I’d like to talk about value. I just found a definition for it on Merriam-Webster online (since everything on the internet is true…) as follows:
“the amount of money that something is worth : the price or cost of something”
Now, here is the thing we, as business owners, especially when we are at earlier stages in our business, tend to add on at the end of that sentence: “to me”. So, we offer products and services that we want other people to buy, and we believe they are of value to them, because they are of value to us.
Did your bullshit detector just go nuts on you? Yeah, me, too. Let me tell you a story to illustrate why the “to me” piece has a very negative impact on what you market and sell, and why you must, instead, figure out the “to YOU” portion of that sentence.
By Ryan McGuire, Gratisography
For Passover/Easter, I flew down to Florida to see my mom and stepdad. As you can imagine, the flights were oversold, and lots of us were lined up by the gate when boarding time neared. Then came the announcement, “This flight is oversold, and we are looking for 5 volunteers to take another flight. In return, we’re offering $400 travel vouchers, or American Express gift cards.”
OK, so, they gave us options on how to receive $400- YES, that shows some value. But, I figured the price offer would increase. Sure enough, it went up to $800 within minutes. (Never ever take that first offer!) And, as soon as the only alternative flight option was a connecting flight, and more time, the offer went up to $900.
That’s $900, and we could have it as American Express gift cards! That could pay a cable bill, rent, a new pair of shoes…..but here’s the problem. Money does not buy time. My thought was,
“I don’t care how much you pay me, you can’t make up for the hours of time I would lose with my mom.“
Time with my mother was MY value point, and they didn’t get it. Since I didn’t feel “heard and understood” I didn’t go for the offer. It may have cost me money, but I didn’t care, since that was not my value point.
Now, head over to your business. Every time you try to write a book, develop a program, or create a product that’s “because I want to make money”, “because I need more time”, “because I have expertise that I think is valuable” etc – see how that is YOUR value point. You may be correct when you assume people want something you have to offer in a product or program, but when your primary motivation to create it is about “YOUR” needs, it’s often a recipe for nobody buying your product. (Of COURSE if you can prove lots of other people have the same need or problem as you do, different story!) BUT, if you design a service or product around “THEIR” need for more time, less stress, or if you can find me more time with my mother, NOW you’ve begun to tap into something people find valuable, and you’ll have our ear, and, likely, some of our cash.
by Rayi Christian W on re:splashed
So, how do you do create products and programs your customers want to buy? Here are a few ideas:
- Think back over the past year and all the clients you’ve had. Make a list of the top 5 problems/complaints/struggles every one of them had in common when they first started working with you.
- Figure out how you solve those problems – what are the things you did that got your clients to be more efficient and happier, etc?
- Write down the result for your clients of moving “from hardship to happiness” (insert your statement) – THAT is most likely the value
- ASK your clients to take a moment and verify whether your value statement is correct, and whether they would find it helpful if you had a book, program, etc to handle these problems? Ask them WHAT ELSE they might want
- Go create!
Today’s post is simply an introduction. Well, not really simple, you see I’ve been doing a lot of brainstorming, and giving a lot of thought to integrity and alignment in myself, and in my business. You see, it’s what I do for my clients, so I want to also do it for myself. As a result of some serious soul-searching, and challenging myself to understand what I’m really about, what my underlying mission is, I realized some really essential things that I want for my clients that go well beyond a rocking business strategy.
I found an image in my mind of a person bathed in golden light, but surrounded by black brambles, all around, keeping their light shaded and dull. And my work is to serve as your path, to bring your beautiful light beyond the brambles and shambles, and into your business and your life. And so, after some vulnerable processing, and really thinking about what’s important, I came up with the Manifesto I present to you below, which will be permanently stored on my site at www.thebullbustercafe.com/manifesto.
I’d love to know how these ideas impact you:
My business coach recently challenged me to watch some basketball and see what business metaphors I could find.
I was not completely looking forward to this because, truth be told, I played basketball in High School. I was Point Guard, and used to make 3-point shots from the top of the key, until some men someplace decided that the standard basketball was too heavy and big for girls to dribble and shoot, and then they made us use a smaller, lighter, ball. I was really angry about this because it threw my whole game off. I couldn’t even make a lay-up. When I tried a 3-point shot, I minus will have been a canon firing a bomb because that ball went clear across the gym. So, after years of bitterness, I had to now watch the game, and apply it to my business?
It turns out that once I got out of my own way, there were a whole bunch of important lessons I got from watching one game of basketball. So, without further bitching and moaning, I will share them with you here:
- Goal and strategy are in alignment. The team has a common goal to score points, and every action they take is about aligning with that single goal. In business, the more focused we are, and the more we align our activities with our main goal, the more success we are likely to have.
- Cheerleaders are pretty and nice to have. While you are out there playing the game, you want your team to feel cheered on and supported. To help you continusously succeed, you need your own cheerleaders. That can be a coach, that can be a mastermind group, but you must have that person or group of people cheering you on to make it through the rough spots, and to celebrate your successes.
- Announcers give tips on gaps in strategy that a player or a team might consider – so they can play into their strengths and weaknesses. (Sometimes, though, they just state the obvious and are kind of annoying.) In business, it’s always good to have a coach that can help you when your strategy didn’t work, or to point out your blind spots. Sometimes, it may feel like they are telling you what you already know, but if you really knew it, you would have shifted it on your own. Make sure you have a mentor to help you see what you can’t, and help you shift your strategy when the one you’re using isn’t working.
- Referees miss some traveling and fouls. When you’re watching your business, pay attention. Hotels sometimes overcharge you, bills sometimes get missed – you gotta keep your head in the game.
- It’s hard to pick a side when your college team isn’t playing. Emotion drives excitement, cheering, and motivation to watch. In business emotion is a key driver to motivation, decisions and success.
- If you miss a shot or the other team steals the ball, you don’t give up. Sometimes in business you fail. Other times your competition seems to get all your potential business. If you’re going to score, you can’t give up until you do.
- The game isn’t over until you have a clear win or a clear loss. The closer you get to either the more commercial breaks there are, making that last mile the most suspenseful. In business, when a prospect nears the finish line, that’s when obstacles suddenly appear, making the final break really nervwracking. You gotta be in it to win it
- Know your numbers. The announcers in basketball constantly point out each players shooting average in percentages. This is what they use to decide what a player should focus on. In your business, know where you have the strongest numbers, and work hardest there. Delegate the areas where you are weakest.
Want more tips to win in your business? Click here!
Join me for a free webinar, this Wednesday, to explore why you’re not getting enough clients, and what to do about it!
CLICK HERE to register – can’t wait to meet you!
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!