believe you've got to remove your revenue roadblocks if you want to accelerate revenue growth. And if you need help there, we can take you through our revenue acceleration system that will help you remove the nine common revenue roadblocks. Thank you so much for taking the time to tune in. I am super excited to have Erin Marcus from Conquer Your Business with me. Erin, welcome and thanks for being here.

Erin Marcus
Thank you. I am so excited. I know we enjoy talking off the air, so I can only imagine what's.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Going to happen now. Yes. We're going to dig into this and help people who are on that treadmill. Right. We have all been on that treadmill of our business, which is never a fun place to be. Before we dig into this, I want to learn a little bit more about you, how you're helping people. But I want to start by asking you our rapid fire questions. Are you ready to jump in with both?

Erin Marcus
I'm ready. Let's hear it.

Tim Fitzpatrick
When you're not working, how do you like to spend your time?

Erin Marcus
I volunteer on Fridays at a wildlife rescue, and last Friday, I found myself creating adolescent robin worm training kits. I took can't make this up. I literally filled kitty litter trays with dirt and then went searching for worms to put in the dirt to slide into the aviary so that the robins the adolescent robins could practice learning how to dig for worms before they get released into the wild. So I don't know if everybody spends all their free time doing that, but that's what I did last Friday.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Super cool. What's your hidden talent?

Erin Marcus
My hidden talent is I'm going to stick with the theme. I'm one of those people who thinks that if I met a lion, they would understand that I just love them so much and I'm not a threat that I could welcome them.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Okay. So kind of a doctor-doo-little type thing going on. What's the best piece of advice you've ever been given?

Erin Marcus
The best piece? If fear is the only reason you're not doing something, it's not a good enough reason to not do it.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Love it. What's one thing about you that surprises people?

Erin Marcus
I'm 5ft tall. I weighed 100 lbs for most of my life, and I've been a competitive powerlifter and boxer.

Tim Fitzpatrick
I never would have guessed.

Erin Marcus
Those do not go together.

Tim Fitzpatrick
That is so cool. What does success mean to you?

Erin Marcus
Success means to me freedom. I get to do what I want to do on my terms. Not limited by choices, not limited by circumstance.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Where's your happy place?

Erin Marcus
Outside. Preferably warm.

Tim Fitzpatrick
What qualities do you value in the people you spend time with?

Erin Marcus
Sense of humor. Curiosity, non judgment curiosity, integrity. Do what you said you were going to do when you said you were going to do it. Happy life is too short to be miserable, right?

Tim Fitzpatrick
Well, congratulations. You have successfully answered the rapid fire questions. You killed it. So thank you. Now, before we get into conquering our business and taking charge, tell us a little bit more about what you're doing. And who you're helping.

Erin Marcus
Who I'm helping. So I'm very excited right now. I'm always very excited. I don't know if you picked up on that, but what I'm particularly excited about right now is I've reached a point in my business where I'm able to help people at a variety of different levels. When we first start in the entrepreneurial journey, you often have to not that you don't niche anyway, but you have to make money, right? You have to make money. So you have to go for the higher ticket clients. It's usually a one to one service. But as I've grown, I've been able to leverage my time, leverage my resources, leverage my knowledge, and everything else that we've been working on and create three different group opportunities for whether it's beginners, we have the entrepreneur accelerator for beginners. We have the launched group program. I have the leveraged group program for people ready to take the next step. So now I feel like I can help more people because it's not just the private clients who can get the customized approach. It really just finally gelled. And I'm very excited about that. I don't know if you could tell.

Tim Fitzpatrick
I love it. Now you transitioned from corporate to entrepreneurship. Let's start by digging into that. What do you think the challenges and advantages are for those that take that path? I did not take that path. So tell me about that.

Erin Marcus
I'll start out with two advantages. People who come out of corporate have two advantages that I see across the board. Number one is a work ethic. You are used to working full time. You understand work, you understand nondistracted work focus. So that work ethic, not that other people don't have that work ethic, but to stay in the habit that an eight to five schedule created, fantastic advantage. The second advantage is understanding delegating. When you're in a large company, people are hired to do what they do best. There's no such thing as you do everything. And where I see a lot of entrepreneurs get stuck is when they want to be the one to do everything. So coming out of corporate, another advantage is understanding delegating. Understand hiring the right person for the job. Instead of trying to spend a whole lot of time doing a bad job, it's something someone else could already do a good job of doing right. So those two things, major advantage. This is where it all falls apart.

Tim Fitzpatrick
There are two advantages. Now we're going to get into the challenges.

Erin Marcus
I'll put it to you this way. I left corporate at a height of a career. I was senior vice president of business development. I was well respected. I was well accomplished. I would get bonuses and prizes and six figure salary. I had a fantastic team. I worked with great people. I thought I was brilliant, right? I thought, wow, look at all this that I've accomplished. Of course I can go do my own thing, no problem. Look at what I've already done. What I came to learn is that I was highly successful and accomplished on a very narrow path that was set by somebody else with bumpers in the gutters. That was not so fun to learn. And it wasn't that I wasn't accomplished and I wasn't smart. But left to your own devices, we underestimate how much the structure and accountability of a corporate job creates. We are part of a process. I don't care how autonomous you are. I was very fancy. I was very autonomous. I had all the bells and whistles. But the truth at the end of the day was I was part of a process that was already created. Maybe I was influencing it, but I certainly didn't create it. The work came to me. I did my part. The rest of the people were waiting to do their part. So once that structure goes away, you have no idea what to do. We think we know what to do. We hope we know what to do. But it was a much, much harder transition than anything I could have anticipated. And the other horrible realization was it was very easy for me to sell multiple million dollar contracts for someone else. And selling yourself is a whole different game.

Tim Fitzpatrick
As you're talking about this, I'm having visions of the college freshmen going off to college for the first time. They have all this freedom in the world is their oyster.

Erin Marcus
Seldom goes well.

Tim Fitzpatrick
And then some do really well and others don't. Right. There's like, too much freedom and they just can't hold back. You pointed on something that I think is important, where you were talking about being successful in corporate doesn't necessarily translate to being successful as an entrepreneur. And I think it's also important to remember, like, man, even if you start out as an entrepreneur and you've been a successful entrepreneur, not all of our ventures as entrepreneurs are successful.

Erin Marcus
Most don't work.

Tim Fitzpatrick
So even if we had a ton of success, that doesn't necessarily mean that the next venture is going to be successful. So there are no guarantees on this path no matter where you start, which I think is really important to remember because like you said, you were coming out of corporate. Man, I'm awesome. Right? I got this stuff. The first business I was a partner was a wholesale distribution company that my dad originally started. Right? So I worked with my dad for years. We grew crazy fast. When I got out of that, man, I was riding high. I was like, Man, I got this freaking down, right?

Erin Marcus
This is easy. How hard could it be? Look at me go.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah, I did not so much, right? And crash landed the next thing I went into, like, we don't know what we don't know. And it's that lack of visibility and clarity that I think is the biggest one of the biggest challenges.

Erin Marcus
And then what adds to that challenge, because in and of itself, no big deal. Things work. Things don't work. There's no right or wrong to that, right? Things are only bad if we decide that they're bad. The reason that that problem throws so many people is not just corporate, but society. And we hear this all the time. We've created a situation where failure is bad. We've created a situation where we interpret failure meaning something that didn't work or truthfully, I've watched entrepreneur after entrepreneur forget failure if it's not spectacular, they go right down the rabbit hole of, we're doomed. We'll never make it. I don't know how old you are, but that used to be a cartoon, Gulliverse Travels. We're doomed. We'll never make it. My brother and I say that to each other all the time. But corporate in particular breeds risk adversity. Right? They don't embrace risk. Everything they do is about prevent the risk. Risk mitigation off the front page of the news for the wrong reason. Everything we do as an entrepreneur that works has risk involved. So how do you transfer from a no risk structured environment to Lucy Goosey, the sky is the limit of what you could be spending your time on, so how do you even know what to do? Oh, by the way, you have to put yourself out there in ways you never did and ways you never thought of that now feel like impending doom and a personal threat in order for this to work. And then you want to wonder why it's so hard.

Tim Fitzpatrick
As you talk about failure, and I can't remember where I got here, this definition, but it's the definition of failure that I always go back to, which is, failure is the opportunity to begin again with more experience and wisdom. It's my favorite definition of it because it's part of the path.

Erin Marcus
Part of the path. How fast you can learn that is directly tied to your success. So one of my favorite quotes is, success is the ability to go from failure to failure with no lack of enthusiasm.

Tim Fitzpatrick
I like it.

Erin Marcus
Success is the ability to go from failure to failure with no lack of enthusiasm. And I'll give you a perfect example. I just told you how excited I am that we finally got it working right. We finally gelled. We've got three different programs, not to mention private clients. They're all selling. The people are happy. It's doing its thing. I will tell you that at the lower level, at the entry level, to the whole ascension model, I came up with four ideas in the last 60 days that failed. I'm not talking about they weren't spectacular. I'm talking about they failed miserably. We got it wrong. Nobody bought the Widget. However, if I would have freaked out, I never would have gotten to this final fifth version that people are loving.

Tim Fitzpatrick
So you just kept trying. This didn't work. What are we going to do next?

Erin Marcus
Well, here's the thing. So there's some strategy to it, because my motto is, for this year, I refuse to do the bang your head against the wall version of business. I refuse to do anything I don't like doing, and I refuse to feel bad about any of it. And maybe that's 50 years plus, but it's working so far. And what we did is, each time nobody wanted the thing, we reached out to the people we thought would be most interested in the thing and just had a conversation, said, do you have ten minutes? I can ask you a question, because these were people who are already in our atmosphere. So it wasn't random strangers. They were in our atmosphere. And we literally just said, it's not a sales call off the table. We're not even doing it. We really had you in mind when we came up with this idea. Can you tell us why you didn't agree with us? Or can you tell us why you didn't think, now is the time? Now, we didn't say, can you tell us why you thought the idea was bad? Because it makes people uncomfortable. Tell me why I'm bad. Most people don't want to do that because we're good Midwesterners, and that would be rude. But if I say, can you tell me why this wasn't the right time for that? We got fantastic feedback that led us to the next thing, and we did it every single time. And I will tell you, one of those people was the first person to buy the current offer.

Tim Fitzpatrick
So this is a great transition to our next question, because one of the things that I always talk about from a marketing standpoint is target market and interviewing and talking to your ideal clients. Somebody that I'm connected with on LinkedIn has she's been interviewing a client a week for the entire year, and she's, like, posting about it, and she's talking about all these things that have happened because she's having those conversations consistently. And this is exactly what you did, right? You created it. And then you're like, oh, my gosh, we missed something. You went back and said, hey, what happened? Like, how did we miss the mark here? You've got the information, you took that, and now you've created something that actually works. Classic example of some of the mistakes that we all make from a marketing standpoint. What are some of the other biggest mistakes or pitfalls you see people making with their marketing?

Erin Marcus
So a couple of things so real quick, just to finish, close the loop on that. I think the number one reason people don't interview their clients is it's really hard to have a conversation about why you're bad or wrong or what you're doing, especially in the beginning when you're so in love with your idea and now nobody wanted it. So I do have so much empathy for the people who don't have those conversations. So we have to find a way so that you can have those conversations and not feel personally at risk having them so that you get the information. Not doing enough is one of the number one pitfalls. People seriously underestimate how much activity it takes to push a boulder up a hill. And it's not doing it all at once. It's never doing it all at once.

Tim Fitzpatrick
It's sustained. Right? Sustained, consistent effort.

Erin Marcus
Pick something you like doing. Pick something you're good at doing. Pick something that speaks to your natural attributes. Get good at doing it. Do it a lot. Get good at doing that so that it becomes a habit. Meaning you don't have to think about it in order to do it. And then add the next thing. Because when you think you have to do all the things that creates overwhelm, overwhelm will shut you down faster than, like, nobody's business. Because what do we do when we're overwhelmed? I watch TV.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah. Curled up in a ball.

Erin Marcus
Right. So the other mistake is, although what are you supposed to do and do I work with my clients to do things that scares them? 100%. But if you think the thing that you're supposed to do in order to grow your business is the worst thing you could possibly spend your time doing, it won't work. It won't work because your energy will be all wonky you'll find every reason not to do it. You won't do a good job at it. Stop banging your head against the wall with a tactic that somebody else said you're supposed to do. And instead, what are you good at? What do you love doing? What can you get behind with your full energy? One of the things that I teach a lot about overcoming fear is your commitment to the outcome has to be greater than the gross. Right. Same thing for marketing. Pick what you love, pick something you can get behind, get good at it, then add the next thing. And don't dabble. If you dip your toe in, I'm kind of a fan of a burn the boats type of approach, and this is a little harder, this is a little nuanced. You want to be able to learn the difference between throwing good money after bad or not trying long enough. Right. How do you know when you're just banging your head against the wall because it's not that practice makes perfect. It's the perfect practice makes perfect. If you keep doing it wrong, it's not going to get better. But there is a nuanced difference between this ain't working, I got to stop, or fear stopping me and learning how, and I'll get a little woo on you for a second, those two things feel differently in your body. You physically react to those things differently.

Tim Fitzpatrick
So you can determine which of the two cases it is based on how you feel. Is that what you're saying?

Erin Marcus
And now it takes paying attention. You have to figure it out. You won't know it right off the bat. So what I did because the other big pitfall is not measuring and tracking everything. You have to measure everything and track everything. My spreadsheets have spreadsheets, but that's how I learned. That's how I learned. So when I had the miserable failure, not like I tried an idea and it didn't sell, but when I had, like, I tried an approach that wasn't going to work for me, it wasn't ever going to work for me. When I went back to do the post mortem on it, what were the numbers? What were the measurements? How did I feel? So I'm not just tracking numbers. How did I feel? And all I could come up with was dread. Like, I shouldn't have married that guy feeling. I shouldn't have taken that job feeling. Right. We know what death feels like. Conversely, when I was absolutely terrified and did it anyway, and it turned into the next big leap forward, and then I went back on that post mortem, I've learned that I now call that buzzy roller coaster feeling. So dread and buzzy roller coaster are two physical feelings that would normally stop somebody from moving forward. What I have had to learn is buzzy roller coaster means do that, be scared and do it anyway. Dread means, yeah, probably a bad idea.

Tim Fitzpatrick
You dropped so much value in this. What started out as this initial question. I want to pull a couple of things out here to make sure people don't miss this. One of the things that you said early on was, one, we need the marketing. It needs to be consistent over a long period of time. Right. We need to be committed. And what you do from a tactical standpoint, it's got to resonate with you. And I love that I talk about this all the time. We're on video right now. I love video content because it can be leveraged in so many different ways. It's a great way to connect with people. But damn, if you can't stand being on camera and I put video marketing in your plan, you're going to hate me, and you are never going to do it.

Erin Marcus
You're going to look like a robot and it's not going to come off well.

Tim Fitzpatrick
It doesn't work. And that's one of the things that really bothers me about marketing is there's so many people out there pushing these one size fits all marketing tactics and plans and it just doesn't work. We're all unique.

Erin Marcus
And that being said, if there's a difference between somebody who would rather dive and do the thing, and somebody wants to do the thing, but they're not good at it and they're scared, that's fine. That's perfectly fine. Because all we need to do is reverse engineer it to find the stuff that you'll do that you can get good at it and take the next step, right? You don't have to start out, I couldn't do a Facebook Live to save my life. I used to be so terrified of Facebook lives. I could be on stage in front of 1000 people live and have the time of my life, and couldn't do a Facebook Live. Now that being said, it wasn't something I hated. It was something that I knew I needed to do, but I was scared of. So my coach at the time just had enough of me and she was like, here's a tip, inside tip, if you want me to get to do anything, all you need to say is, Erin, I bet you can't XYZ. It's a character fall. It's a thing, right? It took me four Facebook lives, two minutes, four lives over the course of four days. And then I wasn't scared anymore. I just needed the push. I was mad at the end of that because it was literally eight minutes spread out of four days to get over something I let stop me for a year and a half. But that's the difference between that and dread. Someone who just will never it's not okay for them.

Tim Fitzpatrick
And we need to know ourselves well enough to be able to say, hey, it's this or it's that. And it's either I can overcome this and it's going to be a good thing for me, or this just isn't a thing for me. I need to find something else.

Erin Marcus
And work with people who care enough and know how to help you figure that out and help you figure out what to do with that information.

Tim Fitzpatrick
I've always been in the opinion, the tactics, any tactic can work. You have to have the right fuel in that particular vehicle for it to work. But the other thing you touched on too is metrics. And so many people are not, they're either tracking the wrong metrics or they're not tracking any metrics at all. And I don't care what anybody is telling you, marketing is all about testing. You are going to have far more failures than you will successes, but the successes make up for all of the failures. So you are always testing. But if you are testing and you don't have the proper metrics in place, you're not going to know what's working and what's not.

Erin Marcus
Your gut usually has good instincts, but your feelings will lie to you. Right. And you might go to a networking event, and they're the warmest fuzziest. They're your peeps. Right. You have the best time, but if you don't track that, you never get business from any of those people. That's great. Go make friends. But that's not a networking event for your business.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Right. It's not working.

Erin Marcus
People will lie to you because you're having a good time.

Tim Fitzpatrick
So early on, you talked about success. I asked you what your definition of success was. What's something that surprised you about entrepreneurial success? What are your thoughts on that?

Erin Marcus
I think the biggest surprise that I had was that, unlike corporate, entrepreneurial success was monumentally, more an inner game before it was an outer game. That threw me for a massive loop, because here's the thing. I have an MBA marketing. I have corporate experience. On paper, there was no reason for me to struggle. Right. There was no reason for me to have the challenges that I had when I first started. But my head wasn't in the right place from the limiting beliefs and all the stuff that I had no exposure to. I grew up in public school in Chicago in 70s and 80s. My dad was a cop, my mom was a beautician. What the hell is a limiting belief? I had no idea what any of the mindset work was. I went to school and then I went to corporate. And if you needed to learn how to do something, you went back to school. I had no idea what coaching was. I had no frame of reference for how to create resilience above and beyond what I already had. I know what success habits were, what success mindset was, and I never anticipated how big of a role. And this is where the reason my business developed the way it did. Conquer your business, be in charge, take action, get results. Are those business terms? Sure. But they're also mindset terms, because what happened with that realization about the inner work was that I work now at the intersection where what you need to do meets who you need to be to do it. Because what I discovered was I could make you a fantastic marketing plan, but if you can't do the plan, the plan doesn't matter. And I just never saw that coming.

Tim Fitzpatrick
I'm assuming, based on what you've said, you got a coach to work through that.

Erin Marcus
Oh, yeah.

Tim Fitzpatrick
What mindset tools did you need to have that you didn't at that point?

Erin Marcus
I think at that point, for me, it was just complete ignorance. Like, I just didn't have the information. I didn't have any exposure to any approach outside of just work harder. It was literally no frame of reference, no exposure, complete lack of knowledge. I think that helped me in the beginning because I didn't have a lot of preconceived notions about it, because I didn't even know what it was all I knew when I hired my first mindset coach was here with somebody who was doing what I wanted to do but couldn't. And they were explaining why in a different way than a tactic, because they knew enough about business and marketing to know I didn't need a different tactic. I know how to do that. I'm doing all the work, so why isn't it working? And what I describe, what I do, I'm not the puppies and rainbows and unicorns version of life coaching. Right. I call it street level mindset work. What do I need to do in the moment to get out of my own way so that I could do the thing I said I wanted to do? And that was my approach then. I didn't want fluffy. I didn't need anybody to make me feel better. I just needed the work to actually work. And when I went into that training education, when I started that side of my journey, I intentionally just said, it can't be worse than what I'm already failing at. I can't get more frustrated, I can't be more annoyed. Something's got to give. So I knew enough that I knew how to do what I said I was doing for clients. That was never a problem. It was just being open to a different way of thinking about how to be successful in which piece. Because what I ultimately realized was, for a variety of reasons, I didn't completely expect it to work, because my definition of business was corporate and my definition of entrepreneur was wrong just from a lack of exposure.

Tim Fitzpatrick
So when you shifted your mindset, did you continue to do because of that shift in mindset, the stuff that you were doing that wasn't working started to work.

Erin Marcus
Started to work. Number one, it started to work because the energy kind of like what we're talking about. I was getting behind my tactics in a different way. I was willing to put myself out there in a different way. I was strengthening my resolve so that I could separate business success and failure from oh, my God. Erin's a failure. Right.

Tim Fitzpatrick
So the way you executed on the tactics that you were already executing on changed because of that shift in mindset?

Erin Marcus
No, it's like the difference between trying to cut with a dull knife and a sharp knife. It's still the knife, but the knife is better.

Tim Fitzpatrick
I guess to go back to what I said earlier, the fuel that you were putting behind what you were doing was totally different.

Erin Marcus
Was totally different. My approach to other humans was different because I was no longer wrapped up in my own head.

Erin Marcus
And I think that maybe if we had to sum it up, that's probably the overarching theme when you've got the muck in your head telling you it's not working. This is frustrating. I'm running out of money. What the blankety blank is going on. It's very hard. To focus on other people when you've got that massive cloud above you, right? When you're with the cloud above you, it's very hard to think about someone else. And the truth of the matter is, your business isn't about you. Your business is about your client. So if you can't fix what you're thinking about because we've all been there, when things aren't working and you're overwhelmed and frustrated, there's no space in your head for anything else.

Tim Fitzpatrick
I love it. Thank you for sharing this. This has been an amazing interview. We've covered a lot of ground. Any last minute thoughts you want to leave us with today, Erin?

Erin Marcus
So I kind of have two rules that I go by as I make my plans. I'll put it to you this way. As I look at what I'm doing, as I make my plans, and I do a lot of planning, I do a lot of strategic time. I do this daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, annually. There's a lot of different approaches. And I have two litmus tests that I look at, so I'll share those with you. Number one, no settling. No settling. Where in your efforts do you say you want something, and the minute the thought hits your head, you reduce what you want? I want to make $500,000. No, I'll just make 250. I go through all my points. Did I settle? Did I settle? Did I settle? Did I settle? What do I actually want? Get uber, uber clear on what you actually want without settling. And then the second rule it's not complicated. It doesn't mean it's easy. No quitting. That's not a thing. What do I need to do? And if that didn't to make it happen? And if that didn't work, what did I learn? And what's the next thing I needed to do?

Tim Fitzpatrick
I love it. Erin. Thank you. Where can people learn more about you?

Erin Marcus
Website has a wide variety of information and tools that's at conqueryourbusiness.com. And then I do this all the time. I'd love to extend this to your listeners. If you want to spend 20 minutes looking at what it is you're doing to help your business grow and just tweaks success is not leaping. It's a series of tweaks. A 20 minutes marketing audit. I'm happy to do that for you. It's marketingaudit.conqueryourbusiness.com. We have a quick conversation, and sometimes I can't even tell you how many times one little idea changed. Months and months of effort. So marketingaudit.conqueryourbusiness.com.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Awesome. Erin, thank you. People head on over there. We'll make sure that that link is in the show notes as well. Erin, thank you so much for doing this. I know we're switching sides of the mic here soon, so I can't wait to do the same on your show.

Erin Marcus
Thank you.

Tim Fitzpatrick
But thank you so much for taking the time. For those of you that are watching, listening, I appreciate you. If you're struggling, you're not sure what the next step is for your marketing, you can always head on over to RialtoMarketing.com and I'll be happy to talk to you on a GPS call, learn more about your goals, plan, strategies and help guide you in the direction that makes the most sense for you, based on where you are and where you want to go. You can also head over to GrowthMarketingplan.com. Over there is our 90 day marketing plan template that we use for our business and our clients. Everything you need to get started on that is right there at growthmarketingplan.com. So thank you so much. Until next time. Take care.


Connect With Erin Marcus



About the author, Tim Fitzpatrick

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