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Make it Stop

When you’re a solopreneur, or own a small business with only a few people dividing all the labor, one problem inevitable recurs: trying to get new business while you’re already too busy taking care of existing business. Most settle for this cycle as inevitable, but I know how to make it stop.

I’m talking about that feast or famine cycle where you bounce exhaustingly between panicked selling and working overtime to meet too many clients’ demands all at once.

That is if you do any marketing at all.

Many owners don’t like marketing and sales, but that doesn’t change the fact that your business still needs qualified leads to thrive without your constant stress. You might not even consciously eliminate marketing from your To Do list, you just never seem to get around to it. Until you run short of income.

And this reactive cycle has been going on so long, you may even think it’s just part of being in business.

But it’s not.

And don’t tell me that’s just how business works in your industry, because that’s not true either.

I also won’t accept that you’re just not any good at sales.

All of these are myths you recite to help you feel better about a problem for which you’ve not yet found a solution.  When you don’t much like marketing and sales anyway, it becomes very easy to just accept what comes your way passively.

Make It Stop.

I want you to reconsider the myths you’ve been telling yourself to justify your current and recurring painful position.

Imagine for a moment how your world would change, if you had a steady source of new business. AND a well of repeat business you can dip into whenever you’ve got a vacancy.  All without SELLING a thing.

You can end the exhausting cycle that keeps you and your business stuck with a Semi-Automatic Marketing Machine.  Using automated response emails, the latest digital marketing tactics, and content your clients find truly helpful, you get leads constantly without your constant attention. So you can focus on the part you like most, and are best at – executing on the closed deal.

A few years ago, I made the bold commitment to stop all networking and sales efforts, investing that time instead into building a semi-automatic marketing machine. My gross increased 30% in the first year, 40% the second, and in the third, my income remained stable while I reduced earning time by 30%.  If this can work in a highly personal touch business like entrepreneur mentoring, imagine what might be possible in your work.

Here’s how to do it:

1) Eliminate what you don’t like:  selling, networking, golf outings, schmoozing. Just stop.  If you don’t like it, you won’t do it anyway, and you’ll suck at it. 

2) Automate as much as possible. Use auto response emails to lead people toward products and services most helpful for their needs, and helpful blogs posted on social media to introduce new prospects to your work. New technology makes automation easier and more affordable literally every day. Combined, these automated tools filter forward the people that want what you offer.

3) Delegate anything that remains after automation. Like content writing and posting and analyzing results for improvements. 

While this machine tees up qualified leads for your business, you get to focus on work you really enjoy.

If you don’t yet have a semi-automatic marketing machine, Spot Treatment is the next step.   You’ll walk away with an audio recording of our session and specific direction about how to implement your own semi-automatic marketing machine.  If you’re already using email communications, social media, and a blog – we’ll instead use this time to string these parts together in a way that drives prospects systematically toward a decision to purchase.

Don’t let another year go by settling for whatever comes your way, in whatever quantity Chance chooses.

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The Buzz of Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurship is a hot buzz word – especially in my hometown of Kansas City since it was named one of the top five cities globally for entrepreneurship by the Global Entrepreneurship Congress. So if we’re going to be a leader in the field, we ought to know how to pronounce this buzz word properly, how to define it accurately, and which form of the word to use correctly in a sentence. Continue Reading →

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Entrepreneur Job Satisfaction

My home office’s patio foreshadows what I want clients to experience inside and in life.

My home office’s patio foreshadows what I want entrepreneurs to experience inside and in life.

Though we’ve learned through numerous studies that those with high job satisfaction also find greater satisfaction in all aspects of their life, there has been very little study about entrepreneur satisfaction as a measure for success.

I’m not fond of the euphoric implications of the word “happy,” but one study confirms entrepreneurs score higher in happiness than those employed by others.  Another study reports 55% being Extremely Happy, which leaves 45% of entrepreneurs reporting anywhere from totally disliking their business to it making them sorta happy.  Even still, 30-45% of owners report continuous concern about things like payables, receivables, health care benefits, and hiring. One other study I found validates money’s not the only measure of success. 46 percent said they started their business to have more freedom or flexible work schedules; only 19 percent started their companies to earn more.

I recently surveyed my own readers, offering a simple scale of 1-10 to define how satisfied you are with your business, and your life.  Here are the highest satisfaction scores.

Screen Shot 2014-11-11 at 8.43.22 AM

I’ve not cross analyzed the data to see if, for example, whether those meh scores in the 5-6 middle of Business and Life are connected – are people compromising in both areas and finding satisfaction in neither?  I’m sure I’ll continue to explore correlations as I delve deeper in this area of focus.

I do know that through my continued work directly with entrepreneurs, and the upcoming web series for mill-yuns more, I intend to move the Satisfaction needle, and keep it steadily hovering in the 9-10 zone.  And this is where my work gets really interesting.

Satisfaction is not a destination.

What is fulfilling now may not be in three years, or even three months.  That’s what makes satisfaction potentially elusive.  Fulfillment in entrepreneurship is a process, not a destination – it’s a commitment to fluidity amid the inevitable changes in life/business, allowing the accompanying gains and losses that come with change to flow freely, with sufficient cushion that the impact of change doesn’t completely drain all your resources – all while remaining fearlessly curious about every plot twist.

While putting the brand on my upcoming webcast series, it’s become very clear.  My life’s work is about helping entrepreneurs grow not just financially viable businesses, but ones that meet their personalized criteria for success. Entrepreneurship’s infinite flexibility offers the best chance to create a sustainably fulfilling life.

Homework: So if you have not yet seized the powah of your choices, start here, with my Business Owner’s Credo and the homework within.  When you own your business, you also own your life.

 

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