Feeling disconnected and isolated is a surprisingly common complaint amongst business owners, despite the advent and accessibility of hyper communities that are designed for membership and camaraderie.⠀
You can do the hard things, just do one small piece at a time. Find the reason why stepping into discomfort is worth getting through to the other side. If it scares you, it’s probably a good thing to try.⠀
She did it by remaining open, curious, brave and focused on action. She did it by listening more than she talked, by surrounding herself with a community of experts, and by relentlessly experimenting.⠀
You're already an expert in your field. You've already got oodles of training, years of experience, and lots of things to say. If you've chosen to do what you're really, really good at, then all you have to do is do it, and do it well.
When you are so worried something won’t work, you create a bazillion more options *just in case* one of them is the right one. Except your potential customer can’t see the right one because there are too many places to look.
Your customers are actually a lot less price sensitive than you might think. In fact, the ones who are price sensitive are likely not the ones you want as clients, so bidding low will actually get you crappy clients.
I manage my life, particularly my business life, like a portfolio. By investing my time in various different pursuits, not only am I distributing my risk but creating opportunities for multiple streams of growth.
I'm not saying you have to "dumb it down", but you do need to make yourself and your business accessible. Understandable. Your expertise will ultimately make you successful, once you've gotten their attention, but you won't get it by trying to tell them everything at once.
I can show you the details. I can show you a plan. I can break everything down into small, digestible pieces until you can see a glimmer of hope that there is a tiny gold coin at the end of the rainbow.
I’m not advocating for being an annoying oversharer, but if you want to become a known brand at the very front of your customer’s mind, you need to be as present as that drinking buddy who loves a frequent pint, and you need to make your customer feel as good as that friend.
Someone out there knows everything about that thing that you are struggling with. They live and breathe it and can rattle off an answer or a solution in no time flat while you've been sitting here, wringing your hands for weeks about how to move forward with this challenge.
This little tool has such deep capabilities and is now integrated with many, many of the software systems out there that you would commonly use. It's worth its weight in gold, and can end up clearing hours out of your weeks.
Our peers are crucial to our ability to get through every day feeling a little less vulnerable, a little less alone, and like we are not the only ones experiencing the emotions and circumstances that we do.
When something is hard because it doesn't feel right, yet you know you would otherwise have the willingness and energy to put behind it, then you have friction in your business and you're out of alignment.
Stepping out on that ledge and believing, even just a tiny bit, that you CAN do this, that even if it’s not totally clear how it’s going to go down, you’re going to charge forward and make a move... that’s the turning point.
My goal is to make sure that no matter where you are in your business journey, you’re doing the RIGHT things rather than just something. That you’re using every one of your precious moments to move you forward to your vision.
When you’re feeling all over the place, unfocused and unclear, and you’ve got eleventy billion half-baked offers, it’s time to take a step back and get hyper focused on who you are serving and what you’re doing for them.
You may not understand it until long after you’ve done it, but if you are compelled to take an action, shift direction, follow a path, have a conversation, buy something, sell something, whatever it may be - there’s a reason for it.
Stand beside them and hold their hand. Make them feel like you understand where they are right this second. Then take them on a journey to where you really want them to be, where they are going to find the perfect answers.
I am unapologetically direct. Not in an arrogant, opinionated, or unkind way, but in the way people need who are no longer interested in wasting time, when every minute spent wondering means another dollar they won’t be making.
Go get some raving fans who experience your incredible bounty and let them tell your story. Clients who have reasons to believe are far more likely to buy from you. Especially if those kudos are from an influential party.
I don’t want you to struggle to sell every offer you have. I want you to build a logical portfolio of offers that follow that client’s journey from their first toe in the water to the ugly cry tears of pride and joy as they leave your nest, ready to fly on their own.
Chances are, you’ll buy from the person who is most familiar to you, because you’ve tried another offer, or seen them pass by your news feed a few times, or that super smart friend in that Facebook group who you’ve gotten to know assured you that person is the freaking best at what they do.
New entrepreneurs are worried about being wrong. Or alienating their audience. Or being unrelatable. So they opt for vanilla. They opt for safe and understandable. Their anxiety over making money keeps them rooted in what they think is safe.
Here’s the catch. Not just any plan will do. Writing a half-assed list of things to do and some waffly goals does not constitute a plan. You need a well-constructed, well thought-out, 3-layer-deep plan.
It’s here where we get stuck, where we frustrate ourselves with the search for the path, some answers that prove you should take the leap. If you spend too long there, you end up in a vortex of second guessing and saturation.
It’s no wonder we’re so hesitant to go out and try things we haven’t done yet. That’s messy. We might just f*#% it up. Then what? Shame, guilt, humiliation, failure? The whole world laughing at us, or worse, whispering quietly to each other as they walk briskly past, shaking their heads?
When your business gets time and room to breathe, you win. You win by listening and watching, taking action, and trying new things. You get a recognizable brand, a consistent and loyal following, and scars. Scars that point you increasingly towards the perfect place for you.
Find your passion, marry it with something people actually want, and then they will come. The passion may not be the service, it could be the people you serve. Whichever it is, start there and build around that.
One of the most common challenges I see with entrepreneurs is that they undervalue themselves (cue imposter syndrome, pervasive scarcity, all the gremlins that keep us charging less than we are worth).
When I work with my clients, the first things we identify are their goals, vision and values. These must anchor any decisions we make about their business, and their business model must work to support these in return.
Whatever you build in to your business, whether through your writing, your online presence, your social channels, your offers, is an opportunity to communicate the kind of energy you bring to your work.
When you are faced with the realization that something has failed - your business model, your offer, your promotional pitch, whatever it might be - it's a hard pill to swallow and can make you feel like giving up everything.
All those crazy, oddball decisions you make that may seem non-sensical, those are because you have a purpose and you're unwilling to compromise that, or you have found something unconventional that will really support that in a way no one else may understand.
Business ownership seems to be the ultimate adventure, and the only way to really be completely satisfied with the results of your efforts. Even when you do well at work, you still feel like you're coming home empty-handed. But how do you get there?
You cannot chip away at a business haphazardly and expect it to grow in the wee hours of the morning or late at night in those little slivers of precious time that you've managed to eke away. This is not how things work.
When you first start up your business, it's a mad rush to get all the things in place. Your business needs to percolate. Do all the things at the beginning, give yourself a great head start, but don't expect the world the minute you are live.
There's one more thing that is critical to your success. You not only need to create a plan, you need to create habits as well. Your daily habits should move you towards the fulfillment of your goals, whether they are personal or business-related.
There will be time for planning and strategy, visions and goals – absolutely, there will. Just not right now. Learning to sit still for a little while is maturity not just for a business, but for the business owner.