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!
Are You an Opportunity Jumper?
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
- a favorable, appropriate, or advantageous combination of circumstances
- 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
New 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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
Not My People
Your unique brand of value empowers you to say no!
Picture yourself in a room filled with clients. You don’t have to try to use fancy marketing language in order to impress them, you can just be yourself and they get you.
They know they are “your people” and they are in the exact right place.
Have you had this experience?
I rarely use the word deserve, but you deserve that experience.
So how do you get there?
You say no to a whole lot of people and the right people show up.
Sounds simple right? But how do you know who the right people are and how do you get them to recognize you?
Here are a few tips:
- Be real. Refuse to hold back who you are try to look good. Ever. Never take a ‘not so bad’ gig in hopes of a better future gig.
- Know where you come from and what makes you unique. Your life history is the best clue to the essence of your brand. Most people need an outside source to help them see the thread of genius that is totally “them.” When your brand is in alignment, you’ll tell your full out honest story and it people will get that you are doing the exact work you were born to do.
- Work from insight. You need to get so clear who your people are that you can articulate something about them that most people can’t see until you say them. This will evolve over the course of your business. You’ll articulate an insight about your brand. You’ll articulate an insight about your marketing campaigns. There is something you can see about your ideal people that when you market to that, they will know you are talking to them.
- Make it fun. Once you articulate the insight, you’ll create your marketing idea. It should be fun and interesting to you and be consistent with your personality without having to put on an act. That’s how you get a room full of people who resonate with your message.
In my client retreat we did an excursion of paddle board yoga. I was nervous about this because it is such a specific type of sport. I was also nervous about taking the time to go play like this. But one of the things I know about my ideal people is that they all have some sort of hobby or passion that they have stopped making time for because of their business. It was actually an important business activity for me to make time for that.
Because I had a room of “my peeps” it worked beautifully. People either loved everything about the activity, enjoyed the personal challenge of it, or saw the opportunity in opting out to enjoy the beach. It was such a lovely experience to bring a part of me that I love to my work!
The other experience at my client retreat was an activity I created for my people to practice sharing their message. The best ah-ha in the room was someone who was beaming at the realization that she spoke to someone who was clearly “not her people.”
If you’ve never had that experience, I promise that you are not clear about your brand. Lets get you clear!
And a little bonus to share more of what I’m loving! I have been loving this song lately… I’m not a believer in wishes, but this rapper is reflecting his desire to be real and be him no matter what. I love it!
Yeah, I could use a dream or a genie or a wish
To go back to a place much simpler than this
‘Cause after all the partyin’ and smashin’ and crashin’
And all the glitz and the glam and the fashion
And all the pandemonium and all the madness
There comes a time where you fade to the blackness
And when you starin’ at that phone in your lap
And you hopin’ but them people never call you back
But that’s just how the story unfolds
You get another hand soon after you fold
And when your plans unravel in the sand
What would you wish for if you had one chance?
So airplane, airplane, sorry I’m late
I’m on my way so don’t close that gate
If I don’t make that then I’ll switch my flight
And I’ll be right back at it by the end of the night.
Yeah, somebody take me back to the days
Before this was a job, before I got paid
Before it ever mattered what I had in my bank
Yeah, back when I was tryin’ to get a tip at subway
And back when I was rappin’ for the thrill of it
But nowadays we rappin’ to stay relevant
I’m guessin’ that if we can make some wishes out of airplanes
Then maybe, oh, maybe I’ll go back to the days
Before the politics that we call the rap game
And back when ain’t nobody listened to my mix tape
And back before I tried to cover up my slang
But this is for the hater, what’s up, Bobby Ray
So can I get a wish to end the politics?
And get back to the music that started this shit
So here I stand, and then again I say
I’m hopin’ we can make some wishes out of airplanes
Can we pretend that airplanes
In the night sky are like shooting stars?
I could really use a wish right now
Wish right now, wish right now
Can we pretend that airplanes
In the night sky are like shooting stars?
I could really use a wish right now
Wish right now, wish right now
I could really use a wish right now
I, I, I could really use a wish right now
A wish, a wish right now
Saving it for Later
I’ve noticed a tendency among entrepreneurs to save the good stuff for later.
I’ve been teaching a lot about the difference between a brand message and a marketing campaign message recently, and as I work with people on their ideas that they want to teach or share in their marketing, I see a tendency for mission-driven entrepreneurs to want to, “save it for later.” What is this really about?
Belief in scarcity.
First and foremost this tendency indicates a fundamental belief in scarcity, feeling as if the ideas are limited and therefore you’d better wait until you can use it to it’s fullest.
Sometimes entrepreneurs worry that people will steal their really good ideas if they share them before they are packaged and trademarked, etc.
Here are some questions to help with this:
- What if there were no new ideas? All ideas have been had before, and your way of expressing it will always be unique when it is in alignment for you.
- If you had this idea, what are the chances that you will also have another one? You are a creative being. Your mind is able to tap into the collective consciousness of the Universe at anytime and pull out a new idea. Your source of great ideas is infinite and limitless. Period.
- What if the execution of great ideas is actually time-sensitive? How would you behave if you believed that the moment an idea comes through you is the exact right moment for it come into being? When it comes to marketing your business, the people who need that message are in your resonance at the time you receive it. When you remain in alignment, pay attention and let the message flow without attachment, and the clients will follow.
When you wait to get it right, the flow is stopped.
If something is a really central idea for you and your brand, that needs to be integrated into your branding, it will keep coming back to you in new ways such that you will take notice.
Now, a fun exercise around saving it for later – the same thing can apply related to decisions around money. If there was no scarcity and you knew it flowed through you like ideas, how would that change the way you operate?
Systematic Deceit – The energy lost on little untruths!
I first heard the phrase “CYA” or “Cover Your Ass” in my corporate marketing job at the company that strongly propelled me out of corporate. The CYA mentality is alive and well, and it’s the opposite of the Truth about which I like to speak. I’ve seen this magnified this week.
I’m a sponsor at an upcoming event and I’m super excited about my booth strategy. I’ve got a beautiful raffle prize and some cool giveaways that speak to the heart of my message. I am psyched.
I’m also a little pissed off.
The logistical challenge of a large conference is astounding. Being one booth in a sea of many means a variety of specific deadlines on submitting topics, strategies, and materials.
And for the last several weeks it’s meant selecting suppliers, ordering items, and coordinating shipments.
Now, most of you likely aren’t doing a lot of production and shipping in your businesses, but the physical world is a great demonstration of how Truth or Untruth gets magnified in the world to create bigger gaps than we might imagine.
Let me tell you what I’m talking about.
We ordered several booth items to be delivered to the company coordinating the event. There are two very specific delivery windows, and each requires a different address, and has different fees associated with the receipt of shipments. The later shipments must go to the site directly, and incur an additional handling fee.
In our ordering process, it was important for us to get clear about the turnaround time of our orders so we could provide the proper address and be sure to hit the delivery window.
One shipment was for a custom printed item, and they asked for a 7-business-day turnaround after final art, plus 5 days for shipping. That’s 13 days plus the weekends, which brought us to a rush-order with our designer in order to meet the deadline.
Two days after submitting our artwork, we received notice that the items had printed and shipped significantly ahead of schedule.
Our second order did not require printing, but was still billed as custom as they were unable to guarantee that the item would be in stock, and it would take 4 weeks to deliver. I was scheduled to be on a plane to the event in 4 weeks and a day, which was past the delivery deadline, so I chose to have the item shipped to me directly with a plan to carry it on the plane as checked luggage.
The item arrived on my doorstep in ten days. Turns out it would have had plenty of time to be shipped directly to the coordinator as an early shipment. In fact I had time to ship it there myself.
Now, we might think this is great! Everything is early!
But there’s a cost to padding timelines and not being Truthful. Both of these instances cost me – a rush order with my designer, and $220 to REsend the shipment.
What if they had just said this?
“Well, we have no real system to monitor our production schedule, we don’t trust our people do what they say, and we can’t tell when it will all come together for you, so your guess is as good as mine about when it will actually arrive, but worst case will be four weeks.”
Now, this sounds crazy, right? But here’s the thing, at least this truthful. Now I know what I’m dealing with and I can make decisions accordingly. I can find a different supplier that seems more organized, or I go with it and at least I won’t be surprised when it shows up early, costs me an hour of my day to reship, and incurs additional fees on my end.
It’s not just one supplier, this stuff is everywhere… systematic deceit… adding in extra days so we don’t disappoint, setting shipping deadlines early to account for the stragglers who fall behind, you name it.
Where there is lack of Truth there is uncertainty. Any time we aren’t 100% accurate about WHAT IS, we are introducing uncertainty, and these little uncertainties add up to big gaps in timing in the physical world.
How does this affect your energy in your business?
Think about your words and thoughts as your version of a printing and shipping timeline. Every time you exaggerate a statement, or hold back and sandbag so you don’t put your butt on the line and risk disappointing people, it’s like you’ve created a gap in your delivery. Being afraid to state the result you will deliver is affecting you and your clients’ decision-making ability.
It may not show up as a package arriving 2 weeks early, but it will, however, show up in that subtle feeling that something is off, that you’re not OK, that you’re out of integrity.
The Truth About WHAT’S SO
When you are 100% truthful with yourself no matter what, you can communicate in a way that best represents you, and will ultimately serve your customer. You’ll resist the urge to try to assume you know what’s best for your customer, and you can instead have a real conversation about WHAT’S SO.
These companies assumed I’d rather have things arrive early, and that erring on the side of underestimating and over-delivering would make me happy. But it made me make entirely different decisions than I would have had they been honest.
This applies with the idea of “sell them what they want, give them what they need” that is so popular in marketing. If I feel as if I know what you really need (and often I do with respect to my line of work), but I don’t check in to see that you’re willing to go there too, I’ve set us both up for disappointment.
Where are the little lies you, or those around you, tell to ‘pad’ against the Truth causing disappointment in the end? This is more of a discussion than an answer. I’d love for you to you share your Truth!