bonnie cashman

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Bonnie Cashman graced the second issue of BenefitsSelling as president of The Balanced Program Inc., “anationally recognized leader in the worksite marketplace ofvoluntary benefits with emphasis to small and medium sizedemployers.”

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Four years later, in July 2007, she retired. Now her life is allabout Pilates while running Lab5 Fitness.

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Grow. Take risks, and strive to learn and grow.Starting a business in 2011 is so much different than starting onein 1981. Social media did not exist in 1981; today these tools playa critical role in how you operate a business and affect the levelof your success.

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Be a people person. No matter what businessyou’re in, you’re really in the people business. At LAB5 we have amantra: “We’re not in the fitness business. We’re in the peoplebusiness providing fitness.”

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Build the right team. Good people, staff andemployees always make the difference. Surround yourself withtalented, committed individuals. It’s an added benefit at age61—everyone on our team is much younger, which allows me to learnfrom them and give me the opportunity to mentor.

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Know the customer. Know who your customer is,what they’re looking for and want, and ask questions. Not everyoneis a potential client. Understand being selective is a good thing.Never forget you’re in business as a result of these customers.Value them and never take them or your relationship forgranted.

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Generate leads. Lead generation is critical.Building your list of qualified prospects starts with names to beconverted to prospects, thus turning them into sales and ultimatelyretaining them as clients. This was true in the insurance business,and the same is true in the fitness business.

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Consider details. The small things alwaysmake a huge difference. For example, if we are baking cookies andthe recipe calls for 10 ingredients and we decide to use only theitems we think are important and decide to eliminate the flour, theend result will be very different than we expected. There’s apurpose for each of the original ingredients. The same is true inour business.

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Make mistakes. Making mistakes at this ageensures you will continue to grow and learn. I’ve found humility isalive and thriving at this age. Who knew I had so much more tolearn? I find all of this exciting and am very grateful for theopportunity.

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Photo by: Rick Dahms

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