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
When I was studying for my MBA, my most challenging class was statistics. And even though I managed an A- in the class, it took every one of the few analytical brain cells I had to do so.
So when I sit down to analyze the statistics of my business every year, I’m still surprised to find myself engrossed, fascinated, excited and practically dancing for joy. Armed with this critical data, now I know exactly where to spend my time and efforts going forward to receive the highest and best rate of return.
I ran a total of about 10 reports, but let me share some of what I learned specifically from my shopping cart’s reports:
The backend system I use (Infusionsoft) has the ability to run sales reports in a variety of ways. Below are four of the reports I run, what my results are, and how you can apply the results to your business:
a. My Monthly Sales Totals…
…showed me how many sales I made each month, and from that information, I discovered that my best month financially was November, followed very closely by December, then January.
I reviewed my marketing and sales activities (in other words, the offers I made) for that month, and what I found was this:
In November, I opened the Lively Biz Business Club membership for the first time.
In December, I opened the Lively Biz Accelerator small group coaching program for the first time.
In January, I offered a handful of spots for private Business Breakthrough Virtual Retreats with me, which always sell out very fast.
While the Club has a low price point, I designed and followed a specific launch plan, which resulted in a lot more enrollments. If you only have higher price points in you business model at the moment, consider if you can add a lower-priced leveraged offer to your menu of services.
Both the Accelerator and the Business Breakthrough Virtual Retreats have higher price points, so if you’ve already developed some products or programs at the lower-priced end of your funnel, consider adding a more comprehensive program at a higher price to your offerings to increase your bottom line.
b. My Sales by Campaign…
… showed me which special offers were the ones you were most interested in taking advantage of. Now I know which offers to consider repeating, or offering on another product or program in the future.
This is something you can do as well. Guessing if a special campaign you ran worked well or not doesn’t make good business sense. Tracking actual numbers does, however, and it’s super-simple to do if you have a backend system that has that feature.
c. My Sales by Clients/Customers…
… showed me who my top clients/customers are, what they’ve bought, and how much they’ve invested in my offerings. And since I know that one of the most effective ways to grow a business is to make additional offers to those who have already bought from me, you can bet that not only will I do that, but I’ll do it in a way that makes them feel special – because they are to me – by offering them special access or discounts or additional benefits as my way of thanking them for their continued business and loyalty.
If you track this information, you can do the same and increase your sales and your customer loyalty at the same time.
d. My “Where did you hear about us” Report…
… showed me that even though I thought that some of my online networking efforts weren’t really paying off, mainly because I didn’t think I was focusing enough time on them, I was wrong. It seems even the small amount I had been doing was making an impact.
So now I know the top three places to really focus those efforts going forward. If you’ve found online networking to be a struggle for you, tracking this information makes what can seem like an overwhelming marketing activity (some lists are SO active) into an extremely manageable and once-again enjoyable one.
I gleaned all of this information from just four reports from Infusionsoft. And this doesn’t include the reports I ran for my web stats via Google Analytics.
Measuring the results of your business activities is critical to your success, and anyone can do it (it’s really one of those “if I can, anyone can” kind of things). I really want to encourage you to take a look at where you’ve been over the past 6-12 months, analyze that data, and make some strategic decisions about where you want to focus your efforts going forward to get where you want to be.
I’d love to hear which of these tips you’re willing to embrace today. Feel free to share with me below.