More Really Isn’t More – Having Content Discipline
It’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.
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:
Urgency, advocacy, and biz model limits – it’s not what you think!
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.
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.
The 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.
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?
In 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?
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.
She 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!