A Tale of Two Business Models

September 18, 2013 by     Leave a Comment

One makes big money for a 60-minute speech.  The same speech every time, nearly word for word, with little room for customization.  While he knows his current audience, he is not going to take time to care about the dynamics of his audience, or to engage about what they are thinking.

The other refuses to take a speech unless the person hiring him WANTS interaction.  He doesn’t give the same speech twice, and won’t consider that he’s done his job unless he’s come to understand the dynamics within the audience, and helped to address them.

Both make great money.  Different brands, different models.

The first makes tons of money selling books – his name is Larry Winget.  He has Larry Wingetseveral best sellers, all sporting his mugshot on the front of them. He ensures his audiences have a chance to personally purchase one of these “souvenirs” at the end of his talk, and he spends a percentage of his marketing effort promoting his books when they launch.  He does a lot of media appearances, and is a celebrity/ personality brand.  While I secretly know he has a big heart, his business is business, and he doesn’t care if anyone changes as long as he gets paid

The second makes a bit of money selling books, mainly books purchased by the companies who hire him.  They give them to the employees he is hired to engage.  He likes to makes companies think, and talk.  He wants to make lasting change in how a company does business.  His name is Joe Calloway.  Joe CallowayHe doesn’t even put his photo on a book jacket.  I picked up his book, “Be the Best at What Matters Most.”  I look forward to reading it – seems like “my people.”

Personality-wise, Joe and Larry appear to be night and day.

Larry is larger-than-life in his cowboy shirts and custom boots.  He sells his opinion.  He shifts the energy in a room, and makes individuals think, without much concern for what they think about him.  He says the things that most people don’t have the guts to say, and that’s why people pay him.

Joe is unassuming and  down-to earth in his Brooks Brothers suit.  He makes companies think.  His point of view is “Win on the Basics and You Win.”  He is thoughtful and approachable.  He doesn’t believe that his personality is important at all.  “I’m just a reporter, sifting through information looking for what works.”

Both Have Picked A Lane

Both Joe and Larry are crystal clear about who they are, what they believe, and what they will or will not do.  In their talk last week in Denver as a team, I loved to see them challenge each other on their opinions.  Neither budged, and neither took anything personally.  Both were solid in their Truth.

Larry stated that the biggest problem people have, that will cripple them, is a lack of clarity.  “You need clarity on what you do, and what you sell.” He said, “When someone asks you what you do, stop using the word ‘AND.’”  Wink  I love that.

When you are clear about who you are and what you are about, you will by default create a business model that works.

What You Say “No” To Defines Your “Yes.”

Wikipedia defines a business model as….

To be clear about these decisions, it is much simpler to look at what you DON’T do and what you don’t believe.  Try it from a place of ZERO fear about not enough clients and watch what emerges.

A Story of Giving Up to Get

Larry tells the story about the day he changed his career.  He’d been doing the regular speaking gig circuit, following the unwritten (some are probably written) rules of a “work your way up” speaker career.  He was doing pretty well, and burnt out and tired.  He heard people talk about what it would take to get ahead and he thought, “I’m not willing to do any of that.”  So he stopped completely. I would call it the ‘dark night of the soul’ people talk about.

One night he was watching TV and Dennis Miller was on talking about his career.  Dennis said, “Most comedians go on stage to be endearing to the audience, and I thought, ‘I’m not very endearing,’ so I gave it up.”

And Larry said that in that minute, he gave it up too.  He hung up his suit and put on his current attire,Larry's Boots including his earrings, and started to be himself, and everything changed.  He asked us, “What will you give up?”

Business Models Are Abundant

I’m contrasting two business models here.  Business models are abundant.  I make the bulk of my money in coaching clients directly. There are three ways clients can work with me.  My fees and payment plans are very well defined.  I know how people find me, and I have damn good idea of where people are in their business progression when they decide to buy from me.  I recently had someone propose to me a different working and payment structure.  I turned it down without a thought because I know what works for me and the structure that works for my clients.

Another coach with a different personality, different gifts, and different desires may create their model in a completely different way.  They may choose not to work with any clients directly.  Some may work with more clients for less time, or fewer clients for more time.

I love intimate events – its a great way for people to get to know me.  My people always know I’m their right next coach – they know it because they have experienced it through one of my teachings.  My lowest investment program is $2000.  (I do have one home study for $200).  I want people who are invested, and I have no doubt they can quickly make back their investment.

Another coach may offer lots of smaller programs for people to acquire different pieces of their knowledge in small chunks.  They may market to the masses without concern about working with the most targeted audience.  That’s their model.  And it can work for them.

Just as Larry and Joe have different models, your model should be unique to you – fitting with your personality, your genius or gifting, your mission or what you care about, and how you want to live your life.  Don’t settle and don’t hold back!

If you suspect that holding back has been holding you back from the business model you love, check out my new “Believe Yourself Business Model Bootcamp” here:   www.alignandprofit.com/bybc

Urgency, advocacy, and biz model limits – it’s not what you think!

July 31, 2013 by     1 Comment

Each week I send a short note or thought to my private clients via email. I base it in something I’m noticing or thinking about that doesn’t quite make it to a broad-based article, but feels timely for them.

URGENCY

This week I wrote them this:

What is urgency? I notice the ebbs and flows in business, and how you are each balancing your personal life goals with your business goals and deciding each day where to focus your energy.

There are times in business when you need to pull out all the stops to bring in clients, launch the program, launch the website, book the speaking gigs, make the money to fund a marketing activity, etc. And it’s all out urgency. Then there are times in which you focus in on consistency, sustainability, and peaceful progression.

One is not good or bad, right or wrong. The empowering part is choosing. When you are aware of right where you are and what your focus is, you can bring joy to total urgency, and joy to peaceful allowing. The struggle comes when you think you should be one way and you’re not lining up with it.

I spoke with a VIP Day client who is waiting to get all her ducks in a row to start spreading the word about her new business. For her, the urgency needed isn’t in bringing in the clients, or even in lining up the ducks. The urgency is in creating the experience of being someone who lets her ducks be scattered and serves clients anyway. The struggle was in not being AWARE of her true limiting pattern.

Hourglass - UrgencyThe next client I spoke with was feeling a huge urgency to make sales. So much so that she was actually willing to look at the Truth about why she wasn’t making them. She wasn’t reaching out to anyone because she had no habit and therefore no experience of reaching out. Why? Because creating a ROUTINE of making calls felt so confining that she would do anything to avoid it. It wasn’t even the calls – though that was scary, we’d worked through it. It was the ROUTINE that felt like death as she was fighting against a former belief that routine would make her boring, trapped, and a whole host of other negative consequences she’d experienced earlier in life. Lack of AWARENESS was her limit.

I subtitled this article “It’s not what you think.” Because whether you need to change your sense of urgency, your brand advocacy, or your business model, it’s the AWARENESS of the real problem, or lack thereof, that is holding you back.

ADVOCACY

We hosted a brunch at the house this weekend. There were quite a few people and there was lots of buzz about a new Netflix Series, “Orange is the New Black.” I thought this must be something everyone knew about but me, like housewives and Kardashians. Turns out, there was one person at the party who had fallen in love with the show, and had told so many people in one hour that I had the perception I was the one who was in the dark. One advocate created buzz.

With advocacy for your own business, brand, or offerings, the same can be true. See, we assumed it was a great marketing campaign, hitting everyone with 7 strategic touchpoints, that created the buzz, but it was one person in our crowd. You don’t have to execute every possible marketing approach to create buzz about what you’re doing – you need to design so that your message so perfectly hits home with a few people that they can’t NOT tell everyone. I’m seeing advocates pop up for my BELIEVE YOURSELF CHALLENGE, and most people are even telling a few friends. I didn’t engineer that. Advocacy just happens with great insight into the who, what, and why of your offer.

People want buzz, or advocacy, for their offerings, of course. Trying to use all possible marketing touchpoints to create buzz for something that has no alignment doesn’t work. True advocacy stems from natural alignment. Start with your AWARENESS of who your offering really speaks to and why, and arm those people with the Truth that will spread like wildfire.

BIZ MODEL LIMITS

My favorite awareness gap to help a client identify is one that has to do with a limitation in their business model. Why? Because they are the easiest to fix. And often we aren’t AWARE when they sneak up on us, so we are solving different problems instead!

What’s is a business model limit? If you want to make $100K per year, you can effectively serve 2 new clients a month, and you are charging $2500 per client, you have a business model limit. Your 24 clients can only yield you $60K. You’ve got to raise your rates, or become more efficient so you can serve more clients in order to hit your goal.

I recently faced a business model limit. I’ve built a steady, solid business doing things a certain way. Offering specific entry-level programs to lead people to my work and bringing them on as 1-on-1 clients in my Profit Acceleration Circle (PAC). For me to have the life I want, serve my clients the way I want, and deliver the effectiveness and value I want, I recognized I needed to cap my PAC program. I knew this at some level and had been thinking about it without great urgency. And I hadn’t solved my business model limit. One week I had a handful of conversations with potential clients, and most of them did not lead to a clear, decisive conclusion of buying or saying no to my programs. This was an unusual problem for me, and was out of alignment with my commitment.

When I looked deeper I saw the answer. I’d hit my business model limit, and I hadn’t adapted to my new reality. Not because there wasn’t a solution, or that I wasn’t willing to do what it takes, but because I wasn’t AWARE of the real limit. [I've got two very specific gateways now to access time with me, and I love it!]

These are three vastly different examples, but a common source – the root issue is generally not what you think. When you create AWARENESS of the root issue, you’ll be delighted in your own solutions!

 

What Do You Have to Prove, Really?

July 24, 2013 by     Leave a Comment

Thinking and DoubtingIn last week’s article, “Is the Universe Tricking You?” we talked about the Cycle of Proving and how it shows up to have you question and doubt your decisions.  The Universe is never tricking you, it’s simply revealing to you some aspect of your subconscious mind that wants you to stay safe, and small.  Safe and small in a way that honors the patterns it smartly created when you were just a kid and needed them.  It’s time to let them go.

As a reminder, the “V” in our PROVING acronym stands for “Validate Fear.”  When you Peek your big vision, Remove the resistance, and Open your mouth to take action, something will happen to validate your own subconscious fear of actually having the vision be real.  It is GUARANTEED.

Where you go from there simply has to do with how practiced you are at moving through the fear.  As you make firm decisions without looking back, and put them into irreversible action, the fear will no longer grab you.  When you let the fear win, your box becomes smaller.

So here are your two options.   

When the old Cycle of Proving wins, it looks like this.

I – Ignore Inner Knowing.  You let the thing that happens make you question and doubt your own inner knowing about your vision.  For me, early on this could happen when someone simply gave me a sideways glance as I shared my vision.  I was so programmed to look for external approval, I’d give up my dream at the drop of a hat.

N – Next Best Thing.  Next we settle.  We say, well, maybe I wanted an experiential event with 8 people who pay me well, but maybe I’ll just do a workshop for $97 and see how that goes.  And that becomes the new norm we talk ourselves into.

G – Give Up.  The next best thing is never going to be as fulfilling as honoring your calling, so you’ll eventually give up.  Because what fun is it to live an almost life?

Please, Break the Cycle!

Here is your new option:

I – Interrupt the Pattern.  When you recognize that your external circumstance is simply a reflection of your internal thought process that are ready to be healed, you can actively interrupt the pattern.  This may look like ignoring what everybody else says, not asking for advice, investing in yourself when you normally wouldn’t, getting on stage even when it scares you.

N – New Experience.  The pattern gets broken when you give yourself a new experience.  The new experience is the only way your subconscious will learn that new patterns are actually safe.  You cannot think your way into the new thing feeling safe.  It will feel scary and all levels of analysis will not change that.  But the new experience will blow up your assumptions in an instant.  For me the biggest new experiences in my journey have been the times when I’ve made decisions without a full on analysis and pro/con list, but rather just trusted my own inner knowing and gone for it.

Will-feel-like-death.  That’s when you’re fully alive.

G – Greater Vision.  The result of breaking the pattern?  You’ll actually see a BIGGER vision for yourself.  Once you know yourself as someone who can do things differently, and become the person who is willing to honor it, you will get greater messages about what’s possible for you.  You are only seeing the tip of the iceberg right now, I am certain.  When you become the person who can handle seeing more, you’ll see more faster than you can imagine.

What now?  Go out and break the cycle!

Want support?  Join my new free program here:  http://believeyourselfchallenge.com

See you Monday!

 

Is the Universe Tricking You?

July 17, 2013 by     Leave a Comment

I got an email in my inbox as I settled in to write an article.  It was from a client who had made a decision to make a change in an area of her life that was distracting her from her business.  She’d made a plan, and then learned something that made her plan seem harder.

LadderShe said, “I think Universe is trying to trick me into wanting to postpone.”  :)

Now the next line was, “I’m not going to.”   Phew.

So the Universe isn’t tricking you.  I can get how it can seem that way at times.

It’s actually your subconscious mind that’s tricking you!  Just as bad, right? :)

Your subconscious mind is programmed to keep you safe, and until now safe looked like, well, whatever your life looks like.  But safe and business don’t mix.  The business of your dreams that is calling to you most likely lies outside of your current default programming (aka comfort zone).  So how does it work?

The Cycle of Proving Begins

The cycle of proving describes what happens in your business, and gives you two options for how to respond (you can learn more at www.CycleofProving.com).

P – Peek your big vision.  This is what happened to all of us that got us into this business in the first place!  You see something possible.  Maybe it’s a new structure for your team, or new model for how you work with clients.  You get a glimpse.

R – Remove resistance.  Generally your world is not completely set up to do the big vision – if it were, you’d be doing it, right?  So in the second step you clear the decks, either in your life or in your mindset, to make the new thing feel possible.

O – Open your mouth.  Here you start to tell people.  Or maybe you just practice telling yourself.  This stage could also look like taking an action in alignment with your goal, like making a deposit on a business-building activity, or showing up in a new environment.

V – Validate your fear.  THIS IS WHERE THE RUBBER MEETS THE ROAD.  At this point, something will happen to validate your fear.  There is no doubt.  It will happen.  Period.  It could be a sideways look from an acquaintance, or a ‘no’ that disrupts your plans, but it WILL HAPPEN.

This is the subconscious mind reflecting back to you its current level of awareness.  Whatever you are concerned about or afraid about, your default energy state, will show up right after you move toward your goal.  Period.  When you know this, you will be ready, and move forward anyway.

From here, you’ve got two options on how to proceed.  Yup, two.  I’ll cover that in next week’s article.  (The I-N-G is waiting!)

For now, if you look, you’ll be able to see the form in which your fear shows itself to you.  You’ll see your own theme (Making people happy over yourself?  Not risking looking stupid? Money fear?).  Watch what happens this week and isolate your pattern.  It’s the key to keeping the Universe from tricking you!

The Universe loves you and wants what’s best for you more than you want it for yourself… until next week!

 

Are You an Opportunity Jumper?

July 10, 2013 by     Leave a Comment

I’m an opportunity jumper.

I am.  And I think it sounds bad to say, by the way, but it’s true.

Dictionary.com defines opportunity as

  1. a favorable, appropriate, or advantageous combination of circumstances
  2. a chance or prospect

I was listening to an audio this week while painting my office, and one of my mentors was teaching about awareness.

Nothing that we want is outside of our ability to make happen.  We simply lack the awareness of our ability to make it happen.  All advancements on the planet have been possible since the inception of humanity because natural law has not changed, we just took time to become aware of them.  And we have no idea what we may still become aware of in our lifetime.

What does this have to do with your business?

Anything you want is available to you through awareness.  Things that you don’t yet know you want, for yourself and for others, will become available to you through awareness.

Opportunity finds us

Magnifying GlassNew awareness for me has always come in the form of making a decision to say yes to an opportunity.  It hasn’t always looked pretty.  Sometimes the opportunity has looked like a big ol’ problem.  Like things literally breaking all around me, or having to charge an event on 3 credit cards because I didn’t make my sales.

Focused attention

Those things that looked like big problems actually contained the nuggets for a new awareness that quickly had my business results skyrocket – because I chose to look for them. The problem was the catalyst for me to focus my attention, which is a necessary step to create a new awareness.

The opportunity is not always a breakdown.  Sometimes it is about an opportunity show up someplace, to invest in your business or your personal growth, or to uplevel something about your personal life that causes you to grow.

The accidental opportunist

As I said, I’ve been an opportunity jumper.  At first it was accidental – I happened upon and said yes to things, shaking and terrified, all the while going, “who am I to do this?”

Then I became a conscious competent, actively seeking out my next opportunity.  If I am not committing to something that makes me nervous on a regular basis, I know I will feel it in my business results three months later, guaranteed.

Some examples of opportunities I’ve taken (in addition to all of the ones that stemmed from miscellaneous breakdowns :)):

  • Registering for a 4-day event when I didn’t have any idea what happened at events and had never attended one.
  • Taking a free strategy session at the event even though my ego mind was telling me it wasn’t for me, I wasn’t ready yet.
  • Committing to a yearlong coaching program at that event at a price tag that was more than I had ever made in my business to date.
  • Signing up to speak on stage at an event which then caused me to register for training to be a better speaker.
  • Buying the URL for a telesummit and promoting it before I knew how to run one or whether anyone would participate.
  • Signing my first hotel contract for my own event, when I had no idea how to market or fill it, but I knew I would learn.
  • Signing my second hotel contract when I’d spent all the money from my first event.
  • Hiring a team member before anyone would have thought I could justify the commitment.  Then hiring another one.
  • Making a 5-figure coaching investment be the new minimum acceptable norm for me.  Growing my own knowledge in specific areas by looking for the right investment in that area.
  • Choosing to get on planes consistently for a 6-month time period simply to be around people that inspire me when I wasn’t finding them near me.
  • Renting a house without considering the price tag, choosing simply because I liked it.
  • Choosing to do my events a little differently than I saw people in my industry doing them, and going for it.
  • Releasing clients simply because I didn’t look forward to talking with them, trusting that ideal ones would take their place.
  • Signing a lease on an office space and hiring a full time employee.
  • Registering for an exclusive, high end travel and personal growth retreat, not because I had a breakdown and needed something fixed, but simply because I wanted to be the type of person who could make a decision to do something like that just because I wanted to.

Now, from one level of awareness this can look crazy.  When I began ‘opportunity jumping’ I felt a little crazy.  Really, can I do this?  Who am I to do this?  But it has worked out beautifully.  For two reasons.

  1. I honored my gut.
    This was tricky at first because I didn’t know how my gut communicated so I was all confused about whether it was right once I did it, but only through doing it did I create an awareness of how my inner knowing worked.  Seventy percent of us know instantly whether a decision is right.  Instantly.
  2. I made decisions and made them right.
    Once I committed to a decision, I would then choose to believe whole-heartedly that it was the exact right decision for me.  I watched the people around me drop like flies- only the ones that entertained conversations about why the thing they had committed to wasn’t good enough or wasn’t right.  Those people went out of business.  I always choose to find the opportunity, no matter what, and it has served me well.
Creating Opportunity

One focus of my business this year is on creating opportunity.  I’ve benefited so much from saying ‘yes’ to (and paying for) opportunities others have created for me.  This is why I created my new high-level mentorship/ apprenticeship program (Being Unshakable).  It is a brilliant opportunity for people to step into a new world of decision-making.  And it also holds me to an exciting new level of modeling the way.

The first person I interviewed for the program said, “I don’t know if it is for me, but I felt called to fill out the application, and I figured that either way, I would find the opportunity in going through the process.”

I loved that attitude.  You can’t transform if you don’t show up.  If your gut calls you to something, trust the process, and know that you will come out the other side better for it.  And then there will be a next thing that scares you.  And another.  And you’ll make some decisions from a place of your Truth, and you’ll make some out of fear, but with the right awareness you’ll find the Truth in those ones too.  But you’ve got to show up.

Other people have applied to the program and then didn’t follow through on the opportunity to speak with me.  Such a loss.  The conversation itself is transformative.  I recently checked in with a woman who I’d spoken with a year ago to see if I could be of service.  She wrote me a lengthy reply about the difference our one conversation had made for her, even though our work together didn’t go beyond that.  She chose to show up fully and trust the process.

We always get what we need when we need it.  Transformation happens one opportunity at a time.