When Success Starts – Don’t Depart

When we start feeling that overwhelm – that churning, aching, anguish we get as humans when things start piling up, we often stop doing the work that has to get done. If the pile is the result of wanted growth then be careful you don’t stop growth from happening by giving up every time it feels like there is too much on your plate.

One of the reasons so few people achieve big success is the commitment required to stay the course when success starts taking hold. Success is not easy. It is not just a lot of work up front and a ride at the end. It is not in your DNA or your inheritance. It is a consistent push every day to do what has to get done; and not just the fun things. Everything – every piece of your business must get handled routinely. There are no exceptions.

Today I want to remind you to stay on track. If you really want to make it, if you truly desire to create a bigger business, then ‘stay the course’; you can do it. Here are three things you can do to help get through those overwhelming times and onto the routine of running a bigger business.

1. Stick to the Plan

If you don’t know where you are going you can end up anywhere. That is why you have a plan for your growth, so don’t forget to use it. Review the plan at least monthly and check to see if you are on track. Are you meeting your deadlines? Do you have what you need to move on? Have you stayed focused on the plan or have you been side-tracked by some other fun / shinning / new idea? The plan defines where you want to be in the future and outlines the path you have identified to get you there. During implementation, you will be able to identify the daily ‘to do’ list from this plan that will get you to the immediate and long-term goals.

2. Do the Work

Do your work; the work you are best at; the work that when you do it you add value to the company. Let others do the work that is not yours. If there is no one else in your business but you then start looking at why you are alone. This may be one of the reasons you are not growing. You will have to hire someone before you are ready to have employees. If you know employees are in your big-business vision then start letting go.

To start the ‘letting go’ process look for the three things you do that do not add value to the company. Look for things that take you a long time to do. Things you are not good at and that you do not love to do. Your ‘Yuck Work’. After you have identified just 3, look for ways to offload that work to a contractor. If that is not possible then find a way to automate the work or systematize it so you don’t have to contemplate the process more than once. Reducing your ‘Yuck Work’ gives you more time to focus on the things that truly add value to your company and will help you grow.

3. Prioritize

Pick three ‘Must Do’ goals each day that must be completed by the end of that day. Evaluate if they are the right goals by asking, “Will completing this goal get me closer to my ultimate goal of growth?” If the answer is no then it is not the ‘Must Do’ goal for that day. If you ask this question and you think, “I have to do three other tasks before I can do this, then this is also not a ‘Must Do’ goal. Put those three immediate tasks on your ‘Must Do’ list for the day and then get the bigger goal tomorrow.

Note – If you complete your three ‘Must Do’ goals feel free to move on to other things that you need to get done.

Being successful is simply doing the work that others give up on when things get overwhelming. Make doing the work part of your routine, stay focused on your goals and ensure that the goals you are working on fit the plan you have for your business. You can do this, I believe in you!

Why You Shouldn’t Hire a Business Coach

Really, there are some significant reasons not to hire a business coach. That is not to say you should not hire an expert to help you with different aspects of your business, because you should. Never, in the history of mankind has anyone become successful without training, help, and support of others.

So want am I suggesting then? That there are key differences between a business coach and a business strategist. On the surface they look very similar.

What is the Difference?

Below is a graphic to highlight three key differences between a business coach and a business strategist.

Three key differences between a coach and a strategist The key here is the training. In coach training, coaches-to-be are told they are not required to ‘be’ the expert. They are there to help you identify what you need to do next, to get you unstuck and moving forward. Coaches ask powerful questions to create this movement for you but what you don’t know is what you don’t know and they are not there to teach, suggest or recommend business ideas.

Many people that call themselves a business coach are experts and may even be business strategists. Here are 5 questions you can use to find out if the person you want to hire is the expert you need.

How to Find a Qualified Business Strategist

  1. Do they have experience?   In the aspect of business that you are focused on and hiring for, does the business coach you are looking at have the experience you need? For example, if you are looking for growth in your market, does the business coach understand your target market, pricing strategies, industry trends, etc.?
  2. Ask them who their ideal client is.    Are their clients retail stores, large corporations, or small businesses in service industries? Are their clients new business or established? These all required different knowledge and experience to be considered an expert.
  3. What are your clients’ results?    Ask for testimonials and get some hard numbers. If they are experts at marketing ask about the return on investment (ROI) their clients got from implementing a plan they helped them with. The ROI could be dollars, new clients, hits on their website, new prospects, etc.
  4. How many years have you been doing this?    Malcolm Gladwell suggests it takes around 10,000 hours of doing the work and improving over time to become an expert at anything. How long have they been focusing on business development.
  5. Do they have training and are they constantly being trained? This is where coach training, or teaching certifications and a mindset of a life-long learning are important. Just because someone has been a successful business owner does not make them a great teacher, coach, or mentor. There is a lot of skill required to be able to not only bring current, up-to-date business expertise to the table but to also ensure that they do not override the client’s agenda. It is your business after all and they have to understand what you want to do, teach what matches and make powerful suggestions on things that may not.

Like an athlete, having a coach to train with necessary. It is important that you get the expert that knows your ‘sport’ well enough to train you to win. When you finalize your relationship you should be sure you are getting the expertise you need to do more than you are able to do now and not just any business coach.


 

Discover what working with a Business Strategist may be like for you.

Sign up for a Level Up Strategy Session – Identify your next steps.

Create More Income in Mid-Summer Doldrums

Unless your business is a ‘summer seasonal’ business, you may be like many of us where sales are down over the summer. I think it is especially difficult in places where the winters are harsh and the summers short. Where I live (in a snow belt) we get long, cold winters with a lot of snow. This summer we have had incredible weather and no one wants to be inside. For those businesses that sell to other businesses it can actually affect the bottom line.

Yesterday I was talking with a client about her June/July sales which are down over last year. After looking at all the possibilities that can affect sales we thought one of the most likely causes is that her clients (massage therapists) are not seeing as many clients themselves because of the beautiful weather and hence not using as much product. After all, with the Canadian dollar disparity and a looming price increase, they should be purchasing more right now.

If you are having a usual or unusual slowdown in the summer (or another time of the year) here are three things you can do to create more income in your business to drive more sales.

Big Sale sign in red over white background

1. Sale

Have a sale. This is a great time to let your customers and past clients know they can purchase your service or products for a short time at a really great price. It will allow you to reconnect with past clients and get your brand in front of people that have not bought from you before. This may be the opportunity some people have been waiting for to get the product or package they want. Remember that your sale price should not be less than your cost, unless it is a ‘lost leader’ meant to bring in more customers to purchase other ‘on sale’ products.

2. Unique Offering

Offer something you never sell as a one-time purchase. For instance try these unique offerings:

  1. Pair up with another business to give a ‘2-fer’ – two great purchases for one great price. Pair up with someone that offers a product or service your clients would love to have but that you do not offer (e.g. Reiki and massage / weight loss and supplements / coaching and marketing assessment). Remember, you still need to both be making money.
  2. My VA offers a summer ‘try me’ package that gives a month of her time on a trial price (50% off her regular). Believe me once you have someone doing the work for you as a consumer you are likely to continue to purchase. If you do the work for your clients try this last idea out.
  3. I have a client that loves to offer a 10% discount at a local health food store when people come through her nutritional programs. The big win for the health food store is they get new clients in the door and my client looks generous being able to get her clients this discount on food they will need for their new lifestyle.

3. Bonus

Add in something that has great value but costs you little or no additional time or money.  If you have a product that can be downloaded (a program that teaches or relaxes or energizes, etc.) you can add it to any other offering for a short period of time. Remember, it must have true value, not just your ‘free offer’.

Something else I have tried is giving clients access to a personality assessment which I purchase in bulk. This does cost me a little, but it is nominal since I purchase in bulk and it has great value to help my clients understand their marketing language, marketing archetype, or fascination value – all of which makes them better able to cope with the leadership requirements of business ownership. It also gives us language to use when we are working together so we both have a better understanding of what they need to do next for their business’s strategic growth.

Don’t let summer (or any seasonal lull) stop you from making money. Keep your clients happy, keep them coming back, keep them in-the-loop with your offering by making it more desirable to purchase right now.

As for my client with the June/July dip in sales, she has decided to offer her loyal customers one last opportunity to purchase at a lower price after she raises her prices to cover the import costs. After all, who wouldn’t want to stock up before they have to pay more?

 

If You Are Not Sure – Try it On!

Have you ever heard someone say, “I can’t do that”? Some people are afraid to try new things because we don’t know what the outcome will look like when we have never tried it before. Especially when we know it will not be easy. We want people to see us as competent so we don’t want to make a mistake doing it wrong. The challenge with this is sometimes it makes it hard to change. Trying something new means we have to do something we have not done before and that means we are not competent. This is when comfort can over-ride our need to change and we stay stuck.

I remember in the first year of business, when I met Rose Adams, who is now a good friend of mine. Rose had (and still has) the presence of a leader. She is warm and welcoming and always well dressed. I had chosen to be a part of her networking group because of her and a few other strong business women that were in the group.

Rose was kind to me and interested in seeing me do well, so she offered some advice which I accepted gratefully. She offered to go shopping with me to get new clothes. You see, I was still in ‘mommy mode’. My clothes were appropriate for outdoor at the park, walking kids to school, going camping, but not for business. I was very ‘shlumpy’. Rose and I were just acquaintances at that time so her offer was very surprising. I was honoured that this stylish, professional lawyer would take her time to shop with me. There were a couple of conditions for our shopping trip: I was not allowed to buy anything black and I had to try on everything.

Fashionable clothes that fit and look appropriate

Think about these conditions – they were very important because they were to open my eyes to ‘the new’ and what else was available to me. I had worn a lot of black and everything was comfy, jeans & T-shirt – super casual. If all I tried on was the same as what I wore, I would look the same as I had always looked. I had to get out of my comfort zone and try on things I thought looked disgusting, weird, or not me. Of course it didn’t look like me, I never wore it – but it could be me if I changed, and I did. What I found was sometimes the things I thought looked disgusting on me and sometimes they looked amazing, and everything in between. I really had no reference points to make judgements or discussions from. I didn’t know good from bad, stylish from dumpy, my style from someone else’s style. I had to start by trying it on.

The same is for learning what you are best at in your business. What do you love to do? Who do you love to spend your time with? When are you most powerful and where? Can you speak in public, are you a leader, can you create new programs, work one-on-one with your clients, do group events, host a conference, support a NFP, work with a partner.

Sometimes we just have to try something on to see if it fits. Don’t say, “No I can’t do that”, ask, “How could I do that” and then figure out how you can try it on. After all, if it doesn’t fit, you can always find someone else to wear it for you. What you will get is a sense of your limitations and what you can do well. I have used this model to find out I can actually tell great stories from the stage when I thought I was not a story teller, and that I am not the “Richard Branson” charisma leader. We all have our core strengths, and they are all valuable. Using your best strengths (wearing what fits) and learning what ‘look’ is yours will bring you authority in your authenticity because you will feel powerful and comfortable in everything you do.

What is Balance in Business?

I’ve heard people say, ‘it is important to have balance in your life.’ I’ve also heard some people say, ‘you have to learn how to create balance in your business.’ Recently I’ve heard, ‘there is no such thing as balance.’ Wow, so which is it? Is it important, do we need it, or does it even exist? Balance is a tricky word when it comes to non-physical concepts.

When we think of balance we often conjure a vision of two objects equally weighted or a person standing on one foot.

“A state of equilibrium; equal distribution of weight, amount, etc.”1

But in business and life it often means putting up with the things we don’t like so we can have enough time to do what we love. For example working to get 2-weeks vacation. The problem is that doing the negative to have the positive is not balance. Doing what is equally weighted throughout your life is.

“A mental steadiness or emotional stability; habit of calm behavior, judgment, etc.”1

When we say we are working towards balance we forget that it means every day, all day long, not just after the work is done. It is not putting in three 12 hour days so we can go to our kids play at school. It is not getting 90 ‘no’s’ to hear 10 ‘yes’s’ in our sales calls. So if that is not it then what is it?

It is what Buddha calls ‘The middle way’ – This is the path that walks between the extremes.

So how do we add this to our lives and our businesses? We crave stability and yet we seek change. We want calm and achievable and yet we engage in risks that require a long learning curve and a huge investment in energy.

Ohm Symbol

The key I feel has three parts:

1. Know Your Extremes

The Up

When are you pathologically happy? You know… like being in love. That painful ache of love that drives you to do things you would not normally do and keeps you awake at night. It brings you to tears for fear of losing it and makes you pace in anticipation of your next dose of it.

The Down

When are you depressed, angry, overwhelmed and feeling out of control? These are the times that paralyze our actions and stop us from doing what needs to get done.

2. Know Your Ohm

Spend a little time to capture a list of times when you were happiest – when you were most calm – when you felt at peace with your world, your relationships, and your life. It should be a place that makes you smile and fills your heart with a warm remembrance of something worth repeating. It took no effort to achieve it and no payment to experience. It just was a place and time that gave to you exactly what you needed. Understanding what you see as your place of bliss will help you understand your ‘middle way’.

3. Understand Your Why

This may take longer to identify, but anything you start with will be better than having no ‘why’. Try using these questions to help you unearth this truth for you.

  • Why do you love working with the people you work with?
  • Why do you love helping the clients you get to help?
  • What about your product or service gets you excited?
  • What about what you do makes you happy to get out of bed in the morning?
  • How do you feel you are able to affect change in your client, community, country, world?

Now try these three suggestions:

  1. If you know when you are at your extremes (out of your ‘middle way’) you are not balanced and your family, clients, and friends will be able to sense it. Ask others if they think you seem at peace with your business right now.
  2. If you find yourself fighting for every minute of happiness and you really are not present when you get those moments of respite, then you are not in your ‘middle way’. Look for times without extremes.
  3. If you cannot answer the questions to why you are doing what you do, you may be living someone else’s dream. Think of who else you might be living your actions as and then ask the questions again as if you are them. See if you can answer the ‘Why’ as someone else. It is very hard to be your most amazing self and add value to others when you don’t know why you are doing what you do.

Use these tips to help you stay in a place of calm, where you can regenerate your energy easily, add value to others, and feel happy about the life you have chosen to lead. You will be more productive, your days and your duties will feel lighter, and you will be present for the times you are not working in your business. Think of how your kids will respond when they know their mom or dad is truly able to spend a day with them not worried they are missing out on something else. Imagine how you will feel when you know you have not missed out on something because you have time to do all that needs to get done.

 

Getting Your Pricing Right – 3 Key Points

Do you ever feel like you are either under or over charging for you are delivering? How about the feeling of not being completely sure what to deliver – is that an issue too? Getting your pricing right has a lot to do with what you deliver and the value it provides.

This past weekend I worked with a client that is not new to business but is new to this current business. She has incredible transformational skills that are highly valued by her clients. The challenge is she felt she was constantly giving more time than she was charging for and she could not see how she could charge more for what she was delivering.

Your Ideal Client

Knowing your ideal client will always make it easier to sell your value. In a discussion today with a business owner (let’s call her Beth) that sells personal care products, that are organic and healthy, Beth talked about how many people asked, “why would I buy your product when I can get the same product at Walmart for 1/4 the price?” Those questions don’t bother her any longer because Beth knows her client is the mother with a child that cannot tolerate additives, scents, gluten, etc., that are the cheaper way of making the products sold for less. Her ideal client needed what she has and is excited to find it both locally manufactured and sold, even at a higher price.

What is the Result/Benefit?

Our clients don’t buy for features, they buy for the results it will give them. This is why it is so important to understand who your ideal client is. By knowing who they are you can also know what they value most. Is it more time to be with their family, less stress around managing a business, or healthier kids that don’t need prescriptions? Whatever it is, it will be something that closely affects the happiness and enjoyment of their lives. Your product or service needs to speak to their needs. It must provide a benefit that solves their issues. If you don’t know what that is, ask your best clients what it is they get from you.

For Beth it is not the product she is selling, it is the health of a mother’s child which in turn gives them the ability to do better in school and live a happier more productive life. Beth knows that a child with sensitivities or allergies cannot easily focus in school and they start acting out or falling behind. Beth also knows that having toothpaste, hand cream, or cleansers that don’t aggravate or trigger her child is absolutely invaluable when her client’s child comes home with an ‘A’ in school.

Always know your ideal client’s needed results so you can sell the benefits and not the features.

Your Own Value First

You must be able to truly believe that what you are charging is of great value. That you are giving something that is going to do what you say it will do and you must know the cost in hours and expenses. This helps determine your pricing.

In the case of my transformational client from this past weekend, she was offering a choice of two coaching packages: 3-month or 6-month, where the 6-month was twice the price of the 3-month. So what is the value of purchasing 2x more time with her? There was nothing that she knew her clients needed that would be defined by spending twice the time with her. So what did they actually get? It turned out that her best clients usually started with a focused session that identified their blocks. They actually left this first visit feeling better. The remaining time is how she locked in their transformation, went to the deeper blocks, and kept them continually feeling better. Her problem was she felt guilty about giving them 2+ hours for the first visit because she was not charging them for it and she did not want to increase the price because she did not know the value (or at least she could not define the value in terms of benefits and results).

Without changing her hourly rate we re-evaluated her product delivery and benefits and came up with a product that met her ideal client’s needs, gave them measurable results, and was priced to cover her costs, both in time and in expenses. It did not feel more expensive. It was actually easier to sell as she could speak directly to the transformation and the time it would take. She could stand behind her offering and really make a difference. It made selling more like an invitation for her clients to feel better and be more productive.

By knowing her ideal client and their needs she could create a product with lots of value that gave the results they were seeking. She could now easily charge what she was worth.

Being congruent with your value first will allow you to be valued by others and will make you more competitive. Charging what you think people will pay will not. Don’t let an industry, a mentor, or a potential client tell you what to charge. Do the research and the math and make your numbers represent the actual value. It will be worth your time.

How To Make Less Risky – More Confident Decisions

If you have ever thought to yourself, “Hey, I’ve thought of that idea before. I could have been rich like that guy.” If you think you could have made money off an idea you had because you see someone else making money off of it, you are right. You can still likely make money off of that idea, but now you have an excuse not to do the work. The main difference between the person that does make money off an idea and those that feel they missed out, is the decisions that were made around what had to be done.

Everybody Dreams – Few Do the Work

Women Thinking

If you want to see a significant change in your business or life, like more clients, more income, bigger target market, larger territory, a new product line, more employees, more notoriety, etc. you have to be willing to decide on the change that must take place and then do the work. Decision making is a core entrepreneurial skill and you MUST learn to be good at this so you can take action when action is required.

As an employee, you were given tasks to complete and core responsibilities to manage. Your decisions were defined by the level of leadership you held.

  • New to the position? – do the work you are given.
  • Manager level position? – decide on events and issues that will affect the people that work under you and how you will respond.

Now that you are a business owner you are responsible for all aspects of your business. You must be able to make decisions easily and with clarity for the benefit of the business and all the people it will affect.

Confident decision making seems to be a weakness of women business owners in particular. I cannot tell you how many times I have had a successful business owner tell me she have identified a specific need for her business and then, after speaking to her non-entrepreneurial spouse, had decided that it would not be a great idea. The spouse, out of fear for a future they cannot perceive, will always default to a safe response, as only money = security to a non-entrepreneur. Money should always be a factor in your decision making for business but not the only factor.

Perspective without a view can hamper good judgement and stop growth. If the person making decisions in your business does not have full view of the big-picture, their perspective will now benefit the growth of your business. Either give them all the details or stop asking them for their advice.

Below are three factors that will help you with decision making. If your business decisions are clear about these three factors then you will start making less risky, more confident decisions.

1. What is Your Business Goal?

You should always be working towards a goal in your business and life. If you have no set goals (and that does mean it MUST be written down) you will not have the motivation to continually do what it takes to make your business work, especially when things are tough. You should have one ambitious long-term goal, a mid-range goal (1-2 years to complete) and several short term goals that support them. For instance:

Long-term goal To have a successful national membership program with a minimum of 500 members country-wide.

Mid-range goal – To create a national program that has monthly meetings in 5 main cities across the country, with 25 members per city, paying a yearly memberships of $200 each, by 2016.

Short-term goal – Launch the first chapter by May 2015 with a minimum of 15 members.

Ask Yourself – How does this decision affect my goals?

2. Know Your Business’s Mission

My mission is to help business owners feel empowered to successfully implement big ideas in their business so they can make a difference to others in the world. When I look at decisions that I have to make for my business I first want to make sure it is in line with what I want to do, who I want to do it for, how I will provide that service, and why I want to do it. If my decision does not support my mission then it is likely a shiny object that I have been distracted by.

Ask Yourself – will acting on this decision further the goals I have set to support my mission?

3. Know How to Calculate Your ROI

Let’s talk about the money. Sometimes it is hard to spend the money required to make more money because all we can see is the expense. I know, I have this same issue. It also does not stop me from making key decisions in my business that will help propel my business growth.

Write down your answers to these 4 questions.

  1. What is the Cost? – This is the obvious number to look at.
  2. What can you change that will make you more money if you do this?
  3. How much money can you generate from this change in your business?
  4. How else can you pay for this?

The last question is the key to making more money. Looking for opportunities to reduce or eliminate costs is the best way to create an easy path to confident decision making. I recently heard a story about Richard Branson starting Virgin Airlines and how he reduced the risk of the expense of purchasing a Boeing Commercial Airplane. He made a deal with Boeing that they would purchase the airplane back from him in a year if he could not make the new airline company work.

In 2013 I was creating my event plans for 2014 and I knew I was going to be spending a lot of money on locations.  I made an arrangement with a business centre to become my sponsor for the year. My clients were their ideal target market. I got the locations for free, they got online advertising with the programs and the opportunity to speak directly to my clients at the events.

Check-in

Does your decision further your goals; Is it in line with your mission and can you make enough money by investing your time, money or energy required to implement this decision so you can continue to grow your business

After passing these three check-points you can now look at your ability to fund the idea and make a less-risky, more confident decision.

Free Can Get You More Sales

Recently I have had several clients developing software applications and mobile apps. I’ve been in the software industry and software implementation in one form or another for over 2 decades so I’ve seen a lot of different models for development and product roll-out. The software I see and use seems to have a very different way of reaching their market: It starts with free.

I’m just taking serious note of it as I have had some friends create a new software program that has some potential for great value and they want to ask $420 a year to use it. When I tested the software and found several bugs and functionality issues I came to the conclusion that although they have something, it is not ready, in my opinion, to be a full offering. Here are a few things I think they have missed with this roll-out of their product, that apply to most businesses and some suggestions I think would gain them more clients up front and potential investors to create the full premium version of the software.

Start with Free

The best way to get people using your product is to offer some portion of it for free. The “Free for Use – Pay for Premium” model is used a lot for some of the biggest and best loved software applications right now. In the software industry it is almost expected. Here are some examples of software programs that have ‘Free for Use’ components and ‘Pay for Premium’ profit models.

Facebook.com and Google.com

Get connected, start relationships, and build a following for free. When you are ready to be in front of your target market on other pages they visit you can pay for ads. I would say Google is the granddaddy of this business model to the scale they have created. For years the founders of Google did not even want to charge. Their investors kept asking, “how are we going to make money if we didn’t charge?”

Well that all worked out for them, the users and the investors, didn’t it?

Hightail.com, Dropbox.com and Anymeeting.com

Hightail (formerly YouSendIt.com), Dropbox, and Anymeeting are all online support software packages that can be used for free. They are completely functional and provide amazing support to a certain level for free. Their profit model comes when people need more.

Hightail will send large files for free. If you want to track the downloads, keep records of your messages, brand your emails, or send extra-large files you can purchase one of their premium packages.

The same applies to Dropbox and Anymeeting. Dropbox is a cloud storage location and Anymeeting is for webinars. Want more storage… Want to record your webinar or host larger groups… that’s when they charge.

TheLadders.com

I admit, I have never used this website but I do know a great deal about it because it was the focus of a book by Bill Murphy (The Intelligent Entrepreneur). I know that they rolled out their software and enticed as many people as possible to use the software for free. Then they transitioned to a paid model.

Here is one way you may be able to use free to get more sales.

  1. Give the software for free to get a large user base
  2. Use the feedback to streamline the product for optimal value for your clients.
  3. Evaluate how clients use the software to create a plan for a premium product.
  4. Leverage the numbers of your current user base to get outside investment.
  5. Use the investment to create a paid segment of your product that answers needs not fulfilled by the free version.
  6. Roll-out the paid product marketing to your current clients first.
  7. Create a marketing campaign to reach new clients and give your current clients bonuses for bringing in new clients.

If you can give something of value to start a relationship with your target market then think about giving all or some of it for free to get more sales later on. It may be the first step to your multi-million dollar enterprise.

Use Your Passion & Purpose to Create More Business

Without desire there is no motivation to make something happen that we actually want to happen.

We can certainly create a mess in our lives by doing things without intent. For example, look at the social rates of teen pregnancy, debt, obesity, addiction, etc. These happen because of a lack of passion, purpose and desire, amongst other factors.

Think about a time when you really wanted something; a new car, a house, new shoes. Even if you initially though you could not afford it, you would find a way if the desire was great enough. This is true for love, health, spirituality, stability, family, wealth, and business. If  the ‘WHY’ is bigger than the ‘BUT’ you can make it happen.

Motivation comes from the desire to work in our purpose

The key is if you want a business that you can be happy working in when times are tough and you’re not in love with the work of the time, you have to be doing something you are passionate about. The passion will drive your desire to see it through. The achievement will fulfill your purpose in life, giving you the feeling of worth. We all want to feel what we do matters. We want to feel we add value and that we belong.

I know what I was good at and what I liked doing, but it wasn’t until my forties that i really understood my purpose. Before I understood how I fit into my world, I felt I was forcing my gifts on others. I have to tell you finding this path was not easy and it took outside help to see me for my greatness, release me from my doubt, empower me with my abilities, and help me put words to my gifts. One of my greatest experiences was to work with Nadia Tumas the Life Purpose Decoder. Her reading of who I am and what I do instinctively gave me the words to help great people live their purpose to their fullest.

Find the people that can see you, free your, and empower you to do your work every day with gratitude and you will feel purposeful in all you do.

Recommended Reading – ‘Think and Grow Rich’ by Napoleon Hill – chapter 2 “Desire”.

Overcoming the Fear of Growth

“Every significant accomplishment begins with one person stepping up and committing to making a difference” ~ John C. Maxwell.

There is a fear around spending more money, committing more time, giving up freedoms, or increasing time away from family and friends that stops so many business owners from doing what needs to get done to ensure their business grows.  To make a difference in business a business owner must be focused on the work required to see it complete and committed to providing the resources needed to get it there.

Recently I had a Client share a story of a client of hers, who is in the wellness industry. They will give up comfort for their customers because they cannot afford the right equipment. They will even be willing to risk their own health by not having ergonomically functional patient examination equipment in their treatment rooms. Their goal is to buy these things, that they know they need to run a functional business by saving up over a 5 year period.

If they think their clients are going to wait 5 years for them to have the right equipment they will be wrong. Until then they cannot charge what they are worth because they don’t have the basics to make it valuable for their customers. By charging less it will take longer to save the money they need to purchase the equipment and likely it will never happen because the habit of ‘good enough’ will already be instilled into all their business practices.

A business owner must realize that there is no free way to start a business. Growth always starts with investment. So how do we overcome the fear of investment when we don’t feel we have the money or the time to give?

Have a Realistic Goal

Five years to purchase the equipment you need to do the work is not realistic. It would be like going into the new Target store and them not having washrooms for their clients. “We know we need washrooms and it is on our 5-year plan to invest in building washrooms in all stores.” Wouldn’t that be a ridiculous thing to hear.

Maybe not as ridiculous, but just as dysfunctional, are the statements that come from many business owners when it comes to their business growth. Statements like:

  • “I can’t afford to hire someone right now,” when they are completely unable to do all the work just to maintain their business. Where do they think the extra money is going to come from if they don’t hire someone so they can take on more business?
  • “My husband is finished school for the summer and he said he would help me,” was the statement from a business owner of 17 years looking for a new growth strategy because she was working too much and loosing clients. Where did she believe her husband’s new business prowess was going to come from this summer?

The intention to grow is not enough, you must have a realistic goal that cannot be reached by applying a little extra effort in the same places. A growth goal requires a clear vision that will propel you to do the things you have not done before so you can overcome the fear of  trying something new.

Follow a Plan

Desert journey

A clear growth vision will give you the passion to do the work during the times when doing the work is difficult and a plan with steps that can be followed helps ensure that we don’t stop before we reach our destination.

Creating a plan takes a little bit of insight and requires the ability to gather knowledge about the resources needed for each component of the plan.

I was chatting with a real estate investor this morning. He has recently acquired several commercial buildings. He completely understands the value of offering an up-to-date space when it comes to renting offices for a premium, so he is on a path to update and renovate. He knows what the goal is, he has a vision for its value, he has created a plan to get there, and now he is collecting the resources needed to get the steps done.

The work feels easier when you can tackle each step in its turn. The fear comes when we don’t have a process and we try to tackle everything at the same time. The real estate investor knows he cannot have all the trades in his building at the same time. In between purchasing the building and gutting it he invested in more knowledge about development, government requirements and the trades so he could manage the project successfully for his business. The steps of his plan are easier because he is not guessing his next move and then having to put out fires as he goes.

Free Doesn’t Mean Without Cost

One of the biggest fallacies in business growth is to expect to use a free tool or cheaply acquired resource and it won’t cost any money.  When I sit down with my clients and go through the costs of their programs or services, they often find that they are paying way more than they thought to create and deliver it. Bringing things from home, using free online tools, printing a few pages, paying for cheap location, etc. all add up. Usually not everything is accounted for. The one thing that is most often overlooked is the business owner’s own time. When they calculate that they have put in 10 hours for a 2 hour service then they do the math and realize they are working for less than $10 per hour.

We feel fear around growth because we know instinctively that we are working for a pittance and we cannot do more because we really cannot afford to do more.

When you build your plan you must include the cost of your time to implement and maintain free resources. For instance, using social media is very costly in time. In your plan, your long term goal will be to have the social media marketing managed by another person, so you must account for those hours in your estimated costs for growth. It will not be surprising to you that you are working for little money and it will not be surprising to you how much money you need to then hire someone to do the work. The timing and the resources will then be known for that growth step.

Fear comes when we don’t know what we are doing, why we are doing it, or how we will get it done. If you want to be on the path for a greater business growth you have to reduce or eliminate the fear you have around doing the work. Make your goals match your vision, create a plan with steps that you can follow, and understand what your costs really are.