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The Secret to Building a Business That Can Weather Any Storm … No Matter How Scary

The Secret to Building a Business That Can Weather Any Storm … No Matter How Scary

I was recently cleaning out some old papers I happened to find at the bottom of my desk, when I came across some teachings from Dan Kennedy.

If you haven’t heard of Dan Kennedy, he’s this old, grizzled marketing and copy guru and author of the No BS series of books. In the beginning of my career, I learned a lot about how to write traditional copy from him. (He was also the “Kennedy” in the Glazer-Kennedy Marketing company.)

I glanced through the papers and this Dan Kennedy quote caught my eye:

“If you’re still in the same business you were in 3-5 years ago, you have no business.”

I then looked at the date of the training and saw it was from 2012.

This really hit me, because, you see, my first thought when I read that quote was “how timely.” When really, Dan Kennedy wrote it six years ago.

For many entrepreneurs in the online information product industry (which includes the transformation industry), 2017 was a really rough year. That was the year we started to see how many of the business “truths” we thought were infallible were, in fact, very fallible.

And, for some entrepreneurs who had built businesses on those “infallible” truths, even big, multi-million-dollar businesses, were seeing massive cracks and their businesses crumble on what they thought was a pretty solid structure.

So, let’s start by acknowledging the truth: Yes, it can be scary. Very scary. If you’re worried or scared about the future of your business and you’re uncertain about what to do or which direction to go, you’re absolutely not alone. I  encourage you to feel whatever it is that wants to come up—just don’t let it stop you from taking action.

And let’s acknowledge another truth: It sucks.

Look, as humans, we are biologically wired to not like change. It’s in our DNA. Change can be dangerous to our very existence. So, as much as possible, our brains try to minimize change in order to keep us safe.

Which is why this idea of constantly looking at our businesses and seeing what we need to do differently is exhausting and overwhelming.

After all, don’t we want to just “set it and forget it”?

Wouldn’t it be nice to discover the “secret of success” and then finally stop looking?

Alas, if only it were that simple.

So, what’s the solution?

Well, I think first of all, acknowledge that it is both scary and daunting, AND decide to take action regardless.

Second, pay attention to your industry. Go to events, talk to friends and colleagues, follow people who follow trends and write about them (this blog can be a good place to start).

Third, know this:

Maybe it means that you tweak an existing product or service to better meet demand.

Maybe you change how you market.

Maybe you add a new product line or retire an old product line.

To be honest, you might even welcome some of changes.

Because, along with the landscape changing, you yourself are changing, and your business (which while not “alive” in the traditional sense, is still a living entity) are also changing.

Listen to what wants to emerge. Be open to what wants to change. (It’s easier to surrender to what wants to happen than it is to fight it.)

Lastly, know some things really DON’T ever change.

For instance, a business is really about finding and connecting with your ideal clients. It’s about building relationships. It’s about giving value. It’s about making offers your ideal clients want to buy. Those things don’t change.

And if you keep those business truths in mind (not to mention actually building your business on those truths and not the slippery, cracked “truths” of whatever is hot in the moment), you’ll be able to weather any storm …

No matter how scary it might initially look.

If you’d like to dig more deeply into building your business on a solid foundation, my Love-Based Business books can help, specifically my “Love-Based Online Marketing” book.

[Real World Analysis] How a Business with 12 Million Followers Went Bankrupt

[Real World Analysis] How a Business with 12 Million Followers Went Bankrupt

Before I get to the story about the business with 12 Million followers, I want to start by discussing a Facebook ad about the “truth around building an audience” that drives me bonkers every time I see it, so I decided to share my analysis around why I think it’s extremely misleading (and could even be dangerous to your financial and business health).

In a nutshell, the ad makes the claim that if you have a business, building an audience is a waste of time. You should immediately stop all of that blogging and podcasting and shooting videos nonsense, and instead, just follow this particular guru’s simple formula to immediately fill your business with high-paying clients. No audience required.

Simple as that. No mess, no fuss.

Now, a few disclaimers before I get into my analysis. First off, while yes, I’ve obviously read the ad, I have not actually watched this person’s webinar, so I don’t know what his simple formula actually is. If I were to guess, I would assume he teaches how to use some form of paid ads (most likely Facebook ads) to attract prospects into a funnel that ends in a sales call.

If that’s what he’s teaching, it’s perfectly legitimate, and I’m sure it does work.

I’m also a big believer that businesses should be profitable and make money for their owner. If his system works as advertised, the fact that he’s selling it isn’t the problem.

It drives me bonkers because it’s incomplete. And because the claim the ad makes is incomplete, it has the potential to hurt entrepreneurs.

Here’s the truth:

In order to have a successful, profitable business, you need both long-term and short-term marketing strategies.

Long-term marketing strategies are for audience and platform building. That includes those pesky tactics such as blogging and list building.

Short-term strategies are to generate cash now. So, any type of sale emails or, in the case of this Facebook ad, a paid advertising strategy designed to generate prospects so you can close them on a sales call.

Focusing mostly on long-term strategies (especially before you’ve built up a big platform) could lead to big time cash flow challenges.

Focusing on short-term strategies could lead to a massive feast/famine financial cycle. Plus, if your short-term marketing strategy stops working for some reason, you could lose your entire business.

The Internet is littered with stories about entrepreneurs who built their platform around (or had most of their income coming from) one source, and when that source dried up, their business tanked—sometimes as fast as overnight.

This is especially true if your short-term marketing strategy is linked to something you don’t control. For instance, let’s look at this strategy of using Facebook ads to close high-ticket clients.

* What if Facebook suddenly jacks up the rate of those ads overnight. How will you then get a high enough return on your investment, to make this particular strategy worth it? (Yes, I’ve seen this happen.)

* What if Facebook bans you from advertising? (Yes, I’ve seen this happen.)

* What if something happens to Facebook? (As I write this, Mark Zuckenburg is testifying in front of Congress about Facebook’s privacy policy. What if Congress decides to regulate? What if Facebook becomes less popular?)

Now, maybe none of these “what ifs” actually happen, but the point here is that you don’t know.

Things change at lightning speed in the age of the Internet, which means if you aren’t spending time building your presence on a platform you control (such as a blog or website) in addition to building your audience and growing your subscriber list, the more vulnerable you are.

It doesn’t matter if you have thousands of followers on your Facebook page or YouTube channel. You have no way of contacting them if Facebook or YouTube changes the rules.

Which means, if the rules DO get changed, you’ve just lost your audience.

For example, there was once a little publishing company that built up a Facebook following of 12 MILLION followers. They posted daily videos that were liked and shared and followed.

Then one day, Facebook changed their algorithms to show more posts from personal contacts than businesses, and they lost over 75% of their organic traffic.

Just. Like. That.

That little publishing company didn’t recover. It went out of business.

The worst part of this story is it didn’t have to happen. This company had a ton of content. Why wasn’t it posted on YouTube? (At least then there would have been a second platform to turn to.) Why wasn’t it posted on a company blog?

In this case, the work was already done. It wouldn’t have taken much effort at all to put a little love into building up a couple of other platforms. It wouldn’t have taken much to invite their Facebook fans to opt in to an email list.

But, it wasn’t a priority for them to build a platform outside of Facebook. Likely, the owners never even considered that Facebook would change the rules overnight. Maybe they even thought it was a waste of time and energy to do anything else, when they were getting so much traction and momentum from Facebook.

Anyway, let’s get back to you.

As a busy entrepreneur (who maybe doesn’t even like marketing all that much), you may be reading this right now while experiencing sinking feeling in your stomach.

Where will you find the time and energy to create both long-term AND short-term marketing strategies?

Well, here’s my answer—you get help.

I’m a big believer in focusing your time, energy, and love on what you most enjoy. Find the marketing tactic you love and do that. (My “Love-Based Online Marketing” book includes a “Love Your Marketing Assessment” that can help.)

You also may need to put some time into the cash flow part of your business as well, to make sure it’s running smoothly.

Then, hire a team member (or members) to help with the long-term marketing strategies.

You don’t have to do it fast, or dedicate a lot of time to it. If all you can handle right now is a weekly article, then do a weekly article (or a weekly podcast or video).

Commit to what you can. And budget what you can to get help.

And, take a deep breath. You’re in this for the long haul, right? So, know the long-term marketing strategy may take a little longer to see results, but at the end of the day, you WILL have a stronger, more stable and more profitable business because of it.

And, if you’d like to dig more deeply into online marketing, including putting together an online marketing plan, my “Love-Based Online Marketing” book may be perfect for you.

3 Crucial Steps to Take BEFORE Creating a Content Marketing Plan

3 Crucial Steps to Take BEFORE Creating a Content Marketing Plan

When creating a content marketing plan, a lot of entrepreneurs I know do it backwards.

They sit down and start brainstorming a bunch of topics. Which can work. But, it can also be a big time waster (especially if the entrepreneurs get stuck and have no idea what they want to create). There’s also a high likelihood they don’t end up creating content their ideal client wants to consume. (Which is the whole point of putting a content marketing plan together in the first place.)

Or, in some cases, they skip the plan altogether and simply jump in and create whatever tickles their fancy that day.

Again, this can sometimes be successful strategy. (It wasn’t for me.) But, I think in most cases what you typically end up is a content marketing plan that’s hit or miss. (Truthfully, more miss than hit.)

So, is there a better way to create a content marketing plan? Why yes! And, where it starts is by making sure you have a solid foundation in place.

Not only are you more likely to create a successful blog or podcast or video channel or whatever you’re creating because you’ve focused on building a solid foundation, but it’s also going to be soooo much easier for you to create content on a regular and consistent basis (which really is the key to creating momentum and results around your marketing).

Plus, just sitting down and creating a content marketing plan for a year (or even for the next quarter) can feel overwhelming. That’s why I think taking a few steps back and getting your foundation in place BEFORE you create a content marketing plan is so essential.

And, the best part? Having this foundation in place will help focus ALL of your marketing efforts, not just creating a content marketing plan.

Without further ado, let’s dive into these three crucial steps.

1. Be clear on precisely what your expertise is (and isn’t).

If you’re a new entrepreneur or new to whatever it is you’re doing, this can feel daunting. It can also feel daunting if you are like me and have a bad case of “fraud” syndrome, or “I have to read one more book or get one more certification before I’m an expert” syndrome.

I’m not going to give you the same advice you may have heard from other gurus, which is if you know 80% more than your ideal client, you’re an expert.

While technically that may be true, in practice that’s a horrid platform to build your content marketing plan on.

Your ideal prospects are NOT (let me repeat NOT) looking for the same, watered- down content everyone else and their brother who are also “80% experts” are putting out. They are NOT looking for content that is basically regurgitated from a book or a program.

They are looking for solid, high-quality content that either educates them or entertains them, or both.

So, what DO you do then, if you’re new to your business and you don’t have the level of expertise as other experts who have been out there for a decade or more?

First off, there’s no law that says your content marketing plan can only include content YOU create. What about using other people’s expertise? You could start a podcast and interview other experts. You could write blog posts that quote posts and books from other experts (giving full credit of course).

Over time, as you grow your business, you’ll start to find your voice and your style of teaching., and as you do, you can start creating content from your voice.

And, quite honestly, THAT’S what your ideal prospects are looking for. They’re looking for you because they want to hear how YOU perceive the content and YOUR angles and how you interpret it from YOUR unique life experiences and stories.

There are very few things that are “brand new” right now. But, what IS new is your unique spin on similar ideas. Right now, you may not be feeling brave enough or comfortable enough to truly step into your unique voice. That’s okay. While you’re developing that, see what you can do to leverage other people’s expertise.

2. Be clear on precisely who you’re serving.

Your ideal client is going to influence how you present your content.

For instance, let’s say you’re a money expert. You’re going to present content around money very differently depending on whether you’d rather work with entrepreneurs or employees.

What if you’re a relationship expert? You’re going to see things through completely different angles depending on whether you’re working with men or women, and whether your ideal clients are 20-year-old women or 50-year-old divorcees.

That’s why getting clear on who your ideal clients are and what is keeping them up at night—and making sure the content you’re creating is relevant to them (not to mention something they want to consume)—is super important.

3. Be clear on precisely what you offer them that no one else is, and why they should come to you.

Again, if you’re new, you may find this one a little scary.

But, here’s the thing: If you can’t communicate what makes you unique, you WILL struggle in your business.

Your ideal clients are going to want to know why they should plunk down their hard-earned money to work with you versus someone else. And, if you can’t tell them, they may wonder if they can get what you offer cheaper somewhere else.

Because, you see, if you aren’t able to explain to them your value, they’re going to make their buying decision based on whether or not they feel like they can afford what you’re charging.

If you make it clear what your value is and how what you do is different from everyone else, then price becomes less of an issue. You can’t be price-shopped, because no one else offers the same value you are providing.

If you struggle with this, this article walks you through my formula on how to craft your message so it resonates with your ideal client.

Once you know this, you’ll have a much better idea of the sort of content that will resonate most with your ideal client. (This doesn’t mean you won’t want to do some testing on the best content for your ideal clients, but you’ll definitely have a solid place to start with your content marketing plan.)

So, you may have noticed that all three of these steps have one thing in common, which is … (drum roll)

Clarity!

To me, clarity is one of those things that just doesn’t sound all that sexy, but yet, the more clear your are, the easier everything is.

I know for myself I prefer the “just jump in and figure it out later” approach. However, I’ve definitely had mixed results with that. Some things have worked out great and others … not so much.

While I think you can also go the other way and spend TOO much time in research and preparation and “getting ready to get ready,” I also think there’s a happy medium between getting clear and just getting started.

If you want to see my specific strategy on how I got clear before creating my second blog, I walk you through it here.

And, if you’d like to dig more deeply into online marketing, including putting together an online marketing plan, my “Love-Based Online Marketing” book may be perfect for you.

[Video] Flip It! How Do You Pick Yourself Up After You Fail?

[Video] Flip It! How Do You Pick Yourself Up After You Fail?

Let me start by busting a myth: If you’re successful at anything, you’ve also experienced a fail or two.

And, likely, a lot more than one or two.

I’m not sure it’s possible to BE successful without also experiencing failure. Because, if you’re not out there and trying new things and testing out new ideas and concepts while knowing you may fail, it’s difficult to BE a success.

Projects you thought would be a big hit … aren’t. Or they take longer than you planned to catch on. Or maybe they WERE a huge success, and then one day they stopped selling.

Launches crash and burn. Marketing strategies that once worked stop.

I could go on and on. And, these are just entrepreneurial examples. There’s also countless examples if you want to be an author or artist or scientist or inventor, or even climb the corporate ladder.

Thomas Edison experienced over 10,000 failures (which he didn’t call “failures”) before he figured out how to make a light bulb work.

So, I suspect you already know this. It’s not a secret.

But, I also bet you forgot.

Because, unless the fall from grace is really public, you don’t see it. A lot of failures happen behind closed doors. A product doesn’t sell as well as hoped — is that truly something most people are going to see? Probably not. It didn’t sell well so how would anyone outside the business know?

I start here because I’m beginning to believe one of the key attributes all successful people share is their ability to bounce back after they fail.

Because failure is going to happen if you want to become a success. And, the more successful you want to become, the more failure you’ll likely experience.

Now, my take on picking yourself back up after you’ve fallen is maybe a little different than what you heard. You see, I think the first thing you need to do is feel all those crappy feelings.

Yes, feel the anger, the disappointment, the resentment, the jealously, the envy, the shame, the embarrassment, the grief. Stomp your feet. Hit a pillow. Cry.

Do whatever you need to do to move that energy from your body.

Because that’s the only way you’ll be able to stop feeling those feelings.

Feelings just want to be felt. And, if you don’t feel them, they’ll keep following you around, harassing you, until you do.

So, how on earth will you be able to pick yourself up if you’re still stewing? How are you possibly going to focus on taking action to get yourself back on track when you’re still battling rage or grief or wanting to shrink into yourself and hide under your bed?

The answer — you can’t!

That’s why so many people CAN’T pick themselves back up. They may tell themselves they need to beat this, and they have to get back on their horse and all the other rah-rah inspirational motivational messages.

But, it’s just talk. If they feel like crap, it’s going to be tough to take action. Not only because you don’t feel like doing anything when your emotions are out of control, but trying to keep yourself from feeling your emotions is a lot of work, so you’re likely going to be more exhausted than normal.

So, before you do anything, before you get that plan together to beat this thing, let yourself just feel as crappy as you want to. Go ahead, let it all out. Have a big ole pity party for yourself.

And, when all of those emotions have been felt and have moved through you, you may be amazed at how easier everything looks.

(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.

[Video] Flip It! Why Becoming an Overnight Success May be the WORST Thing to Happen to You

[Video] Flip It! Why Becoming an Overnight Success May be the WORST Thing to Happen to You

I get it. I, too, have dreamed about becoming an overnight success. Still do, in fact.

But, the older I’ve gotten, the more I’ve come to believe that NOT becoming an overnight success may be the best thing to happen to you.

To illustrate, let me start with a story.

Over twenty years ago, a freelance writer wrote a book called Simple Abundance. This book ended up catching fire. Oprah had the author on her show a few times, the book was on the New York Times bestselling list for over two years, and by the time all was said and done, the author ended up selling over 7 million copies (5 million in the US and 2 million oversees).

Fast forward to today. While you might have heard of the book Simple Abundance, you likely haven’t heard of any of the author’s other titles. You might not know that she ended up losing all the money she made from Simple Abundance, and even declared bankruptcy.

She’s far from the only one. How many singers in the 80s had a massive hit, only to sink into oblivion? It was so common we even had a name for it: One-hit wonders.

How about people who win the lottery only to lose everything they won (and more) a few years later?

What do all of these stories have in common?

In my opinion? Success happened too fast for them.

Too fast? How can that be?

You see, every time you reach a big milestone, maybe it’s breaking the 6-figure mark or quitting your job to start your business or finally publishing your book, something shifts inside you.

The bigger the milestone, the bigger the shift.

And, if we’re not emotionally ready to accept the shift, we’ll unconsciously sabotage ourselves. Hence all the one-hit wonders.

Gay Hendricks has a name for it in his book, The Big Leap. He calls it an “upper limit problem.” We all have unconscious limits to how much success or happiness or money or joy we can accept. When we get more than what we can tolerate, we do things to bring ourselves down. That’s why after a particularly close moment with our spouse, we may start a fight or after we experience a big windfall of money, an equally big expense rolls in.

It takes both time and work to raise our upper limits and expand our capacity to receive. Which is why the journey to success is just as important as the success itself. What we end up learning on that journey is what helps us mentally and emotionally accept our success when good fortune does decide to smile down on us.

Look, I get how difficult and discouraging and frustrating the process can be. Waking up every morning and taking action even when you’re not seeing results yet, and worse, not having ANY idea when or IF you’ll see results is tough.

But, here’s the thing. The discipline and perseverance you develop during that process will serve you well when success finally does comes knocking on your door.

(And yes, it WILL come — maybe not how you thought it would arrive or when, but it will come.)

(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.

[Video] Flip It! Can Gratitude Help You Manifest Your Dreams?

[Video] Flip It! Can Gratitude Help You Manifest Your Dreams?

If you’ve ever dabbled into Law of Attraction principles or other spiritual practices designed to help you grow your business and manifest your dreams, you’ve likely been encouraged to have a gratitude practice.

And, if you’re like a lot of entrepreneurs, including myself. you may find yourself rolling your eyes at this advice.

It sounds too easy, doesn’t it? Just come up with a list of things you’re grateful and that somehow is going to help you manifest your desires.

Really?

Precisely how is THAT going to make you more successful? Especially if you’re struggling right now and the last thing you feel is grateful.

So, I get it. I was skeptical too.

Then, I read a study in the book “Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself” by Dr. Joe Dispenza.

A group of participants were asked to hold a beacon with DNA strands in it while focusing on unwinding the strands. If they just used their thoughts to unwind them (like what we all learned in the movie “The Secret”, which was anything you thought about, you attracted into your life) nothing happened.

BUT, the group of participants who felt grateful as they thought about unwinding the strands, they were actually able to unwind them by 25%.

The key is to combine the emotions of gratitude with the power of your thoughts. If you can do this, and do this consistently (like every day) you’ll manifest what you desire.

Gratitude is one of the highest vibrations there is. That means the longer you’re able to stay in gratitude, the longer your energy is operating at that higher level, and as like attracts like, that high vibrational energy is attracting your desires to you.

Now, I’m grossly simplifying Dr. Dispenza’s work here, but if you want a couple of pointers to get started, take a few minutes to watch below:

 

(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.

Supercharge Your Gratitude Practice and Grow Your Business Fast

Supercharge Your Gratitude Practice and Grow Your Business Fast

How many times have we heard it? The secret to success is to have a gratitude practice — write down three or five or 10 things every day you’re grateful for.

Now, I’m not saying that’s not a good thing to do. Any sort of practice that helps you focus on all the wonderful things you have versus what you don’t have is a good thing.

But, the problem with that gratitude practice is that it doesn’t go nearly far enough. You see, the secret of a gratitude practice, what makes it a truly powerful, life-changing practice, is to tap into the FEELING of gratitude.

If you can truly feel grateful, that energy is what will attract more of what you want to you.

But, it goes even deeper than that. Gratitude is actually such a powerful emotion that, if you regularly practice feeling it, it can transform your life. Here are three other ways you can use gratitude to grow your business:

  1. Market and sell yourself using love-based principles.

When I talk about the love-based copy and marketing philosophy, I teach that to actually market yourself with love, your mindset (or “come from”) needs to be based in love.

While this is important, it’s also easier said than done, especially if you’re really struggling financially in your business.

That’s why I teach that a quick way to shift your energy is to focus on gratitude. And, what I mean by that, is to focus on feeling grateful.

 

  1. Turn around feelings of entitlement, grumpiness, or general dissatisfaction with your business.

It happens to all of us. We decide we’re done with our business. We’re running off to live in a hut on a beach.

Now, in some cases, there is a good reason for those feelings—maybe they’re an indication of the fact that we’ve actually built the wrong business for us. But, in many cases, we’re just experiencing a moment of entitlement.

No, entitlement-related feelings aren’t only for the Millennials. If you’ve ever had a moment where you found yourself saying things like:

• “This should be easier.”

• “I don’t understand why I’m not successful yet.”

• “I’ve done everything I’ve supposed to and I’m not successful yet.”

• “This isn’t fair!”

I hate to break it to you, but you’re having an entitlement moment.

And, it’s okay. We’re human. Feelings of entitlement are a part of being human. Millennials certainly didn’t invent them.

But, if you’re trapped in that feeling, it’s not going to help you grow your business. One of the best ways to shift that feeling and get yourself out of it is to focus on feeling gratitude, instead. Flip your perspective, and find something you can feel deeply grateful for to concentrate on.

  1. Supercharge what you want to manifest. (Ah, this is a fun one.)

I first learned about this in the book “Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself” by Dr. Joe Dispenza, but here’s a (very) simplified version of what he teaches.

If you want to manifest a certain outcome for yourself, like hitting a specific income goal, you can supercharge that manifestation by using gratitude.

Here’s how this works:

Focus on feeling grateful. Really feel the emotion. Let it fill your body.

Now, while you’re in this state of gratitude, start visioning what you want to manifest.

See it come true. Really see it happening in your mind.

And, as it comes true, focus on feeling even more grateful it is coming true.

And that’s it! Manifestation, supercharged.

Do this regularly, and watch how your life changes.

If you’d like to dig into this topic even more, you may want to check out my “Love-Based Money and Mindset” book, it’s available at most online retailers here.

What to Do When You Want to “Burn Down” (aka Quit) Your Business (Part 2)

What to Do When You Want to “Burn Down” (aka Quit) Your Business (Part 2)

If you’re an entrepreneur for long enough, you’ll likely feel like you want to quit every now and then. Or even consider burning down your business a time or two.

That’s normal. Pretty much every successful entrepreneur I know has fantasized about leaving his or her business, and running off to live in a grass hut on a beach somewhere.

But, that doesn’t mean you should actually do it.

In fact, I would argue that most of the time when you get that “I QUIT” feeling, there’s really something else going on.

And, if you can get to the heart of what “I quit” is REALLY telling you, you can turn around more than your business.

You can turn around your life.

So, let’s dive into a few possible reasons behind that “burn it down” feeling. (Note—this isn’t meant to be a complete list. You may have something going on I don’t list here, and that’s perfect. This is just meant to help you shift your perspective a bit.)

• Are you exhausted and/or overwhelmed? I know when I get overwhelmed, I just want to run away. But, the more effective response is to take a look at why you’re feeling exhausted and/or overwhelmed, and fix that.

Maybe you need to get more help? And, yes, that may mean hiring a team member or two in your business, but it may also mean hiring a housekeeper or a personal assistant or a nanny. Or it could mean having a heart-to-heart with your spouse, partner, and/or older children, and enlisting their help around the house.

Or maybe you just need to let some things go. Maybe you cut back on volunteer or community service hours, or maybe you let go of the idea that you absolutely must have a super-clean house. Or maybe there’s a business project or a task on your to-do list that hasn’t gotten done for a while now, and just needs to be deleted.

Basically, if this is you, I would encourage you to take a good, long look at your business and your life and see what you can do to restructure or delegate or delete the tasks that are overwhelming you.

• Are you bored? A lot of creative entrepreneurs confuse boredom with the desire to burn things down. They’re bored, so therefore “It’s not working anymore,” and they need to go do something else.

But, before you start burning things down, see if there’s a way you can restructure your business so you’re not stuck doing the things that are boring you, and that will give you the space and energy to pursue new challenges that excite you.

• Are you feeling entitled? No, this doesn’t only apply to Millennials. If you find yourself thinking things like “This really should be easier,” or “I should be further along by now,” or “Why do I have to do this?” or “Why is so-and-so more famous and successful than me?” you may be suffering from a case of entitlement.

If this is you, you may want to consider volunteering or spending time with people who have bigger challenges than you have. That’s typically a good way to reset your mind, and realize how blessed you actually are.

• Do you have the wrong business model? If you are a one-on-one business coach and you’re built for group programs, you’re likely going to eventually resent your business.

If you find yourself in this place, a smarter move may be to restructure your business model into one that better suits you. A great place to start is with my free book: How to Start a Business You Love AND That Loves You Back.

Another variation of this concept has to do with what Gay Hendricks calls your “Zone of Excellence” versus your “Zone of Genius.” Around which have you built your business? If you’re in your Zone of Excellence, yes, you’re doing work you like and are good at. But you also may know deep down that there’s something not quite right. And, after a while, that may start to suck the life out of you.

• Did you think the money would make everything else worth it? I’ve known a number of successful entrepreneurs who have built businesses they didn’t love (or even much like), but who are making really good money.

They did it because they assumed the money would make everything else worth it.

So, imagine their dismay when they realize that isn’t the case.

If you’re building something simply for the money, there’s a chance you may wake up one morning and flat out decide you’re done, because the money isn’t worth it. If this is you, you may want to start evaluating now, to see how you can tweak what you’re doing so it’s more in line with your purpose and/or passion.

• Are you in a wormhole? My friend, Juicy Marketing Expert Lisa Cherney, used to talk about being in the wormhole, which basically represents the “breakdown” before the “breakthrough.” It’s really common for entrepreneurs to get derailed, or fall down into a pit, while on their entrepreneurial journey. But sometimes, your darkest times occur right before your biggest breakthroughs.

If you find yourself here, self-development tools such as meditation or journaling or coaching may help. You can also check out my “Love-Based Money and Mindset” book for more tools and exercises that can help you manage your mindset, and guide your breakthrough.

• Have you been neglecting your self-care? If so, then it’s no wonder you’re feeling worn down and ready to quit. Even if you feel like you can’t take the time, you may have no choice but to take a few days (or even longer) off, and make some time for yourself.

• Do you have a pattern of walking away? If this is a common pattern of yours—to walk away or quit—this may be a golden opportunity to stay in the game … to NOT let yourself quit. In fact, it could be the beginning of the breakthrough you’ve been looking for.

Now, this is not to say you should never quit. There are absolutely times when quitting is the smartest option. But, before you do quit, it may be smart to make sure that truly is the best option for you.

If you want to dig into this topic more deeply, you may want to check out my “Love-Based Money and Mindset” book.

 

Feel Like “Burning Down” Your Business? Read This. (Part 1)

Feel Like “Burning Down” Your Business? Read This. (Part 1)

Recently, a famous entrepreneur in the transformation industry apparently advised a room full of beginning and “wanna-be” entrepreneurs that one of the secrets to business success is to “burn it all down.”

I wasn’t personally in the room, but even if it didn’t happen precisely the way it was described to me, there are a few good teaching points I think are worth talking about.

1. There is a time and place to share your most vulnerable story—and that time is NOT when the walls are crashing down on you.

Look, being an entrepreneur is really, really tough. It’s going to trigger you. It’s going to push your buttons. You’re going to fail. You’re going to fall down.

Some of those falls are going to be harder and more painful than others.

And, sometimes, the pit you find yourself in is so deep and so dark, the only possible way out you can see is to burn everything down.

I get it. Every single successful entrepreneur I know has contemplated burning it all down at some point, and a good many of them actually have (or did a pretty significant pivot).

As you can imagine, being in this place can wreak havoc on your emotions, which is why if you talk about it when you’re in the middle of it, you run the risk of sounding massively-entitled, ego-driven, and self-serving.

(And, let’s be honest—you likely sound massively-entitled, ego-driven, and self-serving because in that moment, you ARE. And it’s okay. It’s normal. You’re in a tremendously difficult time. Be gentle with yourself.)

The time to share is AFTER. After you’ve done the work, felt the feelings, and actually have some sort of positive resolution to share.

If you don’t have a positive resolution yet, that likely means it’s not time to share.

2. There’s more than one way to “burn it down.”

Some entrepreneurs are able to use their current business as fuel for a new one. Some simply burn it down and walk away. Some even take others down with them.

In the heat of the moment, you may decide you don’t care what happens to anyone else–you just want out. I get it. But, again, before you destroy what you worked so hard to build, I’d encourage you to take a moment and consider how it will affect others, such as:

• Your team. They’re depending on you financially. Are you still paying them like you promised? Are you able to bring them with you, if you begin traveling a new path? And, if not, are you giving them enough of a heads up, so they can find other arrangements?

• Your clients. They’re depending on you, too. Are you leaving them in a lurch, or are you honoring your commitment to them?

• Your past clients, customers, and buyers (and really anyone who believed in your message, teaching, and training). Are you now telling them everything you taught was a sham? Or are you still standing behind the essence of your message (as it may just be changing form)?

• Your commitments. Are you honoring your commitments and doing what you can to gracefully transition, or are you simply walking away, promises be damned? (Note—this includes promises you’ve made to yourself, as well as to others.)

It may be you’re at a point where you simply don’t care anymore. But if you do, I highly encourage you to take a moment to pause and breathe and think about what you’re doing.

Like I said earlier, there are lots of ways to burn down your business, and how you do it says a lot about your character.

3. If you find yourself trapped in a pit, there is likely a deeper reason.

You typically don’t get stuck in pits unless something else is going on.

For instance, you may have heard the saying “breakdown to breakthrough”—in many cases, the deeper and darker the pit, the bigger the breakthrough. Or maybe the pit is supposed to be showing you something else … something that’s not even related to your business.

In fact, a lot of times, even if you feel like burning down your business, that actually isn’t the right solution.

In Part 2, I dug into some other deeper issues that may be lurking underneath your desire to burn it all down.

And, if you’d like to dig into more mindset issues that may be holding you back from the business success you’re dreaming about, check out my “Love-Based Money and Mindset” book. You can grab your copy here.

Fall in Love with Your Business – and Make More Money!

Fall in Love with Your Business – and Make More Money!

Here’s an important question for all of you entrepreneurs who are busy building a business: How do you feel – how do you really feel – about your business?

Actually, this question is so important, I’m going to ask you to look at it this way, too:

If you were in a relationship with your business, what would that relationship look like?

Is it a relationship you take for granted? Do you wake up next to your business every morning with no real sense of excitement? Do you expect it to be sitting at its rightful spot at the dinner table every evening? Are you spending all of this time and energy building a business while secretly wishing you could be doing something else instead?

Or is it a relationship filled with passion and excitement? Can you not wait to say good-morning to it? Do you sneak away during the day to check your business email, and think about it all. The. Time? Do you prioritize it, spending quality time with it?

Take a minute to really think about it, right now.

Here’s why:

About a year ago, I read Elizabeth Gilbert’s book, “Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear.” It’s all about how to live our most creative lives, balancing soulful spirituality and cheerful pragmatism. In it, she talks about how she decided to have a “wild love affair” with her writing.

As a creative person—and especially as someone who has recently rediscovered my passion for writing fiction—I can get on board with the idea of having a wild love affair with your art!

But what about having a wild love affair with your business?

Imagine with me now …

Every morning, you’d practically jump out of bed because you couldn’t wait to see your business. You would spend every spare moment with your business, and maybe you’d even sneak away to check on it when you’re “supposed” to be doing something else, like dishes. At night, you’d go to bed thinking about it, and it may even show up in your dreams.

How would that feel?

Now, I’m not saying that in reality, you should spend 24/7 on or with your business. But what if you could capture that feeling, that energy, excitement, and passion?

Imagine everything that would flow back to you in terms of clients, opportunities, and money. After all, money follows passion, right?

It sounds pretty amazing, doesn’t it?

If you don’t feel this way about your business right now, know first and foremost that that’s okay! There is a way to build a business you love, and that loves you back. (More on that in a moment.)

Second, take a few moments to think about WHY you don’t love your business – and I mean love it passionately. In fact, I invite you to take this process even deeper, by having an actual conversation with your business.

Action Step: Imagine your business is a person, sitting across from you, and talk to him or her. Ask her what happened! What has gone wrong, and why? You may be surprised at the answers that pop up.

Look, if you’re going to spend all of that time and energy building a business, wouldn’t you want to feel like you’re having a passionate affair with it?

If this post resonated with you, you may want to check out my book, “How to Start a Business You Love AND That Loves You Back.” It’s designed to give you all the tools you need to start a business you love – one with which you can have that ‘wild love affair’! Click here to learn more.