If You Wanted to “Pick My Brain,” Here’s the Business Advice I’d Give You
Let's get down to business. You're here because you want to grow your business, and you want to learn from me. Duh.
Over the past few weeks, I've gotten several emails from people who are trying to get their business either going or growing. But, for some reason, they're not getting traction, not making sales and some even are challenged with finding the motivation to keep going.
Want to listen? There's an audio version below
So, to help them (and you), I want to share some of the resources I'd give you if we sat down for coffee so you could “pick my brain.” I WANT you to be successful in your business, even if you don't work with me, so here we go.
Every step forward that I've made in my business is one I've made because I've asked for it. I asked someone to buy; I asked someone to read a blog post; I asked someone to listen to my podcast. In the 1st three months of 2017, I've already done over 1/2 of the revenue of the entire year last year, because I ASKED for the business.
2: NARROW YOUR FOCUS
When you try to reach everyone with your message or product, you'll end up reaching no one. If you try to tell a story that appeals to the largest possible audience, no one will like it.
Here are two analogies:
A: Your message/product is like Kool-Aid — pour a scoop in, and it tastes great, the mix is right, and people who like kool-aid will love what you've made. But some people will say it's too strong, or it's not what they're used to, so you dilute the potency to reach a broader audience. Now nobody likes your drink, not even you, and it kinda sucks. All because you tried to please too many people.
B: Your message/product is like a punch — Which has more of an impact, a slap or a punch? A slap hurts, a punch can knock someone out. When you pull your fingers in (i.e., narrow their focus) from a slap and make a fist, you can really do some serious damage.
In 5 years of blogging, podcasting, coaching and doing online business, I've never had someone narrow their focus too much. It's a practical impossibility.
To help you narrow your focus, here's a worksheet I created to help one of my clients, and you can download it for free at the link below:
3: PROVE IT
While on a coaching call the other day, one of my clients told me the highlights and bullet points of one of her programs. After she had got through describing the training she was offering, I was like, “Holy CRAP! That sounds awesome! Is that information on your sales page anywhere?”
Nope, it sure wasn't.
When we're first getting started we guard our information, our Intellectual Property if you will, very closely. We're paranoid someone will steal our ideas, and we're worried that if we give too much away, nobody will sign up or pay for the full thing.
But that's wrong.
No matter what business you're in or what stage your business is in, you have to prove your value. You have to explain why people should pay attention and show your prospective customers why they should buy what you have to offer.
They won't figure it out on their own!
When Apple launched a new phone, they demo'd it. When Sony launched a new PlayStation, they demo'd it. When the restaurant down the street opened their first location… they demo'd it; they invited their friends and family to eat for free, and they had a soft opening where they gave away appetizers.
I would not have a business if I didn't prove I was worth paying attention to every day. So, to help you “prove it,” click the link below and I'll share…
4: UP YOUR GAME
If we were sitting down for coffee and you wanted to pick my brain, the final thing I'd advise is for you to up your game. You're good enough to start, but you're not good enough to finish.
As the saying goes, “yesterday's thinking won't solve today's problems.” And the same mentality holds true for everything you want to accomplish in life and business. What got you here is not likely to get you where you want to go.
When I first started, I was using a free WordPress theme and free software. And it looked like it.
One night while watching TV, I got a call from one of my first mastermind clients. To paraphrase, what he said was that my landing pages sucked and I was probably losing money because my online presence lacked professionalism. In short, I needed to up my game.
Up Your Game Step 1
The first thing you should do is get an objective, outside, 3rd party opinion on your business. Have someone neutral take a look at your site, your store, your product pages, etc., and ask them to assess everything. Ask them if your site looks professional. Ask them if your product pages are clear and if they know exactly what they'll receive if they buy from you. Or, if they even feel comfortable buying from you.
If they say “yes” to all of those questions, great. If not, you've got some work to do, and you need to up your game.
Up Your Game Step 2
The second thing I'd suggest is to always be on the lookout for ways you can improve. As my friend Jeff Brown says, “leaders are readers,” and if you're going to lead anyone, you've got to be constantly learning.
I know, that's a lot of work. But, SURPRISE! So is building a successful business.
My clients constantly keep me on my toes. So does my competition. These two groups are always nipping at my heels, pushing me to improve and stay ahead of the curve. If you're not making a daily effort to learn and improve, you cannot up your game.
To help you “up your game,” I've linked to my book, Exit Strategy. You can buy it or not, but at the end, in Appendix-A, you'll find my recommended reading list of books that have helped me significantly over the past ten years. You should buy them and read them.
5: THE #1 PROBLEM NEW BUSINESSES FACE – Obscurity
Ok, so there's one more thing that stops new entrepreneurs in their tracks. This is something I faced, still often face, and every one of my clients has faced.
It's real, and it's a MAJOR problem. If you want more information, you've got to listen to the episode in the player below!
I want you to be successful in whatever you're doing, and there it is. This is some of my best stuff, and I hope it helps.
Ask for what you want, narrow your focus, show your worth, and improve your skills.