This month, I’m focused on productivity. Actually, on over-productivity and how it can negatively impact your success.
One thing I notice in myself, and in some of my clients, is the tendency to focus on create, create, create. Hey, I LOVE creating! A new program, a new template, a new book…the list is endless because I love creating, and like you, I am a creator.
You know what the problem is? Sometimes we have a process that works. We get really good at understanding our value, at talking to people about what we offer, and the amazing outcome prospects are investing in. Our conversion rate skyrockets. And we think, “what can I create next?”
And then we focus on creating. We want to change everything, turbo charge what we do, make it bigger, better, more colorful….
But we were doing just fine. We are increasing our clients, we are doing amazing work, more and more people want to work with us! And we get confused, and think that this is now too easy, so we need to change something!
And when we get engrossed in change, for the sake of change, we learn that clients don’t want the new thing, because they were really happy with what they were getting. Our “novelty” isn’t as exciting to them, as it is to us. Because what we created, in that moment, was about OUR desire to create, and not about the CLIENT’S problem needing a solution.
Sometimes, it’s ok to accept that you’re doing a great job, and that some parts of your business can simply be easy. You’re not lazy. You’re not boring. You are simply stepping in to mastery of what you do. Good for you!
Join me for The Mojo Matrix to find out how to make getting clients easier for your business!
Sean MacEntee, Creative Commons
Lots of people jump into a business, and believe just because they created a website, and had a great idea, that they have a business. Then, 3 years later, the government thinks you’re a hobby because, guess what, you’ve made no profit. Oh, wait, you didn’t realize you were supposed to make a profit for all those write-offs, so….There is nothing wrong with being the owner of a hobby. In fact, it can be super rewarding, and a great outlet from other work you do, so good for you! But, if you are wanting to have a business, it’s important that you understand some of the core differences between having a hobby and running a business. Here are a few ways to tell whether you are a Hobby-owner or a Business-owner:
Money – “go with the flow” versus money saavy.
A hobby-owner doesn’t pay attention to money. They buy supplies here and there, figure they will pay off credit card debt eventually, and don’t worry about making a profit. In fact, they aren’t even aware of how much money they’ve made because it’s just fun!
A business-owner knows his or her exact financial situation down to the penny. Their profit/loss numbers are not just an approximation, they know how much is in the bank, how much is booked and on the way, and how much debit they have each month. Money is not just a “flow I’m trying to be in,” it’s a core focus of their work.
Sales – “they just happen” versus actively seeking opportunity.
A hobby-owner sits back and lets people show up. They start their business believing that referrals, alone, will pay their bills, and that those referrals will just happen while they sit on the couch and watch TV.
A business-owner employs multiple strategies to get clients, and measures the success of each, and then plans their time out based on the success of each outlet for them.
Time – “I will sleep when I’m dead” versus ensuring you have a life.
A hobby owner has unreliable batches of work, so when it comes in, it’s “work, work, work” and then when there is no work, they get to relax, which gets hard because there might not be any money coming in to allow for relaxation. They say YES to everything that comes in, since they aren’t sure when the next job will show up, and end up getting sick on a regular basis because that’s the only way their body gets a break and some rest.
A business-owner sets expectations first, with THEMSELVES as to how much personal time they need, and how they will nurture themselves. Then they recognize they are creators, and they set forth their working relationships with their clients. They allow for vacation, and self-care within their schedule, and they are able to turn down clients or work that does not align with how they want to live their life.
Vision is about your eyesight versus your future.
A hobby owner doesn’t set any concrete visions because they don’t even think about growing their business, or it’s just an “it would be nice if” kind of thought.
A business owner sets a vision at least once a year, and aligns his or her business activities around bringing that vision into reality. They want to grow their business and constantly review their goals, and direction to head towards that vision.
Are you tired of running your business like a hobby, and ready to create the structures you need to have a profitable business? Set up a BullBusting strategy session now!
(Image by Mark Teasdale, Creative Commons.)
Welcome to 2015! Don’t you love how a new year inspires you to do new things? I do, so you know what? I did not make ANY New Year’s Resolutions. In fact, I think they are so last century that no one is anymore, lol! Instead, I stated what I am leaving behind to 2014, and what I am opening up to/creating in 2015.
So, if you’re here, then you’ve probably noticed that I’ve changed up my website a wee-bit with a facelift. No more hiding BEHIND the bull, it’s time to step out IN FRONT of it and help you do the same, starting right at the top!
Let’s shake up the new year with a wee bit of a different format to my blog, and see where it leads, shall we? (And may my shake-up inspire you to your own!)
You should make a new year’s resolution. You do it every year, right? It’s just one of those things you are supposed to do, and THIS year, you will finally do it, right? No matter that you haven’t accomplished any of your resolutions for the past 5 years, make that 25 years, this year is DIFFERENT! And, it’s only January, the clock reset, so you can FINALLY get it done!
Come on! Stop wasting your time. Resolutions are so last century.
The main problem is resolutions are mis-named. According to m-w.com, the definition of resolution is “the act of resolving something.” Since when did telling your best friend “THIS YEAR I’m going to stick to my diet” resolve your problem?
NEVER! Because, we’ve been doing this whole thing wrong. We’ve been making statements with no effort to then DO something to turn that statement into an action. Speaking a sentence or two out loud does not actually remedy the problem! You have to to actually make a plan, execute the plan, and tweak the plan. So, for 2015, stop making empty statements, and, instead, make actionable plans that roll up to what you want, and get the actions done!
Here are some ideas to help you make 2015 a year you can be proud of:
- Close and Open. If you’re going to make statements to the universe (or your best friend) say what you are letting go of, and what you are creating.
(Image by Ferran Jordà on Creative Commons)
- Write down a vision. Think about those statements as “10,000 foot views” of what you want to accomplish. That’s actually your vision. Don’t leave it floating in your imagination.
- Make your vision a reality. To bring that vision out of your head, and into existing, write down the actions you have to take to realize your vision. There are likely several actions, and there is undoubtedly a sequence. Write all of this down.
- Check in. Saying it out loud, and writing it down are not enough. Put your action list someplace you can look at it and review on a regular basis. This will stop you from arriving in November and wondering where all the time went, and setting the same damn “resolution” next year. I suggest you get a “check-in buddy” and ask them to see if you’ve gotten anything on your list done yet. Don’t have any friends? Don’t have any reliable friends? Hire a coach! (At the very least, they can help you get better friends…. ;-O )
Want a fun action sheet to write and track your visions this year? Sign up here and I’ll send it to you! Get your 2015 into action!
For some reason, I’ve been hearing a lot of focus on sales lately. So, I thought I’d give my 5 cents. Technology has made selling as complex as dating, not always a good thing. As service based businesses we seem obsessed with social media (even with fewer than 1,000 followers meaning not many people are listening yet), Groupons, email…..it’s like we forgot how to personally relate with our prospects.
So, what do we do about that? Try reverting back to some sales basics!
- The telephone. The most overused reason I hear to avoid phone calls is that “it will be invasive.” So, the creation of email has made the phone call rude and invasive? You know what? An email is WAY easier than a phone call to completely ignore. And, if your prospect is busy, forget it, your email is getting buried in a pile of more important priorities. Get over your fear of being invasive and JUST DO IT. (Thanks, Nike.) Seriously, what’s the worst that will happen? If your email isn’t getting an answer, then it’s not like you have a hot prospect. So, that phone call, if they pick up, tell you you smell bad, and they never want to hear from you again, isn’t any worse rejection than lack of response to your emails. Now, if you can’t handle someone saying to your face that they are not interested, I can recommend some great therapists for you. You should get over that bull as quickly as possible so you can use one of the best tools around to set up a meeting with your prospects.
- Live networking. Nowadays, we have virtual networking, we have speed networking, you name it. But nothing beats a live event where you can approach everyone in the room, introduce yourself, and find out where you can best be of service. The act of being in person, and having quality time, instead of 2 minutes, gives you so much increased likelihood of meeting a prospect than tweeting your best business tips. Oh, and while you’re AT the event, unless social media is your business, please don’t spend the whole time tweeting because it is EYE CONTACT that engages people!
- Knock on the Door. If your ideal client is a mom-and-pop shop, why not just pop in, give them your card, and see if they’d be open to setting up a future appointment?
Want more awesome ideas to get more clients and make more money? Click here!
If you own your own business, you will at some point need to go through the process of finding some clients. (At least until you can hire someone else to do that for you!) Unfortunately, when starting out, it’s all too easy to fall into the opinion that you’re too pushy. This can devastate your business because “I’m too pushy” will have you give up contacting someone after only one attempt, and “I’m too pushy” will have you judging yourself as an awful person, just for following up, even with someone that may be desperate for your service or product!
So, let’s bust the over-pushy bull together! Here are some ideas to help you:
- Remember people need you! You have a valuable service or product. The world needs it. Instead of focusing on your fear, focus on the fact that you are making someone’s life better with what you have to offer, and let that inspire you to make more than one attempt to let someone know about you.
- Persistence and Pushy are not the same. In my opinion, “pushy” is akin to “manipulation” Pushy is where someone bullies you into buying by making you feel badly for not buying. Persistence is where you make good notes in your Customer Relationship Management system (don’t know what that is? Check out HighriseHQ) with the date and method of contact you used and enter a note for you to follow up in a week and actually do it!
- Try using the phone, for something other than the internet! With the ability to use our “smartphones” we’ve gotten kind of dumb, letting the phone do everything for us online. Do you know that the best way to connect with someone is, well, to connect! Your voice (unless you’re a smoker or have a terrible cold or laryngitis) can be way more effective than an an email! Don’t leave phone calls out of your prospecting strategy.
Want more BullBusting Tips to help your business grow? Click here!
I was recently at a networking event and met a charming young woman early into her business. As we spoke about ways that she could cultivate new clients, she told me that she realized she is too young for most people to take her seriously! You know that raised the bull flag for me, so here we go.
In today’s world, young people actually have a lot of support. For example, I was recently watching Shark Tank (love that show!) and saw a teenage girl get the sharks to invest about $300,000 in her jewelry business. At under 18, she was already a millionaire! Kids today start using technology from the moment they are born. There is the baby monitor, and then the toy cell phone, and then the iPad to distract them with movies….so, by the time they are teenagers, they have more technical skills than the lot of us “older” folks. How old was Mark Zuckerberg when he created Facebook? (About 20.)
The point is, age has very little to do with whether you can be successful in your business. Worrying about your age simply means that you are more focused on how others may judge you. In fact, confidence and passion are the main ingredients in your success. If other people perceive that you can meet their needs, and that doing so excites you, they are going to think very seriously about hiring you – whether that be for a full time job, or buying the services or products your business has to offer them. Focus on what you bring to the table, and the attention will come off your age.
Want more inspiring tips to help your business reflect your passion? Click here!