While the message and the market of your business may be different, there are some stumbling blocks that seem to pop up for even the seasoned entrepreneur.
Here are four of the ones that I frequently coach on with my private clients:
1. Not moving ahead even when they know what to do.
Almost always, this is a fear-based immobility. Whether it’s fear of failure or fear of success (the later seems more prevalent for entrepreneurs, including myself).
We come up with all kinds of excuses as to why something isn’t getting done, but most often it has nothing to do with anything other than fear of the possible result of moving forward.
If you’re afraid of failing, remember that in our online world, we get to test things out with very little risk. My favorite strategy is to ‘fail fast’. Put it out there, see what happens, tweak until you get the result you want.
If you’re afraid of success, then you need to take a look at your Big Money Why (BMW – see #4) to see how you can make it more powerful and motivating (tip: money is never enough of a motivator, believe it or not). And you need to put a process in place for how you will handle the abundance that’s to come.
2. Being self-disciplined enough to make and stick to self-imposed deadlines.
The wonderful thing about being an entrepreneur is that you’re your own boss. The tricky thing about that is most, if not all, of our deadlines are self-imposed. Which makes them very easy to move, doesn’t it? I know because I’ve struggled with this one more than once.
If we go back to knowing what your emotionally driven motivator is for the success you desire, you’ll be more likely to stick to those self-imposed deadlines – but only if that BMW is strong enough.
Here’s a simple but very powerful tip for you in sticking to your own deadlines: Make them public. When I launched my first info-product, I told my ezine list that they would be able to buy it on a certain date, which gave me about 3 weeks to get it done. And done it was.
3. Claiming leadership status and fully stepping into the role of the CEO of your business.
Once an entrepreneur gets the foundational pieces in place for their business, it’s actually easy to stay in the start-up phase, because it’s comfortable. And because often they don’t know what the next step is, what the next layer of the business should look like, to take them to the next level.
The sooner they can take on the leadership role, by becoming the CEO of their business (even if they don’t call themselves that), the faster the growth of both the entrepreneur and the business.
One of the ways you can step more fully into that role is by delegating. So if you’ve been in business for a couple of years and you’re still doing too much of the managing of it, and especially if you’re doing all the admin work, and you haven’t hired an assistant yet, it’s time. Start with one small project and add from there.
For every task in your business, ask yourself, “Is this something I should be doing?”
Because remember, even if you CAN do something doesn’t mean you SHOULD.
If the answer is no, then pass it off to a capable assistant.
4. Having an emotionally driven motivator for your Big Money Why (BMW).
This is probably the most important one…
Money is NOT enough of a motivator, no matter how much you want it, or are attached to the ’6-Figure’ or “million-dollar’ mark. There has to be a reason behind wanting it, something that is so strong that it drives you and the business forward, no matter what.
If you find things aren’t moving as quickly as you’d like, or it feels too hard much of the time, or you just aren’t using your time and talent effectively, take a look at your Big Money Why. And if you haven’t done this before, then that’s your coaching homework.
In as much detail as possible, write out why you want the financial success you do. Is it to give to your family, is it to give to others, is it to create a charitable foundation, is it to take care of elderly parents, is it to enable your children to get the best education you can give them, is it to travel and expand your world view, is it to buy a nicer home for your family, is it to give experiences to those you love – they are a thousand reasons why, but you need to be very clear of what they are for YOU before you can make them happen.
Inside the Lively Biz Business Club, we focus a lot on your Big Money Why, as it’s one of the most powerful exercises for shifting the members into passionate action in their business.
Click here to get on the wait-list to be first to find out when the Club re-opens
People ask me all the time how I’ve managed to create a 6-figure+ business while only working about 15 hours a week. First, I had to build a solid foundation and set up systems that would support the business as it grew, systems that were either automated or delegated or easily repeatable.
Once I had the foundation and the beginning systems in place, I was constantly looking for ways to leverage my time and talent, and I still do. I could write a book on the many ways we do this in my business (and maybe I will someday) but in this 4-part series, I’m going to share with you some of the most effective ones that you can apply to your business today.
1. Pick a price…
Pricing is one of the places that almost everyone gets stuck. Don’t stay stuck especially if it’s something new that you’re offering and you’re filling in the holes in your business model. Just pick a price and get your offer out there.
Getting stuff out there will move you forward, create more income, and leverage your time.
You can say, “This is early bird pricing. This is beta pricing. This is an introductory rate. Be one of our beta testers.” Know that you’re not wedded to that price forever and ever.
That is the beautiful thing about what we do. We can change our pricing all the time. It’s simple. You can just type a new number.
2. Always be hiring…
As your business grows you always want to hire. Pay attention to who shows up, who comes across your desk, who is in your inbox and who you meet at conferences and events who may be a good addition to your team.
You might think, “I’d love to have her do my social media. I’d love to have her be part of my administrative team. I’d really love to have this person do my website.”
Be aware of the people that you’re feeling that resonance with. Maybe there is a small project you can hook them with to get them onto your team early.
That way when you’re ready to hire someone, you have a ready file of possibilities to go to.
3. Make mine WordPress…
If you haven’t made the switch from a traditional HTML to WordPress, now’s the time.
The benefits of using WordPress are seemingly endless. Search engines love them, you don’t need to know HTML to create a site or make changes to an existing site, and there are tons of free and low-cost templates to choose from that will give you business a professional polish.
Because it’s so easy to use WordPress, this is going to save you (or your designer) tons of time, which is going to save you tons of money.
4. Take a stand and make it matter
To increase your exposure and your reach into your market, decide what it is that you are willing to take a stand for and make that matter to your market. If you’re ready to stop seeming like everyone else in your market who does what you do, then figure out what it is that you believe at core level and are willing to make a stand for and in for your market.
Then use that stand as the basis for your manifesto, weave it into your marketing copy, speak about it with passion, and watch as more of your ideal audience gathers to you.
5. Publish your content on Kindle
If you have an ebook or a print book, consider publish those on Amazon as Kindle versions. It’s a great way to get your content in front of all that traffic that already exists on Amazon that can lead to more leads and more sales for you. Just be sure to put an invitation in your book that leads people back to your website.
I’d love to know which one of these leveraging tips resonates the most with you – share with me below!
One of the ways I see entrepreneurs staying small (and frustrated) is by not being serious enough about how they manage their receivables in their business. Receivables is simply money that is owed to you. For example, there isn’t a business owner I know who hasn’t had at least one client’s payments become an issue, so if this hasn’t happened to you yet, know it most likely will. However, if you have certain things in place, it will be a lot easier for you to handle these situations, gracefully and respectfully.
So, let’s take a deeper look at that most common scenario: a client is late with their payment. When you address this with them, they tell you their situation and while you can and should listen with compassion, it’s imperative that you not take on the problems that they’re having and make them your own. That doesn’t serve either of you.
While we all can have money issues from time to time, if the client takes no responsibility for it – and yes, even when it seems it’s completely out of their control – then they’re coming from a victim mentality. But you can’t let them make you a victim of their situation as well.
First and foremost, ALWAYS listen to your intuition when signing on a client. You’ll only make the mistake once of not doing so before you regret it and realize taking them on didn’t serve either of you.
But there are also times when this situation comes up with a great client too. While the money situation is still theirs, for you, it’s a boundary issue. And it’s an opportunity to tighten your parameters and policies too.
We need to remember that we are running a business and as a serious business owner, we are entitled to monies owed to us. It’s why having clearly written and signed agreements and a written policies page are so important.
So while it’s the client’s responsibility to pay what’s owed, it’s your responsibility to collect what’s owed. This can and should be handled gracefully and respectfully. And it’s as easy as staying detached from their story and creating a plan to handle the situation.
If you commiserate, let the payment slide, and/or don’t make a plan on how it will be handled, not only will you start to feel resentful, but you’re also enabling the client to continue this disempowering behavior.
This is a perfect opportunity for you to step more fully into being a powerful model and mentor for them. When you’re talking with your client, tell them that you understand that this is a difficult situation for them, and then ask them what they are going to do to resolve it as soon as possible.
I know it feels easier to avoid conflict and commiserate with the client, but I have found that if you do that, the situation just keeps happening until you no longer put up with it. When you’re firm on your boundaries, you respect yourself and your business enough so you attract more and more ideal clients who are a joy to work with. I know this to be true.
I’d love to know your thoughts on this – it’s a hot-button issue for lots of business owners and clients alike, so please leave your comments below.
Chloe has a children’s book titled Milton’s Secret: An Adventure of Discovery through Then, When, and the Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle and Robert S. Friedman, which really simplifies the concept of living in the present moment, and how the practice of that will, for the boy in the story, eliminate fear and worry.
I wanted to explore that as it pertains to your business, with a slightly different slant. I wonder if you, like so many of my clients, and myself as well from time to time, are so hooked into the future that we’re missing the NOW and not fully enjoying the journey?
So how do we unhook from it to allow what we truly want to come to pass without always feeling like we’re striving for it? Here are 5 ideas:
1. Let go of the goals that take you away from the present.
Let me say first that you can have everything you want – and there’s no judgement here on what those things are.
That being said, do you want a mansion, to be the #1 speaker in your market, to be the one with the biggest email list in your market, to be a New York Times bestselling author, to make a million dollars? There’s nothing wrong with any of those lofty (and completely attainable) goals.
And, what happens is when we’re so focused on the sexy dream we tend to get ourselves so riled up about getting there that we miss all the amazing stuff happening NOW.
What I’ve noticed is that people get impatient, sad, frustrated, and even angry when they’re so focused on the future goal that the present seems uninteresting at best, despairing at worst. The antidote? See #2.
2. Polish the present
I want to encourage you to stop striving so hard and thrive in your present. What I mean is that if you make what you already have better, and polish what’s already good and working, you uplevel your life without expending that energy on something that doesn’t exist yet.
Yes, it’s about appreciating what’s already good and right in your world and in your business AND it’s about how you can make what’s already there fulfill you even more. It’s true that if you make the most of what you already have, you’ll get more and better of it with a lot less effort on your part.
3. Don’t plan so much
I’m all about having the big picture plan down to the day-to-day details, and yet I know that most of the time, the plan changes.
One of the reasons we – as business owners – plan so much is because it gives us a sense of control and it helps to alleviate the fears and doubts we have about knowing what we’re doing.
So have the plan and be willing to be flexible with it. Let it be a guide but not the only way. If you get wrapped up in THE PLAN you’ll actually hold yourself and your business back from being able to adapt quickly when things change – and they always do.
Assess if you spend more time planning than doing – and if you do, stop right now. And if you tend to fly by the seat of your pants more often than not, you might want a lightly-built framework around you to give you some sense of stability.
4. Get out of the striver’s club
Stop trying to acquire a better future with others who are striving. It’s just too exhausting. I’m not saying to surround yourself with lazy folks, but to get out of the overdrive club if you want to relax into a currently compelling present instead of an exhausting still ‘out there somewhere’ future.
5. Get off the ‘if/when’ rollercoaster
I admit this is a pet peeve of mine. Not from people who are decisive, but from people who use it as an excuse to not be happy now. When you make ‘if/when’ statements, you’re living in the future. Dreaming and visioning is one thing; otherwise it’s a holding pattern for you but even worse, you’re not enjoying where you’re at right now!
I’d love to know your thoughts on how to unhook from the future so you can enjoy the present – please leave your comments below.
Ever have someone copy your idea, your sales page, your emails, or anything else you’ve created in your business?
Yeah, it’s not a good feeling.
Yeah, yeah – I know that ‘imitation is the sincerest form of flattery’ and that we’re all of ‘one mind’ and all that, but really? There is a line that no one should cross.
I’ve dealt with this on numerous occasions in my own business (frankly dealing with it now with someone who certainly doesn’t need to copy me – who has an extremely successful business already so I know that it’s about something else entirely) and while sometimes it is easier and ok to just let it go, other times it’s not.
So what do you do when you feel compelled to do something about it?
Here are 4 ways of dealing with copycats:
First, get on the line with a business best friend and have a good vent about it. You need to get it out of your system before you can approach the copycat from a place where you’re more likely to have the situation resolved.
2. Call them on it personally
I like to contact people personally first, and give them a chance to make things right. I don’t have my assistant do this – I reach out myself usually via email, with a gracious note that I’ve noticed something they are doing is very similar to mine and I wanted to point that out – that I wouldn’t want their people thinking they’re copying me.
In one case, the person in question immediately responded with a gracious note back, offering that she was ‘modeling’ me and others and told me she would make changes to the page in question and send it to me for approval. She did and I was satisfied with the changes she made and all was well.
If it doesn’t go that way then…
3. Call them on it officially
Get your attorney involved and send them a ‘cease and desist’ letter. That will usually do the trick.
4. Move on
Once you’ve handled it either personally or officially, move on. Don’t hold a grudge against the person, just let it go. It’s not worth any more of your energy or emotion and recognize that the reason behind the copying has nothing to do with you. And then use the situation to be even more creative in your own endeavors going forward.
I’d love to know your thoughts on copycats – share with me below…