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Marketing problem? The Real Reasons Your Product/Service Might Not Be Selling

Marketing problem? The Real Reasons Your Product/Service Might Not Be Selling

It happens all the time. You have what you think is a “marketing problem.”

You have a disappointing product launch. You have issues consistently selling your services. A program that used to sell well stopped.

There are a lot of reasons why this could be happening, and in most (if not all) of the cases, the issue comes down to what looks like a marketing problem.

But, what if the marketing problem was a symptom, and not the cause?

What if the cause was something deeper … what if it had more to do with WHAT you’re selling?

And it’s really a form of sabotage?

And, the reason why it’s sabotage is because you have misgivings about the product or service or program you’re offering.

Before I dig into all the ways you can sabotage yourself, let’s explore all the ways you may be less than thrilled with your products, programs, or services.

• You don’t particularly like the product, service, or program you’re selling.

There’s a lot of ways this can manifest itself.

Maybe you became a coach only to realize you don’t like coaching, but now you have all these clients, and you’ve got money coming in—money your family is dependent on—so what can you do?

Or, maybe you love some types of coaching but not others. I see this a lot in the industry I’m in. There are many folks who want to be life coaches or spiritual coaches, but they struggle to make money, so they become a business coach instead.

Over time, many of these spiritual or life coaches come to detest business coaching.

I’ve highlighted some of these stories in my Love-Based Money podcastBarb, Anastasia, Sierra—all these women built up very successful coaching businesses only to tear it all down when they woke up one day and finally had to admit to themselves how much they hated what they built.

• You know this particular product, program, or service isn’t your best work.

Maybe you threw it together because you saw an opportunity and wanted to act fast, and the finished product ended up being on the sloppy side. Or maybe you discovered errors in it after the fact. Or maybe when you created it, it was a solid, well-put-together product, but now it’s out-of-date and really needs an upgrade. Or maybe the content is fine, but it has technical issues (bad video, bad audio, typos, etc.)

Regardless of how it happened, you know it’s not as good as you’d like it to be, and every time someone buys, you find yourself cringing inside.

• You don’t particularly like the clients, customers, or buyers you’re attracting.

If you’re selling a product where you have absolutely no contact with your buyers, this is less of an issue, but if the product or service includes any type of interaction, this is clearly an issue.

Think about it—if you dislike talking to your customers and clients, you’re probably going to dread getting on the phone with them or meeting them in person, or maybe even answering their emails.

How can you possibly get excited about marketing something that is going to require you to interact with people you don’t like?  Even if you are making good money, eventually there will come a time when the money no longer matters, and all you want is out.

• You’ve outgrown your product, program, or service.

Businesses are living entities. Over time, they grow, change, evolve, and even die.

As your business changes, so do your offerings.

Maybe a product or program or service that used to be a good fit isn’t anymore. Maybe it’s not in alignment with who you are or the message you want to get out into the world in a bigger way. Or maybe the graphics or branding around the product, program,or service needs an upgrade.

If you no longer feel what you’re offering is a good match for where you are now, it’s going to be difficult for you to promote it.

• You’re lacking the team, support, system, backend, etc. to create excellent customer service.

You may love coaching and your clients, but you have no system in place to onboard new clients. Your “welcome packet” (if you can call it that) is a mess, and it’s a crapshoot if you’re able to get your new clients scheduled in a timely manner.

Or maybe you have an online learning platform that doesn’t work very well, so you know every time you get a new student, you’re going to also get customer service emails full of questions and problems.

Or maybe you have no systems created around taking care of new clients and customers, or maybe you don’t have the right team members in place to take care of your clients and customers. Or, maybe you have a fabulous team, but they’re tapped out. They can’t handle any more clients or customers, so you’re not able to grow.

How can you market yourself when you no every new customer, client or buyer is going to add stress to your life?

• You’re secretly afraid your product, service, or program isn’t any good.

There are a lot of ways this can manifest itself: You don’t value yourself or what your offering, you’re afraid you’ll fail and let down your clients, you feel like you’re a fraud, you feel like you need to read “one more book” or get “one more certification” before you’re an expert.

If you feel like you’re selling snake oil, and the last thing you want is to be a snake oil salesperson, it’s going to be very difficult to consistently and effectively market or promote or sell your offerings.

So, those are some of the top ways you may be less than thrilled with your product, program, or service. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but hopefully it gives you some ideas on the questions to ask yourself around the product or program or service that just isn’t selling as well as you’d like.

Because if any of these are true (even if it’s just a little true), there’s likely a part of you that really doesn’t want any customers or clients to buy it. (Hence, why, on the surface, this would look like a “marketing problem” even though underneath what’s really happening is a form of sabotage.)

Think about it: If you don’t like what you’re selling, you’re not going to want to sell it.

If you don’t like your customers, you’re not going to want to spend time with them.

If you think your product or program or service is outdated or not very good, you may be embarrassed to have people buy it.

If you’re lacking the backend or customer support, you may know new clients and customers are just going to turn into massive headaches for you, and who needs that?

And, if you have any sort of feelings of fraud or not being good enough, how on earth could you in good faith take other people’s money for something you’re secretly afraid is crap?

Now, it’s entirely possible (and certainly does happen) that you can feel this and still push through to make a lot of money at whatever it is your selling. (My Love-Based Money podcast guests are a great example of forcing themselves to grow a business they weren’t in alignment with.)

But, for many entrepreneurs, even if they are able to make money in the short term with the product or service, they can’t sustain it. So, they end up in a financial rollercoaster.

You see, if you’re going to “force” yourself to market or sell something that you either don’t like or are ashamed of at some level, that means you’re going to need to use a lot of willpower to keep you going.

And, willpower will only take you so far.

So, then, what happens?

That’s when the sabotage kicks in.

Well, maybe you cut back on the number of emails you send in a launch, despite knowing (or being told) not to do that.

Maybe you deflate at the end of a sales call (and end up never making the sale).

Maybe you bomb any opportunity you get to be in front of your ideal clients (talks go wrong, weird tech issues show up on webinars, etc.).

Or maybe you and your marketing just slowly disappear. Maybe you stop hanging out on Facebook, even though you know it’s a great source of prospects for you. Maybe you stop posting regularly to your blog, or you don’t record your podcast consistently. Maybe you “take a break” from emailing your subscribers.

What do all of these have in common? On the surface they look like a marketing problem. (And, don’t get me wrong, they ARE a marketing problem.) But, what’s really going on is sabotage–you’re taking unconscious actions or making unconscious decisions to hurt your marketing.

You may not be aware of what you’re doing, or maybe you have some really good excuses for not doing the things you know you should. (And, truly, it’s not your fault if this is happening to you as this typically shows up as a big blindspot.)

But, regardless, the outcome is the same. Your sales aren’t great, and a part of you (which may be buried really deep inside) is glad.

And, this cycle of continuing to sabotage yourself while having it look like a marketing problem, will continue.

If any of this resonates with you, and you feel like you may need to go deeper, you may want to check out my “Love-Based Money and Mindset” book.

Product Launch Secrets: Are Product Launches Dead?

Product Launch Secrets: Are Product Launches Dead?

Yes, the product launch is dead.

No, it isn’t.

It depends.

(Way to be decisive Michele!)

Before I dig in, I want to start by defining “product launch.”

Product launches aren’t new. Businesses have been crafting campaigns to launch a new product or program or service for as long as they’ve been creating new offerings. Turning the unveiling of a new product into an event is a pretty standard business and marketing strategy.

However, with the arrival of the Internet, and thanks to a man by the name of Jeff Walker, the product launch now has a completely different meaning.

Walker has crafted a specific formula called PLF, or Product Launch Formula, that has made thousands of entrepreneurs thousands (if not millions) of dollars.

The formula typically consists of dripping content out (three 20-30 minute videos is pretty common) which leads to opening the cart (or offering the product for sale) for a short period of time. Typically, during the time the cart is open, more content is dripped via webinars or livestreams or coach-a-thons.

Now, just because you decide to launch a product doesn’t mean you have to have all those bells and whistles. There are plenty of simplified launches that consist of a webinar or a livestream that leads to an offer.

Or maybe there’s an “in between” that would work for you. Really, the variations of how you structure a product launch are endless.

However, when we’re talking about launches that generate multiple six or seven figures, you typically need to create more launch content than a single webinar, which is why the Product Launch Formula has been so successful.

Until recently, that is.

Over the past couple of years, the big, elaborate project launch has lost a bit of its luster. Many entrepreneurs who had relied on them for years as a major part of their business income began experiencing dwindling returns.

So IS this the end of the product launch? Or is something else afoot?

Let’s dig in and find out.

Scenario 1: Yes, product launches are dead.

Once upon a time, it wasn’t uncommon for entrepreneurs to build their entire businesses around the product launch.

They would have one (maybe two) launches a year, and earn enough income during that frenzied period of time to sustain them the rest of the year.

For those entrepreneurs, life was fabulous. Sure, they had to work hard during the launch, but launch windows are deliberately short (a few weeks at most) and the rest of the year they could spend posting selfies of themselves hanging out at the beach on Facebook.

Alas, that golden time of product launches appears to have come to a crashing halt.

Now, before you start posting comments or writing me emails letting me know about all the entrepreneurs who are still doing this successfully, let me just say that yes, I’m sure that’s true.

BUT, I will contend they are more the EXCEPTION, not the rule.

The overall trend is that one or two product launches can’t sustain a business for a year anymore.

This is partly because product launches became a victim of their own success. They were so successful, everyone started doing them, and the more people did them, the less effective they became (see this post for more about this cycle).

However, the reality is that this was never a good business model anyway. Relying on ONE thing for your yearly income is actually a really crappy way to run a business. It doesn’t matter what the one thing is, it’s never a great idea to put all your eggs in one basket.

So, in this case, I would say yes, product launches are dead, IF you’re relying on them as the entire financial model for your business.

Scenario 2: No, product launches aren’t dead.

It’s been my position for years that the product launch is an excellent tool to have in your marketing toolbox (note: it’s a tool, not the entire box) IF viewed in its proper context.

For many entrepreneurs, the product launch is about:

  1. Making money (sometimes a lot of it … sometimes not so much).
  2. Building your email list (which you’ll need for all the promoting you’re going to have to reciprocate for all the folks who are jumping into your launch).

There’s no question product launches are great in both of these respects. But, there are more benefits of product launches:

  1. They can grow your exposure and visibility. Product launches give you an excuse to email your prospect list more than normal, to advertise on social media sites (or just do more organic posting), and to have other people promote you. All of the above will help you get more exposure and visibility. Even if your ideal prospects don’t opt in to your list (which is, of course, the most desirable action), the sheer fact they’re getting an introduction to who you are and what your business is about is huge, and can reap big rewards down the road.
  2. They can grow your credibility. When other people recommend or promote your work, they’re sharing their credibility with you. This is an excellent way to build your reputation and your influence.
  3. They can jumpstart your marketing momentum. It happens to all of us; we get stuck in a rut, especially when it comes to marketing and sales. Sometimes the best thing we can do for ourselves is launch something. The sheer act of launching generates energy and momentum that can carry over into other areas of our business, even if the launch itself isn’t as financially successful as we would like it to be.
  4. They can push you out of your comfort zone and cause you to face your fears. I’m a big believer that everything you want is on the other side of your greatest fear. But, for that to happen, you need to actually, you know, FACE your fears. So, you’re likely going to have to take some action to make your fears surface. And launches are an excellent way to trigger those fears, so you can move through them. (Plus, it doesn’t matter if your launch is a big failure OR a big success–both of those outcomes will likely trigger more blocks and fears.)

My belief is that, if you view a launch as a more holistic tool that will (hopefully) also generate some additional revenue for you, you’re far more likely to be happy with the results. If you’re just focused on how much money you’re making, you’re far more likely to not only spend the entire launch completely stressed out, but to also be disappointed by the results (and who wants to put herself through that?).

Scenario #3: It depends.

At the end of the day, it’s really up to how you view the product launch if you consider it dead or alive and kicking.

In my view, product launches can be an excellent tool in your toolbox, so if that’s how you’re using it, a product launch can be exactly what the doctor ordered.

If you don’t want to create three videos and a webinar and a livestream and line up a bunch of affiliate partners, you don’t have to. You can choose the precise love-based marketing tactics and approach that makes your heart sing.

And it still can be successful.

But, if you’re relying on a product launch to financially fund your business for six months or a year, it may not be the wisest choice.

I’m a strong believer in creating a business you love AND that loves you back, and making peace with the product launch is key to that. I’ve seen too many entrepreneurs freak out, melt down, abandon their normal self care practices, even abandon their integrity and compass, all because they’ve turned the product launch into something bigger than it was ever intended to be.

For instance, I’ve seen entrepreneurs who are typically rock solid around carving out time for meditation or exercises stop all of that during a launch. And, if their businesses are all about mindset practices, along with being out of balance when they need it most, they’re also out of integrity with what their business stands for. Or, normally love-based entrepreneurs switch to fear-based marketing tactics in the middle of the launch because they’re panicking over the numbers.

When the smoke clears and the launch is over, along with dealing with whatever the results of the launch were, they now also have to deal with the remorse of losing their way during the process.

Needless to say, that’s definitely not the way to build a love-based business.

The good news is it doesn’t have to be this way. It’s completely possible to enjoy all the benefits of the product launch without it descending into a launch hell, and it starts with you being clear on how it fits into your business.

If this resonates with you, you may like to take the teachings deeper with my book, “Love-Based Online Marketing: Campaigns to Grow a Business You Love AND That Loves You Back.” It’s available here.

7 Hot Predictions for Business Success in 2018

7 Hot Predictions for Business Success in 2018

Along with creating new goals and resolutions, it’s also that time of year to dust off the crystal ball (aka an angel snow globe in my case) and make some predictions for the New Year, especially around the hot topic of business success.

And, I’m not going to sugar coat it; 2017 was a little rough, and it could get rougher.

BUT, as always, there is opportunity as well, just as long as you’re open to what it looks like (in other words, it may not be dressed the way it was before OR the way you’d prefer it to be—but more on that in a bit).

Without further ado, let’s see what 2018 has in store for us.

1. It’s no longer “business as usual.”

One thing that became VERY clear in 2017 is how fast marketing strategies can simply cease to work, especially in the coaching/transformation industry. What used to work, isn’t (or, at least, it’s not working the way it used to).

Needless to say, this took some folks by surprise (while creating a lot of panic).

So, what happened?

I think it’s the part of the end of a cycle of two basic human drives (or two things we’re hardwired to be attracted to):

* The attraction of “new”

* And the attraction of “easy”

I’ll explain.

You may not know this, but there was a time (really!) where all you had to do was post a little opt-in box on your website with the words “Free Newsletter!” and people would sign up. (I actually once had someone email me wanting to get my free newsletter because my opt-in form wasn’t working properly.)

Now this was way back … when hearing the words “You got mail!” was exciting. (I got mail! Yay!)

Today, it’s a serious challenge to persuade people to even give you their email address much less buy something from you. And “You got mail!”? People are now excited when they manage to whittle down their inbox to below 100 emails.

Back then, email was new. Free newsletters were new. Therefore, it was a lot easier to see results.

And, in some cases, we’re talking pretty dramatic results.

In the early days of the Internet, it wasn’t uncommon for early adopters to get some insane results without doing a lot of work. And it wasn’t necessarily because what they offered was so incredible, or even that their marketing was so great.

It was because what they did was new.

And the power of new broke through the clutter.

So then, the attraction of “easy” kicked in. Early adopters made more money teaching their “easy” system to the next wave of entrepreneurs, who eagerly lapped it up. (After all, there are very few things we humans love better than something being “easy.”)

Of course, the fresh, shiny sheen of “new” eventually wears off, turning it “old” and “familiar.” “Old” and “familiar” is not nearly as sexy as “new.” They don’t attract nearly the attention, which means it doesn’t work nearly as well. Even worse, “new” becomes “old” even faster when more people use it.

Which means the early adopters need to find a different “new.” And the cycle starts all over again.

Until, eventually, we reach the predictable end.

Internet Marketing itself is no longer all that “new” or “easy.”

(And, all those tricks that came with it? Yeah, those are “old, familiar, and busted,” too.)

You see, the problem with “new” and “easy,” at least as it relates to Internet Marketing, is that it circumvents two key components of growing a successful business—work and patience.

And a lot of people get addicted to “new” and “easy” and forgot about the “time” and “work” part.

So, when “new” and “easy” stop getting results, there is panic.

Then what do we do?

Is the world as we know it over? Do we all need to get j-o-b-s?

Well, before you start trying to remember what a resume even looks like, let’s see what the next prediction is.

2. BUT it IS sort of “business as usual.”

Wait. I’m confused too. Wasn’t the first prediction that it’s no longer business as usual?

Yes, IF you’re building your business on a foundation of “new” and “easy.” While “new” and “easy” will always provide a shot in the arm, it’s not sustainable.

If you want a solid, dependable, profitable, successful business, then maybe it’s time to go back to solid, dependable, profitable, successful business practices.

What are those?

It’s simple—solve a problem that’s keeping your ideal clients up at night, and offer it to them at a fair price (fair to both of you—you need to make a living, and your ideal clients need to feel like they didn’t overpay for what was delivered).

How do you do that? Focus on three main principles:

* Attracting new prospects

* Turning those prospects into clients

* Taking great care of those clients

That’s really it.

Business really isn’t complicated. I know it can seem like it is (especially when you’re stuck in the cycle of “new” because you’re constantly having the chase the next “new” thing), but it truly doesn’t have to be. (And that includes enjoying sustained business success.)

So, how do you do all of that?

Well, let’s jump into prediction three.

3. Relationships are the new currency.

(Relationships were actually the old currency, too, but let’s not split hairs.)

People want to do business with people. People have ALWAYS wanted to do business with people. People WILL always want to do business with people.

So, how did we end up with so many empty, “personality” brand businesses that have little connection to their clients?

Simple. We forgot (blame the frenzy of “new” and “easy” coupled with how easy the internet makes it for us to hide behind our computer).

So how do you do that?

First, let your ideal prospects and clients and customers FEEL you. Hear your voice. Get to know your personality quirks. Maybe even show your vulnerability.

And, don’t ever forget about prediction four.

4. Quality never goes out of style.

There were many things we forgot when we were trapped in the “new” and “easy” cycle, including making sure we actually created a great product or service.

One of the principles of “new” was “speed.” Think about it—the people who benefit the most from “new” are the early adopters. The faster you can get something “new” out there, the better your results.

Now, there’s nothing inherently wrong with speed. In fact, there are times when moving swiftly makes good business sense.

But, “speed” can quickly turn into “sloppy.” And, in the quest to make things happen faster, “sloppy” somehow became more acceptable. “Just launch it and fix it later” became the new motto (or, even worse, “launch it first and create it later”).

Again, there’s wisdom in “launching first and creating later.” For one thing, you won’t spend weeks or months creating something no one wants to buy. You’ll know you have a market.

But, the problem is when people buy, they’re expecting the product. So, you have no choice but to create it fast. And, that leads to “sloppy.”

What’s the alternative?

Ask your prospects and clients what they want (and if you have a good relationship with them, they’ll tell you). Test something small—maybe a small product or a free piece of content—and see what the results are. Keep an eye on what seems to be working (and not working) in your marketplace, so you can stay ahead of the trends.

And that leads us to prediction five.

5. Be nimble.

I can hear you now: “Wait. Didn’t you just say “speed” was the first step on a slippery road to ‘sloppy’?”

“Speed,” yes. But, just because you’re nimble doesn’t necessarily mean you’re moving fast with EVERY part of your business.

For me, being nimble means you’re in a position to see what’s out there and respond quickly to it.

For instance, remember MySpace? No? I’m not surprised. I barely remember it either.

Years ago, before Facebook became the ten-foot-tall gorilla, there was MySpace.

For awhile, MySpace was the hot social networking platform to be on. One of my friends even successfully sold a little product on how to make money on MySpace.

And then Facebook took off.

Enough said.

So, the point of this is you DO need to keep an eye open to what’s working and what’s not working. Just because Facebook is where your clients are today doesn’t mean that’s where they’ll be tomorrow.

(BUT, if you’ve created a connection with your ideal prospects, they’ll likely also follow you to the new platform.)

And, if you want to stay nimble, check out number six.

6. Keep an eye on your statistics.

I know, I know. Numbers aren’t sexy.

BUT, they’re one of the best ways to keep a finger on the pulse with not only what’s going on in your industry, but in your business. And they’re the best way to keep you on the path to sustained business success.

Here’s the thing: There’s no question that right now a lot of entrepreneurs are floundering because the strategies they used to used to both grow their business and enjoy business success aren’t working the way they used to.

BUT, let’s not forget there are also entrepreneurs out there who had their best year ever in 2017.

Just because something isn’t working in the rest of your industry doesn’t mean it will affect you. (Keep in mind, the reverse is true too—just because something is working for EVERYONE doesn’t mean you’ll have success with it.)

That’s why keeping an eye on your specific numbers and looking for trends is important.

What numbers should you watch? Anything you want to grow. Some ideas include:

* Email subscribers

* Opens/clicks on your email list

* How many of your prospects buy

* How many visitors to your website

* Specific numbers for any marketing strategy you’re doing (i.e. blog visitors, podcast downloads, YouTube watches, etc.)

And, to brig it all home, prediction seven.

7. It’s never too soon to panic (aka someone, somewhere will panic this year).

Just as people are attracted to “new” and “easy,” they’re also attracted to “panic.”

It’s important to remember, panicking is a choice. Yes, I know, when the bottom falls out, it’s easy to slip into panic.

And, it’s important to feel those feelings—so if that’s what you’re feeling, then feel it and let it move through you.

Just don’t let it control your actions or decisions.

Nothing good happens when you run your business from a state of panic. And, you especially need to make decisions from your inner wisdom and/or God (or your higher power) if the bottom HAS dropped out. (In other words, when it’s most important that you don’t panic, you’re most likely to feel panic.) (Yes, I agree, it sucks.)

So, feel it, and THEN take action.

ESPECIALLY since there’s actually a lot of opportunity and a lot hope to be found out there.

In fact, let me end on a high note:

I made the claim that Internet Marketing itself is no longer “new” and “easy,” but has moved to “old” and “familiar.”

However, that doesn’t mean Internet Marketing doesn’t work. Quite the opposite. Internet Marketing ABSOLUTELY works—BUT only if you use it correctly.

Relying on novelty of “new” to break through the clutter is a stressful, losing proposition. But, using an old and familiar tool to give people what they really want (i.e. a solid relationship, a high-quality product, etc.) is absolutely a winning strategy.

Even better, it’s also key to building your business on a solid foundation of business success.

If you want more help, you may want to dig into my Love-Based Business series is a great place to get started. Check out all the books here (especially my “Love-Based Online Marketing” book—you can get it here.)

[Checklist] How to Grow Your Online Social Influence

[Checklist] How to Grow Your Online Social Influence

One of the best ways to supercharge your business growth and your income (while getting your message out there in a bigger way) is to grow you online social influence.

After all, when you have a strong online social influence, you’ve built credibility and visibility around your expertise, which means your ideal clients are likely seeking you out, excited to work with you. You probably also enjoy the results you get from the power of word of mouth marketing to sell your products, services, book, programs and more.

But be warned—building your online influence isn’t easy (and there are some hard truths you should know about it before you even get started, which I share here). The good news is there IS a path you can follow if you’re ready to step up and start growing your social influence.

That’s why I’ve created this checklist—to show you that path, and to provide you with links to additional articles and resources, so you can begin developing your social influence.

The Checklist:

_____ Are you clear—crystal clear—on your business?

It is crucial to be clear on:

* Your message, and

* Who you serve.

If you don’t have absolute clarity on both your message and your ideal client, it’s going to be very difficult, if not impossible, to actually grow your social influence.

(Note—in my “How to Start a Business You Love AND That Loves You Back” book, you’ll find a whole host of questions to help you get clear on the precise business you want to build. You can grab your copy for free here.)

_____ Have you developed your own unique voice?

People will resonate with you (and want to follow you) when:

* They fall in love with your message, and

* How you communicate your message.

The way you communicate your message is just as important as your message itself.

For example—many self-help experts have a message around love being the most powerful force in the world. But, the ones who rise to the top have a distinct way of communicating that message so it rises to the top.

Most health experts have a similar message around healthy habits. So how do they differentiate themselves from their competition? By communicating that message in their own unique voice.

So, how do you develop your unique voice?

Two quick tips are to read more and write more. (The more you read and the more you write, the more you’ll start to develop your unique voice.) But most importantly, don’t be afraid to share your personality. Let people see the real you—your quirks, your loves, your rants, your vulnerabilities. That’s what people want to see—the real you.

_____ Are you in integrity with your message?

There’s nothing less persuasive or compelling than being a hypocrite.

Really, who wants to follow a hypocrite? (Think of Dante’s Inferno—he devoted a whole circle of hell just to hypocrites.)

So, whatever your message is, it’s critical to make sure both you and your business are aligned with that message.

Now that doesn’t necessarily mean you need to be aligned 100% of the time. For instance, if you’re a health coach, you can occasionally pig out on chocolate cake. But, then be honest about it. Let people know you’re human, and you occasionally cheat and it’s okay if they occasionally cheat. (In fact, sharing your flaws and being honest about them will likely make you even more relatable to prospects.)

But, if you’re a health coach and you have some nasty health habits you’re not owning up to, people are going to sense that you’re out of integrity. They might not know why, exactly, but they’ll feel something is off. And they won’t be all that interested in following you.

_____ Are you making a difference in people’s lives?

Most people want to follow someone they can look up to, right?

One great way to be that type of person is to make a difference in people’s lives.

A lot of people have a dream or a goal to leave the world a better place than they found it, and if you’re working toward that vision, people will be naturally attracted to you, so they can learn from you.

In addition, if you help people, those people are going to be more inclined to follow you.

I also don’t think it’s a coincidence that a key trait for most successful people is their generosity and commitment to being of service to others. So, if you want to be successful and grow your social influence, upping your generosity may be exactly what you need to do.

_____ Are you putting your best work out there?

For years, the prevailing wisdom we heard as entrepreneurs was to focus on your marketing, rather than the quality of your work, because “he who has the best marketing wins.”

That actually hasn’t proven to be completely true. Yes, there’s no question you still need marketing, and having a solid marketing plan you consistently follow will go a long way to help you attract a steady stream of clients, customers, and buyers.

But, marketing on its own isn’t going to cut it. You also need to make sure you’re putting your best work out there.
Marketing can help you get a first-time buyer, yes. But, if that buyer has a bad experience, almost no amount of marketing will convince him or her to come back a second time.

In addition, if everyone has good marketing, then the only thing that separates one business from another is the quality of what they’re offering.

_____Have you chosen the right communication vehicle for you?

Having a large social influence typically means having a lot of followers.

So, if you want to have a lot of followers, you need something for them to follow. (Makes sense, right?)

Whether it’s a blog or a podcast or a youtube channel or a Facebook group or something else (or even a combination of vehicles) you’re likely going to have to build something for people to be a part of.

If you’re not sure which is the best communication vehicle for you, you may want to take my “Love Your Marketing Assessment” in my “Love-Based Online Marketing” book, to help you figure that out.

_____Have you worked through your mindset and/or subconscious blocks?

When you decide to step up and become more visible so you can start making a bigger difference, you may discover you have some mindset or subconscious blocks that are keeping you from making the progress you want to.

First off, this is completely normal. Chances are you already WOULD have a big social influence if you didn’t have any blocks getting in your way.

My book “Love-Based Money and Mindset” is all about working through your mindset blocks so you can grow your business, but this article will help you get started.

Lastly, you may want to dig into one or several of these topics in more detail. My Love-Based Business series is a great place to get started. Check out all the books here.

Stuck? 3 Tips to Bust Though and Have a Business Breakthrough

Stuck? 3 Tips to Bust Though and Have a Business Breakthrough

As an entrepreneur, or more specifically, a spiritual entrepreneur or change agent, you may have experienced hitting the dreaded business plateau, (and then wondering what on earth you need to do to have a business breakthrough).

The business plateau occurs when you’re making progress in your business — you’ve achieved some level of success, and you’re focused on continuing your upward momentum.

And then, it hits you.

Or, rather, you hit it: a roadblock … also known as a plateau.

You’ve undoubtedly heard of this before. Plateaus occur in many areas of life: weight loss, exercise (like weight lifting or speed in running, swimming, or biking), or in productivity levels.

So it’s only natural that they occur in business, too.

There’s one thing all plateaus have in common: they’re frustrating!

As you probably realize by now, I’m a big believer in the impact your mindset has on your ability to create results.

So what I’m about to say will come as no surprise: breaking through a business plateau will happen ONLY when your mindset has laid a strong foundation for doing so.

With that being said, here are three tips for making a mindset shift that leads to a business breakthrough:

Tip 1. Determine whether you’re actually ready to experience a business breakthrough … to get off the plateau, and take things to the next level.

If you’ve hit an external roadblock or plateau, for example, you can’t seem to push beyond a certain number of clients or income level, then chances are, you’ve hit an inner block, too.

An inner block is like a psychological wall that stops you from taking the action that will move you past a certain point.

It may be fear-related: fear of success, fear of failure, fear of not having enough, fear of getting out there and being seen, etc. Or it may be a belief or set of beliefs related to your feelings about success: for instance, successful people are jerks, rich people are arrogant.

Even if you’ve been successful up to this point, as you stretch your limits and set new goals for yourself, new blocks will come up.

So how do you know if you’re experiencing a block?

If you haven’t done any self-development work, you probably do have a block or two. We all do—many of us have experiences as children or even young adults that instill these fears or belief systems deep within us.

Here’s a quick and easy exercise for exploring your own plateau-causing fears and belief systems:

Grab a pen and a piece of paper, and draw a line down the middle, forming two columns. In the first column, write down all the reasons you want to break through the plateau. In the second, write down all the reasons you don’t want to break through or all the ways those blocks are serving you. (Yes, some stuff will come to the surface for that second column if you take this exercise seriously!)

The items you write down in the second column will give you an idea as to which fears or belief systems you need to work through to move past this plateau.

Take some time to think about the emotions associated with the items in the second column.

Next, start moving the energy out of these emotions.

I’m going to share one powerful exercise for doing so here, and you can read about several more in my book, Love-Based Money and Mindset: Make the Money You Desire Without Selling Your Soul.

Breathing is one of the most powerful exercises for releasing fear-based emotions. Yes, I used to roll my eyes at the “stop and breathe” advice, but now it’s become my go-to tool for getting past fear in many different situations.

The trick: you must feel your feelings.

When uncomfortable thoughts come up, just stop.

Rather than going with your first reaction and changing the subject, mentally, or calling a friend to talk about these feelings, stop everything.

Close your eyes and breathe into the feelings associated with the thoughts.

Maybe you feel emotions in your gut, like I do. Or maybe you feel them in your chest. Focus on that area and breathe into it. This takes practice! But I promise it will help you move past the blocks that are stopping you from reaching that next level.

Tip 2. Determine what you need to do to grow.

You’ve undoubtedly heard this analogy before, and that’s because it’s a good one. If you were planning to leave your house and drive to another city in another state—somewhere you’d never been—you’d need to get directions, right?

These days, most of us just type our destination’s address into our smartphone and hit “Get Directions.”

Then an app, like Google Maps, for example, gives us turn-by-turn directions.

Now let’s apply this analogy to your business.

If you’ve hit a plateau, then your desired destination if you want to have a business breakthrough is the Next Level, right? Well, do you know what you need to do to get to the Next Level? Which turns you need to make?

In our analogy, the “directions” would be the specific business strategies you’d use. “Turn left” may equate to, “Launch a new product.”

So how does this tie into mindset?

It’s all about preparation and planning. If you are attempting to reach a goal without a plan, then you’re not in the right mental space to get there. It’s like setting out for a destination to which you’ve never been without getting directions first.

Here’s an exercise you can use to figure out what you need to do to have a business breakthrough:

First, determine what the “Next Level” means to you.

Does it mean earning a certain amount of income? Does it mean landing a certain number of clients, or working a certain number of days each week or month?

Once you’re clear on that, consider the strategies that will get you there.

For example, if your goal is to get more clients, you may need a new lead generation system. If your goal is to earn more money and have more free time, creating a home study program may be a good avenue for reaching that goal.

Then, create a written plan with daily, weekly, monthly, and even yearly steps for reaching your goal.

Tip 3. Stick with it. Push yourself just a bit further, past that tipping point.

If you feel like you’re on the brink of something big, then you just might be!

You may not be experiencing a mental block … you may be just one final push from having that business breakthrough and reaching the Next Level.

If you know you’re doing what you need to do, and you haven’t yet broken through your plateau, then don’t give up!

This advice may be a bit frustrating, because as a goal-driven entrepreneur, you likely feel like if you could just take action, just push this through, you could get there.

And this is where mindset comes in: when you’re taking all the right actions, and you have all the right pieces in place, then sometimes you just have to open yourself to receive.

So, are you ready to break through a plateau?

Follow the advice above, and you’ll be on the right track.

If this topic resonated with you, you may be interested in my book, Love-Based Money and Mindset: Make the Money You Desire Without Selling Your Soul. It’s available at most online retailers, and you can get your own copy here.

3 Tips for Improving Your Relationship with Money, So You Can Attract More of It!

3 Tips for Improving Your Relationship with Money, So You Can Attract More of It!

What “relationship status” social media icon would you use to define your relationship with money? Married? Single? Or maybe …

“It’s complicated.”

Ah, yes. As an entrepreneur, your relationship with money can certainly be complicated.

If you want to start attracting more abundance into your life and business, having the right mindset is the first step. That’s because there is a direct correlation between results you get from your own money-attraction exercises and strategies and how good (or bad) your money mindset is.

And where does an effective money mindset start? With your relationship with money.

On one hand, the human-money relationship is simple: money is what we use to obtain the things we want.

But—and here’s where things get tricky—we also need money to buy certain things that are imperative to our survival, like food and shelter.

As my friend Kendra E Thornbury says, money is fundamental to our survival, so there is a survival energy around it. Which means that if you experience a serious setback, you may go into fight-or-flight mode …

And, if that happens, you’re operating at a very low vibration (which may mean you’re not in the mindset to attract anything good!).

Here’s the thing:

So, how do you ensure your long-standing relationship with money is as healthy as possible so you can attract it effectively?

Here are three tips:

Tip One. Examine Your Relationship with Money.

Take some time to think about how you feel about money, and what it represents to you. How do you feel when you think about money? How do you feel when you get ready to look at your bank account? Do you tense up? Do feel excited? Are you scared of what you’re going to find? Are you constantly afraid you’re going to run out of money? Do you feel confident asking people for money when the time comes?

Then, think about where these feelings come from? Are you stressed about money because you believe there’s never going to be enough? Are you afraid to charge your clients a certain amount because you don’t believe you’re worth it? Do you believe people who have lots of money are somehow bad or evil?

Your beliefs about money—especially if they’re derived from fear-based emotions—likely manifest as blocks. They keep you stuck in a low vibration so that you’re not attracting more money; or, even if you are attracting money, it, too has a low vibration and brings with it even more fear-based emotions.

Tip Two. Shift Your Perspective on Money.

Once you’ve uncovered your beliefs about money, you can begin to shift them so that you’re operating from a higher vibration (and therefore, able to attract more money!).

Here are just a few ways I encourage you to think about money. There are several more in my Love-Based Money and Mindset book, but this will give you a great start:

Money is a “thank you” from your clients.

People hire you to help them do something they can’t or don’t want to do themselves. So when you complete the task for which they’ve hired you, they’re probably grateful. They’re more than happy to pay you to express that gratitude. And think of what you’ve done for them: you’ve taken a task off their plate, saved them time, and helped them move forward in some way.

There is enough.

Ultimately, no matter how much or how little money you’ve had at different times throughout your life, you’ve always survived. There is always enough.

Of course, I’m not saying you shouldn’t build a savings account and practice good financial management. But I am saying that it’s okay to let that stress go. There is no need to hoard money or to worry about it running out.

Money is a conduit for doing good.

If you shy away from having a big bank account, remember that because money is a universal representation of value, you can use it to do good. You don’t necessarily have to keep all the money you earn. What if you could use money to fund a cause about which you’re passionate—the local humane society, an international relief organization, or a child welfare program? Wouldn’t that give earning money a positive spin?

When you’re attracting money at that high vibration—happily bringing it in because you know you can do good with it—it will flow!

Tip Three. Fall in Love with Money.

My friend Morgana Rae shares an exercise for shifting your perspective on money so that you can fall in love with it.

If you’re experiencing money challenges, you have what Morgana calls a “Money Monster.” If your money were a person, what would it look like? At this point, it may look big and ugly and scary! Of course you don’t want to be around that person, right?

What if you could give your Money Monster a makeover … into your “Money Honey,” someone who wants to be there for you? And, to take this a step farther, what if you could actually fall in love with your Money Honey?

Morgana recommends making your Money Honey a person: the opposite of your Money Monster. Someone you could fall in love with. (Sounds yummy, doesn’t it?)

The good news is that your relationship with money is always evolving. Money attraction is a practice, and you can always shift what you’re doing so it works effectively for you.

And the great news is that you hold the power to transform your relationship with money and maintain a loving, healthy friendship with it, no matter how deeply rooted your beliefs are.

This is a great place to begin, and if this topic resonated with you, then I hope you’ll take it even deeper by picking up your own copy of Love-Based Money and Mindset, here.