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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 Or maybe when you created it, it was a solid, well-put-together product, but now it’s out-of-date and really needs an upgrade.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.

[Video] Flip It! I Can’t Sell Because I Hate Selling!

[Video] Flip It! I Can’t Sell Because I Hate Selling!

There’s just no getting around it. If you want to be an entrepreneur and own your own business, you gotta sell something.

Because if you’re not selling something — your time, your expertise, a product, a book, an opportunity, SOMETHING — you’re not making any money.

And that kind of defeats the whole purpose of having a business. (Not only that, if you’re not selling something, you actually don’t have a business — you have a hobby.)

But, what if you hate to sell? Then what? How can you sell if you hate selling?

Well, I hate to break it to you but there’s simply no getting around it. If you want to be successful as an entrepreneur or business owner, you’re going to have to pull up your big girl or your big boy panties and learn how to sell.

Yes, you can hire a sales team to help you, but especially when you’re first starting out, you’re going to be your best salesperson. And if you’re selling time with you — coaching or a VIP day or a high-ticket mentorship program — people are going to want to talk to you before they make a final decision. So, learning to sell is kind of important.

Am I telling you to do something you hate? Kind of. But, what I’d really like to invite you to do is to dig into why you hate it.

What is it about selling in your business that you hate? Is it asking someone for money? Is it owning your own value? Do you feel it’s inauthentic to ask for money to do something you love?

Or is it something a little more esoteric, such as do you think all sales people are slimy ands sales-y and you don’t want to be sales-y and slimy either? Or do you think all rich, successful entrepreneurs are greedy and you don’t want to be greedy either?

There may be something coming up for you during a sales conversation you don’t want to feel, so it’s easier to simply hate sales conversations.

But, that’s not necessarily serving you or your business.

Look, you don’t have to love selling to build a thriving, profitable business, but you at least need to not hate it. And, chances are, once you dig more deeply into the reasons why you hate it, you’ll probably realize you actually don’t.

And that’s the first step to making your business a success.

(And if you’re wondering exactly how you can get everything you want simply by flipping your perspective? Check out the first episode here.)

If you liked this episode, you may also like my “Love-Based Online Marketing” book — you can check it out here.

[Video] Flip It! If You Do What You Love, Will the Money Follow?

[Video] Flip It! If You Do What You Love, Will the Money Follow?

You’ve likely heard the statement — do what you love and the money will follow.

But is it true?

Well, yes and no.

On one hand, when you do what you love, you’re likely passionate about it as well. Which usually means, you’re also spending a lot of time working on it.

And typically the more time you’re spending at something, the more likely you’ll be successful at it.

In addition, if you look at this from a law of attraction or energetic perspective, love is one of the highest vibrations. So, if you do what you love and love what you do, you’ll be operating at a very high vibration. That means you’ll be attracting money and abundance and opportunities and success.

But — there’s always a but — it’s not that simple.

First off, there seems to me a lot of confusion around doing what you love. Some folks feel like if you’re doing what you love, that means you’re loving what you do.

All. The. Time.

And that just isn’t true.

There are going to be times you’re in the flow and really passionate and loving what you do. And, there are going to be times where it’s a struggle. Or a drain.

Just because you love what you do, doesn’t mean you’ll never feel overwhelmed. Or stressed. Or like you need a vacation.

Plus, you may not love every single part of it. For instance, if you’re a book author, maybe you love writing the first draft but you don’t especially love the editing process. Or maybe you love the writing part but you hate the marketing part.

Or maybe there are just days where you don’t feel like writing. (Spoiler alert: successful authors are the ones who write every day whether they feel like it or not — they aren’t waiting around for “inspiration” or to only do it when they feel like it.)

But, it’s not just about writing. It’s anything you want to succeed at. For instance, if you want to build a successful business around what you love — I can pretty much guarantee you ARE going to have to do things you don’t like.

That in and of itself, isn’t the problem — the problem comes in when you allow the times you aren’t loving what you do to derail you. You don’t follow through on your marketing the way you should. You don’t show up to consistently work on your creative project.

And, consistency is what typically leads to success.

I share more ways you can tweak what you’re doing so you’re doing more of what you love in the video below. Watch now:

(And if you’re wondering exactly how you can get everything you want simply by flipping your perspective? Check out the first episode here.)

If you liked this episode, you may also like my “Love-Based Money and Mindset” book — you can check it out here.

The 3 Biggest Myths Standing in Your Way of Being a Spiritual Entrepreneur with a Successful, Profitable Business, DEBUNKED

The 3 Biggest Myths Standing in Your Way of Being a Spiritual Entrepreneur with a Successful, Profitable Business, DEBUNKED

As a spiritual entrepreneur, does the idea of having a successful, profitable business make you feel vaguely uncomfortable?

(It’s okay—you don’t have to raise your hand or anything.)

I suspect a part of you absolutely wants a business that pays you well and helps you get your message or gifts out into the world.

But, does a part of you struggle with the idea of having a successful business? Do you think to yourself “I’m spiritual; I shouldn’t be concerned with practical things like money and business.”

If this is you, I want to begin by saying this: you’re not alone. A lot of spiritual entrepreneurs struggle with their businesses.

And, it’s my personal belief that a lot of that struggle and angst can be avoided.

Why?

Because many issues can be traced back to 3 fundamental myths about what it means to be a spiritual entrepreneur.

Just like artists and writers and other creative professionals, I feel spiritual entrepreneurs are plagued by their own history of failure and self doubt and getting in their own way.

What if having a successful, profitable business was as easy as a simple mindset shift? Would you be willing to give it a try and see what happens?

My personal belief is it really CAN be that easy—and to help, I’m busting what I consider the 3 biggest myths standing in your way of being a spiritual entrepreneur with a successful, profitable business.

Let’s get started.

Myth #1. As a spiritual entrepreneur, you’re not good at business.

This is obvious, right? You’re concerned with spiritual matters, not pragmatic things like running a business.

Besides, maybe you think business stuff is boring. Or difficult. Or you’re not good at. Or it’s “beneath” you in some way.

You just want to make the world a better place while enjoying time and money freedom—you don’t want to be mired down in spreadsheets and reports and that other icky stuff.

I, too, thought I wasn’t good at business. I thought it was boring, and I really didn’t want to have anything to do with it.

But, a funny thing happened: the more I pulled up my big girl panties and dug into learning business concepts, the more I realized I actually enjoyed running a business.

Business doesn’t have to be boring or difficult.

Isn’t that precisely the reason why we start a business in the first place?

What if you WERE good at business? What if it was fun and enjoyable to run a business? What would that look like for you?

Myth #2. As a spiritual entrepreneur, you’re not supposed to make money—you’re spiritual!

Money is such a low consideration, isn’t it? Only greedy, selfish people care about money. If you care about money, you can’t possibly be spiritual.

Or can you?

This is a huge one. In our culture, we’ve somehow separated making money and being spiritual, when there really is no reason to separate the two.

I believe money is a form of energy. It’s a way for people to give back to you and a way for you to receive payment for your offerings. It doesn’t have to be bad or evil or selfish or greedy.

Honestly, our relationship with money is just so tangled, there’s no way I can do it justice in this post (which is why I wrote an entire book on this—“Love-Based Money and Mindset,” as have devoted an entire podcast to transforming our relationship with money and our money stories) but I’d like to invite you to sit with this statement, and really feel into it:

There’s no virtue in being broke.

If you can’t help yourself, there’s no way you can help anyone else.

And, I know plenty of very spiritual entrepreneurs who are also financially successful. It doesn’t have to be either/or.

What if you could be both—financially and spiritually successful? What would that look like? How would your life and business shift?

Myth #3. As a spiritual entrepreneur, you’re supposed to suffer.

After all, our spiritual and religious leaders have suffered. Look at Jesus or Gandhi—they suffered. That means we should suffer, too. Right?

Well … first off, are we so sure they suffered? Sure they may have had a challenging life, but lots of us do. That doesn’t mean they suffered.

It’s my belief that a lot of suffering is a choice, and that choice takes place in our head. We suffer when we allow our fear-based emotions to run amok in our heads, and torture us unmercifully.

After all, there are very wealthy people who spend their days numbing out with booze and prescription pills, while women in Africa spend a big chunk of their lives carrying the water they need to survive on their heads—content and peaceful.

What gives?

Money alone isn’t a guarantee of happiness, just as a lack of money isn’t a guarantee of suffering. A lot of it boils down to your mindset, and what sort of relationship you have with your fear-based emotions.

And just like being broke isn’t virtuous and noble, neither is suffering. Suffering doesn’t make you more spiritual. It doesn’t even make you a better person. (I think we all know mean-spirited, nasty people who are definitely suffering, and making sure everyone around them suffers, too.)

Having a successful, profitable business and being proud of that business doesn’t make you a bad person. It doesn’t make you less spiritual.

It may allow you to help more people.

What if you didn’t have to suffer to be spiritual? What would open up for you? How would you approach your business if you knew that suffering was simply a choice, and you weren’t going to make that choice anymore?

If you’d like to dig into this more, my free book “How to Start a Business You Love AND that Loves You Back” is a great place start. The link to download is below.

[Video] Flip It! What Mistakes do Entrepreneurs Make When Starting a Business?

[Video] Flip It! What Mistakes do Entrepreneurs Make When Starting a Business?

Full disclosure — mistakes are VERY common, especially when you’re first starting a business. I personally have made more mistakes than I can even remember.

And, I’ve noticed a theme around the vast majority of mistakes. Most of them are made because the entrepreneur is focusing on the wrong things.

Let me give you an example.

When you’re first starting a business, chances are the first thing you focus on is creating a logo, a tagline, a website — things like that.

Now, there’s nothing wrong with any of those things. All of them most definitely can help you grow your business.

But, none of those — yes even the website — will actually put money into your pocket in the short term.

Now, this isn’t the say you don’t need a website — you absolutely do. BUT it’s completely possible to get some clients and money in the door without it.

And that, my friends, is what you should focusing on when you’re starting a business. Generating some income. Learning how to craft your offer so your ideal clients say yes to you.

Because if you don’t know how to craft an offer so your ideal prospects say yes to you, it’s going to be an uphill battle trying to generate an income.

Worse, what if you decide to spend all this time and money to  create a website, logo and tagline only to discover your message is all wrong? It actually DOESN’T actually attract, inspire and invite your ideal prospects to become your ideal clients.

So, what do you do?

Luckily there IS a better way, which I share in the video below. Check it out:

(Wondering exactly how you can get everything you want simply by flipping your perspective? Check out the first episode here.)

If you liked this episode, you may also like my Love-Based Copy books: Love-Based Copywriting Method and Love-Based Copywriting System, both available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iTunes and other online retailers.

 

5 Tips to Avoid Burnout by Infusing Your Business with Feminine Energy

5 Tips to Avoid Burnout by Infusing Your Business with Feminine Energy

When you’re an entrepreneur, it’s so easy to get sucked into working all of the time and ignoring your feminine side until you hit burnout (or worse).

But, there are gifts feminine energy can bring to your business that can make you a more successful entrepreneur.

For instance, while traditional business models are rooted in goals and action and competition, feminine business models focus on creativity and empathy and receiving. (And yes, that includes receiving money!)

In order to avoid burnout and to enjoy the fruits of your hard work, you actually do need both masculine and feminine energy in your business.

Chances are, you’ve already got the masculine energy. In most cases, entrepreneurs start with goals and plans.

But, when you infuse your business with feminine energy, your ideas align with your purpose and you attract more of your ideal clients, you avoid burnout, you get clear on what your goals really are, and you receive all the rewards you deserve.

So. How do you begin bringing feminine energy into your business?

Here are five tips to get you started:

Tip 1. Stop and breathe.

Masculine energy is about moving forward toward your goals, preferably as quickly as possible. I’ve heard the phrase, “Money loves speed,” countless times—but I believe that it’s not healthy or smart to spend all your time in that fast energy. You’ll burn out. So every once in a while, take some time to just breathe. Check in with yourself and evaluate whether you’re going in the direction you want to.

Tip 2. Don’t push or force. Stay present and continually ask, “What’s needed now?”

If you feel like you Must. Make. Something. Happen. Now … through sheer force of will, then you’re not in the feminine. In fact, too much pushing and forcing is one of the leading causes of burnout. Instead of pushing, or doing the things you believe you “should” do, take a moment to revisit Tip One: Stop and breathe.

Which leads me to the next tip!

Tip 3. Listen to your inner wisdom, intuition, or guidance.

Many successful entrepreneurs know that trusting your gut is an important strength.

The truth is, though, that in many cases, we don’t hear it or trust it. That’s why it’s critical to take time to breathe, stop pushing, and really listen.

Over time, as you practice this skill, you’ll learn how to hear, trust, and act on what your inner voice is saying.

Tip 4. Strengthen your trust muscles.

This one can be tough! Trust that everything is going to work out, and that you will be supported even if you don’t get the results you wanted or expected. If you don’t trust that you’ll be taken care of and supported, then you’re prone to pushing or forcing things to happen. If you struggle with this one, here’s a …

Bonus Tip. Get a love line in place.

Find someone who can support and hold space for you when you start worrying that you won’t be taken care of (for example, that you won’t enroll the number of people you want to enroll in a program, or sell as many books as you’d like to). Your love line should be able to offer perspective, to help you reevaluate the situation from a place of trust.

Another way to look at this is to be committed to your results without being attached to how those results actually appear. For instance, maybe you don’t enroll as many people in your program that you wanted, but you end up with a couple of VIP clients that end up actually being more profitable than if you had simply filled your program. A love line can help remind you that things don’t always unfold the way we think they ought to unfold — but if we relax and trust, they may turn out better than we expected.

Tip 5. Learn to receive.

If you’re reading this, chances are you’re a conscious, heart-centered, spiritual entrepreneur. Which means you probably love giving. You feel comfortable giving.

But as we all know, sometimes it’s important to step outside your comfort zone.

In this case, it’s critical to receive. If we can’t receive, how can we receive in our business? Think about all the ways in which you must receive if your business is to be successful (and by “successful,” I mean, if it is to help you make that impact you’re so passionate about): you must receive new clients, new opportunities.

Of course, I’m also talking about receiving money and sales, too.

If this one sounds like a struggle, I completely understand. It was a struggle for me, too. It took me some time, and I started with baby steps—learning to accept simple compliments was the first one—and now I’m starting to see the results in my life and my business in terms of my ability to receive.

Since I began the journey of infusing my own business with feminine energy, I’ve experienced a huge decrease in overwhelm and stress—and I’ve also begun seeing better business results. I hope that if you begin infusing your business with feminine energy, you experience the same.

Meanwhile, 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.

4 Reasons Why It’s Critical to Infuse Masculine Business Models with Feminine Energy

4 Reasons Why It’s Critical to Infuse Masculine Business Models with Feminine Energy

As an entrepreneur/change agent, chances are you’ve set goals. Even if you’re a spiritual entrepreneur who believes in using feminine energy in other areas of your life, it’s likely in your business, you crave a more masculine approach and structure.

You’ve probably created some sort of plan for reaching your goals, and you believe you must take action (often, even hard-charging action) to achieve them.

If you’ve taken any business courses or read articles about growing your business, then you’ve seen it:

The masculine business model.

You see, traditionally, business models are rooted in masculine energy: they’re all about moving forward toward a goal, preferably as quickly as possible. Masculine energy contains, among others, the qualities of analytic thinking, competition, logic, and action.

It’s no wonder, then, that conventional business strategy emphasizes winning at all costs, and often focuses on numbers and measurable results: The Bottom Line.

Revenue plans, launch calendars, profit margins, action, action, action … you get the idea.

And all of those are important, of course, since you’re running a business and obviously, you have bills to pay.

The problem with this business model is that it can lead to burnout and overwhelm. If you’re constantly in overdrive, pushing for bigger results, faster, then it’s likely you’re stressed out much of the time. And even if your numbers look great, you don’t feel great. It’s difficult to enjoy the fruits of your labor if you’re exhausted.

So what’s an entrepreneur to do?

Bring in the feminine.

Feminine energy is creative energy. It’s where you receive from. And it’s essential to enjoying your business.

It contains, among others, the qualities of intuition, compassion, emotion, creativity, empathy.

Masculine energy is where external structures come from, and feminine energy is where all the internal structures are built.

And in business, you need both: you need that structure and those plans. And you also need the space to create and receive.

You may be thinking, “This makes sense, Michele, but WHY?”

So here are four reasons why it’s important to infuse your masculine business model with feminine energy:

Reason 1. A balanced business model helps you grow your business. When your masculine business model serves as a structure for your feminine energy to create and receive, your ideas align with your spirit and purpose, and therefore, attract more of your ideal clients.

Reason 2. You avoid burnout. As I mentioned above, masculine energy is all about action! And action is important. But consistent action without breaks can lead to burnout. When you bring in feminine energy, you give yourself the time and space to create, to practice self-care strategies, and to nourish your soul—so you can receive the fruits of all that action.

Reason 3. You get clear on what your goals really are, and therefore, make more efficient use of your resources. Entrepreneurs with a tendency to get stuck in the masculine business model may go “full-steam ahead” without taking the time to feel into what their goals are, and whether those goals are ones they truly want to accomplish. Feminine energy is about intuition, and when you give yourself time and space to really hear your intuition, you can get clear on which goals are really important to you—before you rush headlong into achieving them.

Reason 4. You can receive all that you work so hard for. Look, for many of us—especially conscious, spiritual, or heart-centered entrepreneurs—receiving is hard. We’re much more comfortable in the space of giving. Here’s the thing: if you’re always in that space of giving and pushing, giving and pushing, you’re not taking the time or making the space to receive. Which means you’re not able to enjoy the abundance you’re working so hard to generate.

So now you know why it’s important to infuse your masculine business model with feminine energy, you probably want to know how to do so — this post gives you 5 tips to help get you started.

Meanwhile, 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, now.