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Introductory Pricing

what-do-I-chargeI’ve been talking with a lot of business owners recently who are either brand new to their business, or reinventing. They are making one of the most important decisions they make – how to price themselves.

People often have questions about whether they should offer lower pricing while they “earn their stripes.” As I’ve been working people through this, I thought I’d share my perspective with you.

First, here are a few tips on pricing in general.

  1. Even if you are new to your business, there are things you know from your other life experiences, and things you’ve come to believe in, that have huge value. Even if you are a lifelong learner, like most Aligned Entrepreneurs, you can package your current state of evolution for big dollars, AND continue to learn. (And charging more will help you fund your learning!)
  2. Defining your process will help your clients to see your value. Teaching them what you know while you work them has huge value. I worked with an amazing event production team for my recent event. One of the biggest reasons I hired them is because I knew I would learn so much from watching them work as they have worked with many people before me. I recently helped a photographer developed offerings. While she was just launching her business, her knowledge of a specific industry and the specialized needs allowed her to create added value from the beginning, as she built the sharing of that knowledge into her process.
  3. Price based on the life that is calling to you. I coach people to get crystal clear about the lifestyle they want and what that will cost them. (I learned this from my first mentor and it has never steered me wrong). Don’t think about the life you think you someday want with millions in the bank so you never have to worry about money. (For some of you that’s what you want now but for most your true desire is closer in). Calculate the cost of what you actually want… that which will make a marked difference in your life that you connect with emotionally. Using that monthly number, divide it by the number clients you want to work with on a monthly basis, and this is how you set your rate.
    • E.g. you want to earn $20,000 /month and you want to work with 15 clients per month, then your pricing would be $1333 per client per month.

Now the question that generally comes up for someone who is just starting out is, “How can I charge that much right now?”

So, a few things about charging what you’re worth out of the gate.

  1. Where the desire is present, the way to fulfill it is also present. This is based on Universal Law. You wouldn’t be shown the desire for something right now if it weren’t available to you right now. If the $20,000 is a true desire that is in alignment for you, that rate is also in alignment for you.
  2. Design your packages to command that rate… determine what you have and know and give that can deliver that level of value and then some… even if you’re not 100% certain about your ability to deliver it. Trust your ideas about what is valuable and put them into action.
  3. Often you’ll need someone outside of yourself to help you see your natural value. :-) Don’t ask your prospects because they will always want to pay less, even when it serves them to pay more.
  4. Start with the rate you calculated, even if it feels like a lot. It’s easier to become the person who can sell at that rate than it is to get accustomed to something lower and then raise your pricing.

The Introductory Rate

So sometimes it takes time to get your courage up to match your true value, or you want to get some experience and some testimonials or portfolio pieces. I’m a fan of that because you will LEARN so much from your first clients. But I’m not a fan of underpricing. I recommend deciding exactly how many clients you want to bring in quickly to ‘learn from.’

Don’t lower the price of your package, but instead offer a limited number at an extreme discount. Let them know the true value, and that you are offering this rate for the first 5 clients (or whatever number you set). Then stick to your plan.

Clarity is attractive. Charging too little out of fear is not. Having a clear, pre-defined plan for what you will charge and exactly when you raise your rate and to what is powerful way to approach the initial pricing dilemma. When you know where you are going the details of how you get there are just details.

What’s your experience with pricing? Would love to hear your comments below.

Bypassing Interruption Upon Re-entry

This week I recorded a quick video about what generally happens for people after they create a big vision.  Don’t let interruption keep you from amplification!

The Amplification Cycle and Knowing Where You Are

amplification-styleA new teaching I’ve developed for my upcoming event is called The Amplification Cycle. I will use it as the jumping off point for my next couple of articles, as understanding it can really change everything for an entrepreneur.

I talk a lot about the idea that having an awareness of where you actually are in your business is critical to staying calm and relaxed, and knowing your next move. When you can ‘be with’ whatever unfolds and make the best next decision for you, where you are, you will ultimately be a huge success. Because higher forces have always got your back and are steering you in the right direction.

But, when we don’t have a sense of where we are and we want to skip steps in The Amplification Cycle, it can lead to all sorts of breakdowns!

There are 5 stages to the cycle.  Believe, Build, Expand, Retreat, and Sustain.

I originally thought about these as stages of business, but I realized that they actually happen all of the time. If you want to amplify a new marketing message, you’ll experience this cycle. If you want to amplify your impact by serving more clients in a leveraged way, you’ll experience this cycle. In fact, if you’re not in it, you are probably not growing.

For today I’ll outline the stages of the cycle.

1. BELIEVE

This is the starting point of any amplification, and it is the one people most often skip. This isn’t just about believing in what you are doing, but doing a check to ensure that what you are working on is in full alignment with what you truly believe. No skipping over what matters to you.

2. BUILD

This is where you lay the foundation for your business, or your new message, or your new brand platform. You look at the systems or structures that you must put into place in order to lay a solid foundation for what you want to amplify. This may look at mapping out how you will package and price your services. Or if it is a new marketing campaign idea, you are thinking about where the campaign is leading people. Do you want them to purchase a session with you or attend your new workshop?

3. EXPAND

In the expand stage, you are taking what you learned in the build stage. Ideally you have gotten data, or evidence (even if it is just a handful of clients) that tell you that expanding is a good idea. Perhaps you will move from using one channel to market your new structure, to putting the word out in several channels all at once.

4. RETREAT

This is the other stage that people often skip. This leads to many an unhappy entrepreneur. When you play full out to expand something that matters to you, it’s important to build in a planned period of retreat, whether a day or a week, or even a bubble bath. You’ve got to step back and evaluate the pieces you love and the pieces that are out of alignment for you. This will allow you to actively choose the pieces you’d like to sustain.

5. SUSTAIN

In stage 5 you move your ideas into sustainable systems. This could be as simple as moving your newsletter over to be executed by a virtual assistant, or me creating a monthly budget to run Facebook ads that bring people to your webinar, your new program, and ultimately a higher level investment with you within the next 12 weeks. There are countless ways you can put specific pieces of your business into a sustainable approach to building that which you truly love.

Now, if you look at the drawing, you’ll note that from SUSTAIN, the arrow leads back to BUILD. Because here’s the deal. If you’re a true entrepreneur at heart, once you create something sustainable, you’ll be ready for the next thing! And that is where you’ll move back into evaluating. Now that you’ve created this cool sustainable offering, what do you NOW believe that you can AMPLIFY next?

You’ll notice the yellow ovals as well. These say “Interruption” and they are the places that people most often get off track and start a backward spiral. I’ll touch more on these next week!

And if you want to learn more about the build and expand stages of the cycle, join me next Tuesday for my new livestream AMPLIFY.

Click here to register

Being Successful While Hiding

When I started my business I thought I knew everything. And nothing.

And that is still the case today!

It’s something I see happen to many entrepreneurs who would be vastly successful, if they ever truly opened their mouth.

Woah, wait, hold on… don’t tune me out just yet.

Because you might be saying to yourself, “this one doesn’t apply to me… I have lots of opinions!”

Yes, this is the tricky part. So did I.  

And so do my clients.

Do you ever find yourself thinking…
  • I’m not going to take time to share with THAT person because it is probably not a good use of my energy.
  • I’ve got this GREAT IDEA and once I actually do it, it will be awesome. Until then I’ll keep it under wraps.
  • I know what I’m doing in THIS AREA FOR SURE so I won’t ask for help (even though I never seem to be getting it done).
  • I’m not ready for THAT yet, but this feels like a good stepping stone (aka compromise).
  • I won’t launch until it’s REALLY GOOD, better than those other people doing that thing.

Or my favorite one doesn’t even show up as a clear thought, but I’ve been seeing it around lately.

It’s when we oh-so-subtly take into consideration how the people around us would probably want us to do something, and we do it that way without even thinking about it… to make them happy, to make them successful, to not rock the boat… you name it.

And all of these patterns contribute to, you got it, HIDING.

Here’s the good news… you can be successful while hiding.

Here’s the bad news… you can be successful while hiding.

And neither is good and neither is bad, in reality. It just is. Only I believe we are on this planet to experience all kinds of things, first and foremost being fully ourselves. And, ideally, being SEEN and KNOWN (and paid!) for who we are.

And to have that kind of success, you can’t hide.

The issue is, hiding is easy to cover up and tricky to discern. We cover it up by:

  • Believing we know better than to be hiding.
  • Not asking for help.
  • Putting others first (even with a ‘pure’ motivation).
  • Letting others make our decisions.

But the awesome thing is that there is no good or right or better. Or bad or wrong or worse. There is really just belief, and service, and love, and the very good reasons that make us hide to stay safe from a past that no longer exists.

Here’s what succeeding while hiding looks like! =)  Enjoy the evolution.  

If you can actually create all you can imagine where you are right now, and still know that there is so much further to go, then how happy might you be right now, in this moment?

That’s the adventure of an Aligned Entrepreneur.

darla-88k THIS GIRL:
 
Made $88,000 + bonuses in corporate
And started a business at $5 per coaching session.
 darla-red-shirt THIS GIRL:
 
Brought in $78,000 in business
 darla-210k AND THIS GIRL?
 
Revenue of $210K
 darla-400k AND SHE REALLY ROCKED IT
 
At $400,000 almost to the penny.
 darla-535k THIS VERSION OF THE GIRL WHO WASN’T PERFECT YET?
 
$535K in revenue, and more and more fun.
 darla-red What’s in store for HER? 

 

Here’s the thing. I put myself out there every day in big and small ways. I speak my Truth. I invest. I commit. I grow. I share. I inspire.

And I still look for little tiny reasons to stay cozy.

We all do… and you can still do well. You don’t have to know everything to make it happen. But you do have to know what you believe in, and OWN it to the best of your ability, even within your current zone of awareness. And then say a big fat YES to the opportunities that will take you out of it!

That’s exactly what we’ll be doing next week in Vegas at Align It Live. We’ve still got a few seats left. Let me know you’re coming.

Besides, business as an Aligned Entrepreneur makes you look better! Why not step in?

More Really Isn’t More – Having Content Discipline

promise-avenueIt’s a funky pattern that can happen to the best of us. We want so much to make a difference for people, that we really want to over-deliver. And sometimes we equate over-delivering to giving more and more and more content.

Only less really is more when it comes to content. I’ve learned it firsthand, and have the results to prove it.

There are two reasons people honor a commitment to “over content” their offerings.

1) They want people to understand everything.

This is pretty straightforward, but often we want to transfer all of our knowledge into the heads of other people in one fell swoop. We don’t want anyone to have to experience the pain that we’ve experienced, and in trying to prevent that, we end up overwhelming them.

2) They want to look smart and impressive.

Entrepreneurs can often fall into the trap of thinking the more information or knowledge they have and share, the more impressive they will look. This makes a lot of logical sense, but it doesn’t pan out that way in reality.

Before I talk about how you could think about content, I want to urge you to get really real about which of the above camps you fall in, because it is probably one of them!

Now I’ve got a few tips for you to re-frame your presentation or workshop so that you are happier, and your clients are happier!

1) Orchestrate the Flow

Think less about what to teach, and more about the flow you want your audience to experience. I spent many years as a consumer researcher in corporate so this piece comes pretty naturally to me, but I find that entrepreneurs often forget to put themselves in their audience’s shoes. The moment the talk is about you and what you know, you run the risk of disengaging them.

Now last week, I wrote about sharing your story, which may seem to be all about you. But the truth is, done well, your story is about them. It is a part of creating an experience for them in which they can open up to their own story, as it relates to you.

With each section of content you put in, you want to put yourself in their shoes and ask, “what will they be experiencing here?” Then set to work creating an experiential flow that takes them where you, and they, want them to go.

2) Set Your Three Big Intentions

How do you know where you want them to go? You need to set intentions. I encourage my clients to set three intentions before developing anything they deliver. The intention for the audience, the intention for the business, and the intention for themselves. This will help you to know where to flow. The intention for the audience is always what you want them to take away. The business result is tangible and measurable. The intention for you is always a way of being that keeps your energy present and current. More on that below!

3) Know Your Audience

Before you can really set an intention for the audience, you’ve got to know who they are. This applies whether you’re hosting a three-day event, or doing a teleclass to people you can’t see. Sometimes you won’t know who is actually in the room. This is why choosing an ideal client is so important. While you want to take the whole of the audience into consideration, you really want to design for your ideal clients and what you want them to experience. This is also why the best ideal client is often some version of you from the past because it’s much easier to put yourself in that person’s shoes. Big companies spend tons of money to understand what people are thinking. You know that already when you’ve been one of them!

4) People Can Take In One Thing

People can only take in so much. One intention will do it. If you are wanting to teach six points, that’s great. Remember they will take away one thing. They might love all six and get some nuggets, and the fact that you’ve curated a bunch of info down to six points may impress them, but they will get one thing. You either decide what that is in advance and hold a focus on that, or they will pick the one thing at random, and you may lose them.

5) Being Speaks Louder Than Doing

This is the absolute biggest point I can make for you, and is the reason I suggest setting an intention for yourself as a way of being. Who you are being speaks volumes.

People aren’t listening to what you actually say, they are reading how you feel about what you have to say. When you create a way of being as an intention that keeps you present and focused, people pick up on that.

Nobody wants to be talked at. Even the greatest content, if it is delivered by someone who feels disconnected from the information, won’t be heard.

The great news about this? When you focus on your way of being in the world, and honor and take care of yourself and your energy, people will feel that without you even trying.

I spoke with a new client yesterday who feels depleted often at the end of the workday. When we looked at the source of this, I could see that she tends to feel she has to give her clients tons of support and encouragement verbally and energetically, for them to get a result. The truth is if she’s being supporting and encouraging of herself, that energy will translate to her clients without her even having to say anything. What a relief! And so much less to actually do.

The Truth is so many of our words are wasted on people who don’t hear us.  And rather than pulling back and grounding into our personal energy, or currency, we often instead begin to talk more and try harder to get our point across.  Aligned Entrepreneurs know where and how to give their goods, and this is an art.

If you know you’re over giving or trying to do too much, you may be a great fit to apply for coaching. CLICK HERE  to apply – I’m talking with a select few people in the next week about one open energy spot available.

Your Secret Money Maker and Why There is No Competition

actorI was shaking and my brain couldn’t form a complete thought.

It was time to update my story. And make it current.

I teach about currency, after all. That is the energy you exchange with people. It has to be building and constructive energy (anabolic), and it has to be current, in order to magnetize the right people in your direction.

When it’s not current, it becomes stale. And stale energy is not attractive.

I’ve been telling the same version of my story for years… and as I up my game, I’ve got to up my level of risk, and currency, because that’s the kind of thing that has people stay with you and open up to you long enough to have what you teach sink in.

I’m a horrible practicer. And I truly apologize for that because it is one of those things I wish I could do better for you, but I believe in operating as designed rather than beating ourselves up for how we’re not.

Thankfully, I have learned to be good at some of the ‘secrets’ to engaging an audience that generally makes up for this that I’ll share today.

But today’s article wasn’t actually inspired by my story. Inspiration was all around this week.

The World’s Shortest Story

Your story is your moneymaker in business as entrepreneur. Whether you are a service or a product business, however unique your offering is, in today’s world we want to buy belief. The first thing I look for when I evaluate a website is ‘who are the people behind this thing and why do they care?’

In a client call last week we worked through the key points of her story that make her perfectly designed to do the work she does. (That’s the picture you want to paint). She was excited, and went to work.

When I received the recording of her story to review for feedback, I didn’t know where to begin. It was very short and to the point, almost reading a laundry list of things that happened. They were really cool things that could make sense, but the delivery was very off.

I took a step back to look at the big picture. Because to give feedback on the details wouldn’t serve her. Something was off in her BELIEF about telling her story.

I determined there were two things.

1) Be Willing to Take Up Space

Many of the entrepreneurs I work with have had some experience in their early life that caused them to decide not to take up too much space. To keep it down, that they weren’t important, that what they wanted didn’t matter, etc. Often we don’t realize that our experiences, when shared, are deeply fascinating.

She was making her story as short as possible, and I could see that was coming from a place of not wanting to take up space.

Let’s hurry and get to the content so I can make sure I overdeliver!

But people won’t even hear your content if you haven’t first gotten them bought in to why YOU believe YOU.

“People will never listen to what you have to say or believe what you have to say.  They will always listen for whether YOU believe what you have to say.” – Larry Winget

This is why you’ve got to share your story.

I was moved by Jared Leto’s acceptance speech at the Oscars on Sunday, for many reasons.

If you missed it, it’s HERE

Talk about taking up space. In a time when most people rush to thank everybody, he stopped to tell a story about his mother. And we were all on the edge of our seats to hear about this pregnant teenage girl in Louisiana. And after talking about his mother, he then went on to talk about the importance of his role and the movie (Dallas Buyers Club).

It really didn’t take that long. And in that short time, we learned something. And we believed him.

There is no competition

I’ve seen lots of Facebook threads this week about competition – is it good, is it bad, how do we handle it, etc.  When you take up space with your story, competition is irrelevant.

Your story is what makes you unique. It makes you, in the words of Joe Calloway, “a category of one.” I promise you, no matter how you judge where you’ve been and what you have and haven’t done, your story can make you millions. And when you own it, there is no competition for being you.

2) Be Present to The Story

The other piece of advice I gave my client was to be present to her story. You need to tell the story as if you are there.

When you are actually present to what was happening, you are seeing it and reliving it in your mind’s eye, that is the difference between engaging your audience in being there, and ‘talking about’ something to them.

This is what makes creating a new, or current, story, so anxiety-producing.

You must find the right combination of pieces of your story that allow you to really re-live that story time and again in your mind, and be moved by your story and the Truth of your own experience, without melting down, breaking down, or otherwise losing your cool. And you can’t be detached and be present. And this is why it feels so damn risky. And makes us shake.

And this is a good thing. And it’s also why practice is helpful, as much as I don’t enjoy practice!

When you know your 3 main points that build upon your story’s theme (we tend to think and remember in 3’s), and you can relive them in your mind and with your words, while feeling the experience of them and not breaking down, you’re golden.

Keep It Current

Don’t let your story be stale. Also don’t rethink and overthink so much that nothing ever really gets done. To create that magnetic currency, you want to keep it current.

One of the exercises we’ll do at Align It LIVE is to craft your story and create a safe space for you to practice the power of it.

Two Things Entrepreneurs Create that Others Don’t

This week’s article is a video blog… what can we create as entrepreneurs that most people never will? Check it out:

two-things-entrepreneurs-create-vid

 

 

Telephone Grace? Business blocks revealed in 2 seconds flat

bad phone skillsIn two seconds on the phone this week, I could diagnose the biggest block in people’s business. It’s connected to how you handle the telephone. Not making sales calls but receiving them.

Some people will be jerks

My team and I have been calling people this week who subscribe to this very newsletter list (perhaps some of you) about our upcoming event. And some of you were just not nice. Now, we’ve had many delightful conversations, so don’t get me wrong. But my team got to experience some of the reasons people avoid calling like the plague. And they got stopped. And they broke through.

My goal for this article is not make anybody wrong. I deeply believe that everyone is doing the best they can given their current state of awareness. My goal is to shed light on WHY people respond in certain ways and equip you to handle it. (And if you are the one lacking ‘telephone grace,’ perhaps you’ll make a shift).

Truth: How you are BEING with people who call you sheds a clear light on your business blocks (or strengths).

If you don’t have time to be gracious on the phone with someone who calls you, I guarantee you are letting opportunities pass you by in your business. You are not a space for miracles to show up. You’ve got a wall up and the people who would like to hire you won’t take time to penetrate it. And it breaks my heart.

Now, if you’re the caller, here are some things to think about when you connect with unpleasant people.

They are always a mirror

When you are calling people to connect and discern whether they might be a great client for you, and you are getting a particular response or objection… especially one that pushes your buttons or has you stop without creating a result… that is a clear reflection to you of your own level of consciousness. Think about YOUR OWN way of being around phone calls to see what might be a mirror for you.

I had this conversation with my team yesterday. People are never rude to me and they don’t communicate annoyance when I call. I don’t carry a space to allow for that. And I don’t behave that way in my own life. I get busy like everyone else, and I am not perfect, but I am aware that I have no idea what opportunities are trying to come my way.

So if people are being rude, or annoyed, ask yourself how you feel when someone calls you out of the blue. Are you open and optimistic, are you curious, or are you annoyed? If you are annoyed, you’ll worry about annoying others, and you will attract that exact thing. They will respond to your energy and give you back that which you fear.

Some fun responses

Here are some of the mirrors my team saw:

“I’m not able to talk right now.”
“Is there a good time to call you back?”
(With annoyance) “I have no idea, my calendar’s a mess. I couldn’t tell you a good time.”

Now, I remember the days when I felt victim to my calendar and it was easier not to think or make a choice than to consider making something happen. But think about it. If you are volunteering to a stranger that your calendar is such a mess that you can’t even consider a phone call – how are you going to bring in clients into your business?

“I can’t talk right now.”
“OK, no problem, when is a good time?”
(Frazzled) “I don’t know, I thought this was an emergency or I would have never
answered the phone.”

How often are emergencies showing up to distract you from what you are really meant to do be doing? Why would you allow emergencies to get your attention, but not opportunities? Many people in our culture operate from one emergency to the next, as an ‘emergency’ is the only thing that allows them permission to change course.

Look A Layer Deeper

I could continue with examples, but you get the point. Here’s what I want you to notice. You’ve got to look a layer deeper to see what is really going on. Especially if you are in a business that is transformative in nature.

See, I know that when people attend my event, they will strip away the habits and patterns that keep them from connecting with the right clients, which means those patterns are going to show up loud and clear in these conversations. But underneath is someone who is deeply committed to something. It’s your job to uncover what that is.

Calling People Out

Who would you have to be to call people on their bullshit? We are trained in our culture to avoid talking to people about things they might not want to talk about. We have an agreement not to challenge each other – you don’t call me on my shift, I won’t call you on yours.

Yet when we follow these rules, nothing really gets done. We live the same day over and over again. You’ve got to be willing to have conversations that people don’t normally have.

Some reasons people don’t (per my team):

  • I’m afraid they won’t like me.
  • What if they hang up?
  • What if I don’t have all the answers?
  • What if they unsubscribe?
  • It’s better to not know than to make them upset and have them say no.

Any of these sound familiar? Now, what if you flipped this? What if your goal was to have people hang up, make a decision without all the answers, say no, or *gasp* unsubscribe? Maybe upsetting someone is the best way to serve them. The bulk of our world operates at a victim energy state. Anger is a step up. Anger makes people take action.
Do You Want Them?

Here’s the thing about people who allow your connection to upset them. Do you really want them as a client? See, your right people will recognize that you are reaching out in service (of course you have to actually be reaching out in service, not fear), and they will appreciate that. Whether they say yes or no to your invite, they will be served.

The people who are so committed to their stories about what isn’t working are not likely to be great clients anyway.

If I were to speak with someone who told me they only answered the phone because they thought it was an emergency, I would ask them, “How often do emergencies come up for you that distract you from your business?” (I’d call them out). How they respond to that question would dictate to me if they are the type of person who can really transform themselves to make a big difference on this planet. And it becomes a judgment call at that point about where to take the conversation from there.

Please Unsubscribe

My team was running into blocks until we had a conversation in which I freed them. I told them, if someone is not kind, or if they are committed to being a victim to their circumstances, we WANT them to unsubscribe. In fact, let’s unsubscribe them, because reading this information and nodding their head as if they get it is NOT doing them any good service because they are not going to do anything with it anyway.

When it became clear that the fear they were holding was around messing up my business and my list, and I freed them to not worry about that, the conversations shifted dramatically.

If you are not willing to let someone go because it makes you feel good about yourself to have them around, you are not free.

I’m a teacher of this idea from Raymond Holliwell: “Give your substance where it can do most good.” In fact, my events are all centered around revealing this idea to people and having it shape their whole business model.

As you likely do as well, I pour my heart and soul into this newsletter. I never write anything without meaning it to hit home and stir something deep within you. It represents my ‘substance,’ or ‘currency,’ as I’ve been teaching about it lately.

If you are not kind to my team, first, I feel compassion for you because you are likely even less kind to yourself. Second, you are not letting this stuff sink in, and it is not the best use of my substance to keep sending it to you. Please unsubscribe.

Imagine the Possibilities

If you are the kind of person who ‘gets it,’ right now you are excited as heck to make outbound calls! You might even be excited to receive calls from random strangers. Because you get the difference a moment of real connection can make.

I invite you to go about your days imagining that people are just dying to connect with you and bring possibility into your world today. Imagine that you have no idea how your day is going to go and what FUN and COOL stuff will cross your path – leading to money, love, connection, play. Let it in.

I have called people at random from my list and had them totally change their life and launch a whole new business that they had been dreaming about for years. I have called people who were the perfect resource for a direct referral and THEY ended up making money from the call. I’ve established joint venture partnerships by calling people from my list, and found opportunities to speak and sponsor. And I’ve made lots of sales as well. Be open to possibility in every connection, whether you’re receiving the call or making it. Telephone grace will change your business.

Now, if you want us to call you to congratulate you on a great decision, CLICK HERE to register for Align It LIVE, where you’ll have a chance to really integrate this insight into your bones!

The Courage To Be the Type of Person Who…

I’ve talked to three types of people in the last week. 

  1. darlapowerPeople who are so courageous that they are willing to see and admit their Truth, and move through it, making the changes they need to make to have a happy, peaceful, inspiring, thriving business.
  2. People who have no awareness of their Truth – they can’t and don’t want to see what’s blocking them and continue to look for a magic pill so that they don’t have to change anything. They are frustrated and blame circumstances (some times in the form of people) for their results.
  3. People who have gotten an insight about what has been blocking them, and they know what they need to change to make their business work, but they are not willing. The unknown of what will happen when they act is more than they are willing to explore.

It’s the third type that can break a person’s heart.

I was there for many years, with many intuitive signals about what I was meant to be doing with my life, but I didn’t know how to interpret them or how to act on them. So I would dream up a business, and instead of acting on it, I’d find another job.

I had some very clear hints about what was calling to my heart, but I was afraid, and I had no clear model for how to put them into action, so I did what felt safe and ‘normal.’

And the more I made decisions that kept me safe, the more my heart broke inside. I made decisions that distracted me, like planning a wedding, getting married, and focusing on building my spouse’s business (which was branded beautifully, by the way).

Then luckily death and divorce hit me in one fell swoop. I say luckily because while I miss my stepfather all the time, his death got my attention. And while everything that felt solid was changing for me, I saw my opportunity to start making decisions on my own, just for me, for the first time.

And I started way back then to become the type of person who could lead this business.

See, we are bombarded by messages about how business can be easy, and how we can make a ‘quantum leap’ and make tons of money while we sleep.

Now all of these things are true. I’ve experienced greater ease than I imagined. The work I actually do is easy. But being the type of person who can lead a business is not. I’ve created quantum leaps in revenue – I doubled every year for the first 4 years. And I’ve gotten orders in my inbox overnight.

But a quantum leap doesn’t happen just because we decide. It happens because we decide, and then become the type of person who…

  1. Has complete faith that the quantum leap is a done deal and begins to act as if. That means if you want to have a 6 or 7 figure business, you invest as that type of business NOW. From the beginning. This takes courage.
  2. Is willing to be the type of person who can operate at that new level. When your business goes in the direction you truly desire, you will come face to face with all kinds of ways in which you were not yet prepared for that outcome. If you are resistant to, or afraid to change, you will shy away from the desire for this very reason. Your subconscious knows what’s coming, and it’s terrified.

Courage and the Subconscious Mind

Your subconscious mind will give you every reason not to do the thing that you desire. It has spent a lifetime keeping you safe from risk, in it’s own, highly customized way. It will seem like a good idea to:

  • Wait until the kids are older
  • Stay with the spouse who is completely unsupportive
  • Plan a wedding
  • Take the kids to Disneyland
  • Take this good-enough job
  • Keep working with the business partner you don’t agree with because it’s safer than going out on your own
  • Try to save the money to pay down the debt first (making an income you can hardly live on)

And the reasons will REALLY make sense. And it takes nothing but courage to make the decision to move your business forward.  But once you give yourself an experience on the other side of the fear, that belief no longer has power over you.

That is what makes an Aligned Entrepreneur so special.

Their faith in their own reason for being on the planet is stronger than the fear of the unknown. It is the source of their courage, and I stand in admiration. Are you willing to be this type of person?

This week alone I’ve seen this type of person:

  • Enjoy the fun and ease that has come on the other side of making a courageous decision to close her business that was out of alignment. In two weeks she’s attracted every opportunity she could imagine supporting her new direction!
  • Navigate the storms around her with grace and ease and a new awareness of her role. When people in her life got sick, experienced tragedy, and brought both real and imagined drama her way, she was able to be a safe and gracious space for them without taking on their pain. Giving generously while staying focused on her business.
  • Experience loss of life, both giving herself the space to experience the full range of her emotions without shutting them down, and also allowing her higher self to see the gifts in the loss at the same time. It will fuel her business in a whole new way, and she’s not putting any pressure on herself about that.
  • Take bold action in her marketing, get a result, and look honestly at what worked and what didn’t, quickly adjusting the plan without taking anything personally. The adjustment required her to give up a pattern that worked for her in her former life, but wasn’t fulfilling her now.
  • Travel to be where the ideal audience is, even though traveling isn’t the most natural thing for her, and the investment involved was scary. She allowed it to be a fun adventure that grows both her and her audience! (And had her highest grossing month ever!)
  • Communicate boldly and authentically to a skeptical spouse, with a firm commitment to finding place where they could each hear and honor each other’s perspective, and finding the space from which they could each have what they really want.

So here’s what I’ve found. It is not easy to be this type of person. But when you learn to think about yourself, the mission you’re called to in your business, and the people around you from a higher consciousness energy of Truth, it actually becomes very simple. The stuff that stops the average person no longer stops you. And you know deep down you’re not meant to be average. You’re an Aligned Entrepreneur at heart. That’s what brought you here to these words.

Do you have the courage to be the type of person who can lead the business you’re meant to lead?

If you’re not sure and you’d like the committed space to find out, OR if you are sure and you know you’re called to step into the higher level of your business you couldn’t even imagine at the beginning (like me with my amazing team), I invite you to join me at Align It Live. It’s a special week to register this week. Here is the link: http://alignitlive.com

We’ve got two special bonuses, and you can bring a friend for free.  It’s my honor to hold a courageous space for the bigger you to show up.

Is Figuring People Out A Blessing or a Curse?

Mid section of a young manIf you’re in business, you’re in sales. No matter how much you might want to be focused on clever marketing or delivering extraordinary service, the step of selling is a concrete part of your journey – period. If you’re not able to sell yourself in a 1-on-1 scenario, it will be unlikely that your registration pages will have people clicking to “buy now” over night.

Here’s the good news. Sales isn’t about convincing people they should buy your stuff. I love what Blair Enns said in “The Win Without Pitching Manifesto.” Your goal in the conversation is to have the prospect form the intent to solve their problem. It’s not to sell them something. Once they are intent to solve their problem, yours is but one obvious choice of a number of possible options.

In my recent client retreat we did some practice sales conversations and here is what I kept seeing. My clients are smart, they are thinkers, and sometimes their minds are not their friends. (I relate to this!) Because they tend to be the thinking type, some of them are constantly ‘figuring things out,’ and ‘figuring people out.’ Now, this is a helpful skill in business and marketing, no doubt. It can be a blessing for friends who want you to problem solve for them. It is no good in sales conversations.

What might this look like?

Biz Owner: What would you most like?
Prospect:  I would really love to have more freedom.
Biz Owner:  Oh, yes, I like freedom.  It sounds like you’re feeling trapped.
This is a quick and obvious example, but all too common. See we don’t know if the prospect feels trapped, or what freedom means to them. At least a dozen assumptions have been made in that one statement. The prospect isn’t likely to feel heard, and we’re not likely to guide them to form the intent to solve their problem – we have no idea what it is!

Figuring Out Is Not Presence

Whenever you’re trying to figure out why someone is the way they are, what they might say next, what YOU will say next to make you sound infinitely clever, or how to get someone to buy, you are not present. You are in your head with the wheels-a-churning, not holding a safe space in which you can respond as you are moved to in the moment.  

And that’s not all! I teach the seven different energy states, or states of consciousness, from which you can respond. Three are based in fear and four are based in a love-energy. When we are figuring out how to ‘diagnose’ someone, or figuring out what we’re going to say next, the only reason we would do that is a fear-based reason. We want to look smart, hold the sale, be prepared, etc., out of fear.  

We can only be in one energy state at any given time. If you’re in your head out of fear, you can’t be present to love, or create a safe space, or be an empowering presence, or even access your intuition. So you are cutting off your true power in the conversation.

Open-Ended Questions and Being Curious

I’ve always been a questioner. Luckily this serves me well today. I was actually shocked in this training by how quickly people’s open-ended questions went out the window the moment they were put on the spot. (Open-ended questions lead to a thoughtful response. Closed-ended questions require a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer and therefore are not very revealing.)

At my client retreat we played a game in which someone had a story they wanted to share and gave it an intriguing title. It was the job of the group to ask questions to reveal the details of the story.  

Immediately people began to make random guesses about the story, and this went on for some time before the group was redirected to use open-ended questions that built upon the previous information given. Following this second approach, the story was revealed rapidly.

In the mock sales conversations, we saw the same thing. Rather than seeking to understand what the real motivations were of the prospect, it was easy for people to fall into the mode of trying to guess what is going on, and then assume their guess was right, and attempt to move the prospect into action with really knowing what the truth was for them.

Why was that?  

Similar to the story game, we humans feel as if we are ‘doing it right’ in life when we figure things out. Knowing why we (and everyone else) are the way we are feels like a victory. In truth, understanding is the booby prize. I heard that phrase once and it was one that landed like Truth for me. Just because we understand something, doesn’t mean anything has actually happened.

To move yourself and others into action, you may need to suspend the need to know and instead just BE and ACT. Being curious is a great place to start. Countless entrepreneurs see their business die before it takes off. Some because they never learned to sell, and others because they are so busy figuring out what they need to say to look like they’re doing it right that they don’t even remember that they are in it to make sales!

Put your gift in your pocket

So, you may think that figuring people out is a gift you have. And it may be. But consider it’s a gift that could also be hurting your business. At the end of the day you want your clients to trust you and pay you. How much would you trust someone who is busy sizing you up? Consider putting this gift in your pocket for the duration of your sales call and see what happens when “curious and present” shows up instead!