I’ve had a handful of conversations with friends lately who are dealing with frustration and challenges in their business.
It feels like they’re doing everything right: they’re busy, they’re doing the work, and yet they’re still stuck on a hamster wheel.
Tell me if this sounds familiar:
- You’re creating content
- You’re promoting your content
- You’ve started building a community
- You’re really good at what you do (you’re not lacking in skills)
- You’ve put together some offers
- … nothing is working
You can’t seem to get the momentum going that is needed to create the income you need to sustain or grow your business and lifestyle.
Maybe you have a really good month or get some traction going with something, things feel like they’re going in the right direction, then all of the sudden something happens and you feel like you’re taking 10 steps backward. It may not even have anything to do with your business… it might be life stuff (life has a crazy way of throwing a monkey wrench into our business plans). Before you know it, you’re back at ground zero.
I want to get into the nitty-gritty of this on this episode because I truly believe at one time or another, we’ve all been in this space.
I can honestly tell you that I’ve found the way out of that space and know that regardless of what happens in my business, I’ll never be there again. A little bit of a warning though, this episode is going to be part mindset and part tangible strategy. I’m also going to be pretty direct with you, so if you’re not in the headspace to hear some tough love, then I’d suggest you come back to this episode later.
Not because I don’t think you can handle it, but because it probably won’t do you any good when you’re not ready to hear it. It will probably have the opposite effect that I’m aiming for.
O.K., let’s dive into this.
Why Mindset is Everything
I don’t know how many times I’ve heard this.
Over and over throughout my entrepreneurial journey… I’ve heard about mindset. I’ve listened to things, read books, and watched inspiring stories. But there was always a missing ingredient. And it wasn’t that the things I was consuming weren’t addressing this missing ingredient, but there was nothing in me that could wrap my head around it so it never sank in (or if it did, it was fleeting).
What was that missing ingredient?
Selling (and hang with me, I’ll get into the mindset of this as well).
And for me personally, what has helped me shift into a mindset of selling is combining Mastery + Marketing.
I can count on one hand how many people I subscribe to, follow, or know who is consistently selling. Ben Settle is one of them, which is probably why he does well with one primary product, his Email Players newsletter (he has other products for sale, but he literally mails daily for his newsletter). This works because he’s mastered his craft (copywriting) and is constantly marketing.
What tends to happen in this space is that people create something, they offer it and or launch it, then they back up again until the next release or launch (and if that’s your business model and it works for you, then great). What I’m referring to with this are evergreen products that don’t actually ‘close’ (most people I know sell something and have a special offer when it’s initially released, then the offer ends and the price goes up. The crazy thing is that once the price goes up people stop selling. I’m referring to myself here too, so no judgment).
What do you think your business would look like if you constantly had something up for sale that people KNEW they could buy from you?
A product or offer that had a marketing campaign running all the time to drive people to purchase?
The crazy thing about this? THIS is what running a business looks like. Yet for some reason, we ‘get busy working’ and forget that promotion and selling is REQUIRED.
It’s not optional.
Selling has EVERYTHING to do with mindset. You have to get out of your own way with this and really work on reframing your thoughts and beliefs about selling.
Think about this: how many times have you seen people market with the message of ‘selling without being smary’? (side note: I’m not referring to a solid marketing method like my friend Landon’s, who’s FB group is ‘getting clients without being salesy’, because they teach relationship marketing. And being salesy and selling are not mutually exclusive).
We’re inundated with messages that selling is bad. What’s funny is even though I’ve had this perception, I can’t for the life of me think of someone who sells like a used car salesman. Think about that for a minute. Who do you know (or follow), that sells in a way that makes you uncomfortable or you feel like you’re being ripped off simply by engaging with their stuff?
(And side note: how much of that is about YOU and your level of discomfort around selling, not the person doing the selling?)
Obviously, those people exist, but guess what? They don’t last or stick around too long.
All the bullshit that worked 5 years ago isn’t working anymore.
So what do you do?
You have to change the way you think about selling.
This is where things can get pretty ninja… because when you start ‘doing the work’, selling (making offers), feels right. When there isn’t a contradiction between what you’re doing (or better yet, what you’re not doing), selling feels right.
Mindset Beyond Selling
This year, in particular, has been huge for me when it comes to mindset.
Circling back to all the things I listen to, read, or watch…
We’d be here forever if I started listing recommended resources (although I’m going to include a few in the show note links), but where things really started shifting for me was when I started ‘doing the work’. I’m not just referring to implementing what needed to be done, but really taking a hard look in the mirror and owning that I am responsible for everything in my life.[click_to_tweet tweet=”I’m not just referring to implementing what needed to be done, but really taking a hard look in the mirror and owning that I am responsible for everything in my life.” quote=”I’m not just referring to implementing what needed to be done, but really taking a hard look in the mirror and owning that I am responsible for everything in my life.” theme=”style6″]
Which is true freedom.
I’ve had multiple conversations with my therapist about this and it wasn’t until I owned that what I was doing wasn’t working that I was able to completely surrender to this notion. The thought that inner peace is what would help me achieve all my goals felt completely foreign. I always thought “when I have or achieve x,y,z, then I’ll have inner peace.”
But it doesn’t work that way.
The ultimate goal for me is to be grounded, content, and at peace, regardless of external circumstances or situations.
This is why I’m hugely protective of my time and energy. I know what fuels me and I know what drains me. How I feel is my responsibility: not the government, the economy, my family, my friends, or what’s in my bank account.
Which is also hugely freeing, because it means I can change my circumstances any time I want to.
No amount of action, offers, books, or podcasts will get you anywhere if you’re not doing the work (internally as well as externally).
But here’s where the magic starts happening and why slowing down will get you there faster.
As soon as you start taking the time to do the things that aren’t immediate payoffs, the sooner things start paying off.
Let me give you an example:
About 2 and a half years ago after being in a high ticket mastermind, I realized I had gotten away from doing so many of the things that I loved: creating content and connecting with people. I got really wrapped up in having an offer that was at a certain price point that I wasn’t being very true to myself. I started offering a done-for-you podcasting service. It was a really great offer, was very profitable, and I met some amazing people along the way. The problem with this?
I never wanted to be the producer… I’ve always wanted to be the star.
Anytime I was doing client websites or podcasts I felt resentful because I wanted to be working on my ‘own thing’ (I know this resonates with a lot of WP website people).
I spent the next year + going back to basics. I started creating more content, emailing my audience, and connecting with people. It was during that time that I started my Facebook group, Content Creators. I stayed detached from what I was going to do with this group and let it evolve organically.
During that time I had to draw a line in the sand and say ‘no more’ to websites, the outsourcing company, and doing any sort of tech support for people. Many of you know that during this time I was working on a SaaS project and thought that was the direction I was going in, but after a year+ of moving towards that, it shut down about 2 months after it started.
Was I disappointed?
For a minute. Because I had spent so much time and energy working on what I did want to be doing, it felt almost like a gift as opposed to a letdown. I actually felt free! Free to go all in with content marketing, continue growing my community, and continue making offers that were in alignment with what I was doing.
From all of that the Content Creators Planner was born (coming soon). Which ties in pretty much every element of what I love: content marketing, creativity, my love of drawing, pens, marketing, entrepreneurship… ALL of it. And all of this happened because I detached from the outcome (while having goals), and kept moving forward (making offers).
I’ve made more income in 2018 selling products than I did in the previous 9 years in my business (yes, it was a service business, but I can’t help but wonder what my business would have looked like had I started making offers much earlier on and did it consistently).
I haven’t had a 6-figure launch (yet), and that’s O.K., it’s coming.
Now let’s get into the Tough Love part.
First and foremost, if you’re coming from a place of desperation because you need the money, it’s not going to work. Period.[click_to_tweet tweet=”First and foremost, if you’re coming from a place of desperation because you need the money, it’s not going to work. Period.” quote=”First and foremost, if you’re coming from a place of desperation because you need the money, it’s not going to work. Period.” theme=”style6″]
You could have the best product, offer, or service, but people can feel that a mile away. You’d be better off getting a part-time job, selling stuff (I’ve been having a ton of fun selling stuff through FB marketplace that I want to get rid of… I’m getting a little addicted to the game), or finding something else you can do online that will give you the freedom to continue working at home, just virtually.
Because here’s the rub…
NOTHING you create from a place of desperation is going to have the value you want to provide.
You have to get real with yourself and decide “is the money stress worse than the stress of working for someone else?”
Maybe a steady income for a while that relieves the financial pressure will allow you to create your best work and show up in a way you hadn’t imagined.
And if you want to make this work, where you’re at?
Take a hard look at everything in your life and business and strip back to the bare minimum. What do you absolutely need to keep things moving?
Then do the things you haven’t done or that make you uncomfortable (because I can almost guarantee you that if you’re struggling you haven’t done these things).
Here’s a suggestion of where to start (and this list applies to me as well):
- Email your FRIGGIN LIST! I don’t care if it’s 10 people or 2000… make a commitment to yourself that you’re going to do this consistently (and no, I don’t mean once a month. I mean once a week, minimum). Don’t like writing or emailing? Then find someone to do it for you, but you need to do it. Put your big girl or boy pants on and do the things you don’t want to do.
- Create content consistently – and then promote the hell out of it
- Reach out to people and start having conversations (but monitor this as well, because this can easily become a distraction)
- Participate in Facebook groups: be helpful, answer questions
- Promote your lead magnet every single week! Don’t just wait for people to come to your site
- How many calls-to-action do you have on your site and within your content?
- START MARKETING
- Run paid ads: yes, you can start with $10. Cancel some software you’re not using, sell something you don’t need, and STOP buying courses if you’re not getting any traffic to what you already have and are doing
- Look into marketing channels you’re NOT using, such as Messenger (and I don’t care if you personally like it or not, get over yourself and invest the time to learn this and do it well. IT WORKS)
- Sell something to your list EVERY. SINGLE. WEEK. It can be an affiliate product or your own product. If nothing else, you’re going to find your voice, what you need to work on, and you’ll clean up your list of subscribers who only want free stuff
- Dedicate time once a week to look at your numbers (financially). This is a big one for me because I don’t enjoy doing it. Too bad
- Get real with yourself. Where are you avoiding things? What aren’t you doing that you KNOW will make a difference? (for me, that’s getting back to the gym)
- Stop engaging with people who make it too easy to stay put. I’ve had a handful of friendships become a thing of the past, and it’s been a blessing. None of these people ever produced anything, they were constantly in the ‘planning, talking, buying courses, changing directions’ phase. And it made it way too easy for me to stay there as well. Not all friendships are meant to last forever. Wish them well and move on….”you do you Boo”
- Be kind to yourself: which also includes ‘parenting yourself.’ Stop making excuses for why you don’t do the things you’re supposed to do.
- Stop overthinking things. Just write the post, send the email, get the sales page done, make the offer.
What I’ve always found with all of this is that it may not feel fun or exciting at first, but then it starts working. You start seeing results. You have to have the patience to do the work for a while before you see results, but guess what?
You’re not getting results right now, are you?
How many blog posts would you have published on your site had you committed to doing this when you first started your business?
What if you took the last thing you sold or offered, and tested it and tweaked it until it converted? Most people launch something and if it didn’t work, they move onto the next thing. Instead of perfecting what probably could be an amazing product… if they had decided to focus on getting it right instead of an end goal of a specific payday.
You don’t have to be good at everything, you just have to be open to getting better.
And in the infamous words of Mel Robbins, “you’re not always going to feel like it”… do it anyway.
And because I mentioned some resources for you ( I think I’ll work on a master post, list or podcast for this), I want to give you only two things today:
One of my favorite books “The Obstacle Is The Way” by Ryan Holiday
And a video that my therapist shared with me by Jason Silva (who is amazing and a new rabbit hole for me), called “Can We Change The Past?”, which will help you reframe the stories in your mind that don’t serve you.