10 Terrible Excuses Not To Market Your Small Business

excuseAs a small biz marketing guru, I’ve heard them all. They have one thing in common: They are all excuses that are holding you back from your dreams. They are false beliefs you picked up somewhere from your family, your culture, the media, a bad experience..you name it. I can go on.

Here are the ones that I’ve heard most often. See if you can spot yourself in one.

1. I Have No Time

I once heard a quote that said ‘Time is a created thing. When you want to, you find it.’ I couldn’t agree more.

2. No Money

The way that I marketed my business when I first started my coaching practice almost 3 years ago was practically for free. I went networking at low-cost events and got on the phone to book myself in as a speaker in front of crowds I wanted to penetrate. In addition, through social media, I could reach almost anyone I wanted to and did. You will never have enough money if you make this one an excuse.

3. No Connections

Didn’t I just mention social media? Not only that, but when you reach out to your own friends and family and give them a clear picture of your ideal client and ask for their help in meeting them, you will be surprised at how many connections you truly have.

4. Don’t Like To Network

I used to be against networking. I bit the bullet and kept going to the same events that my ideal clients go to. Over and over and over again. Now, I’m surprised if I don’t know at least 10 people at ANY event I go to. The very first ones I used to go to, I’d ask the organizers’ help in getting introduced around. In others, I’d find one accommodating soul at the buffet and ask if they knew anyone and ask to be introduced. The rest is history.

5. Don’t Know What To Do To Market

If you’re truly clueless about whether you should be networking or advertising, then get some help. There are thousands of business coaching programs available at every price point. If you’re starting from zero, you need help. Stop wasting your time with this excuse and learn what to do.

6. Can’t Market Until My New Product Launch

Or until I finish my new certification or until my lease is up or until etc etc. This is a time-honored delay tactic and the granddaddy of all excuses. It’s a false belief that what you offer isn’t enough until you get something to complete you. Even if your entire business is the new product, you still don’t have to wait for the launch to start marketing. Ever heard of teaser campaigns?

7. It’s Icky To Self-Promote

This is a huge excuse and an honest to goodness belief that a lot of my clients have. Do the work to flip that belief (see my post on Dr.Joe Dispenza’s work to help you) or you’ll go bankrupt fast. If you didn’t self promote, you would continue to be the best kept secret in town and help no more than a handful of people in the world. Is that what you were born for? Surely your destiny can’t be meant to have you playing so small?

8. I’m No Good At It

I’m no good at beach volleyball, snowboarding, scuba diving, running, speaking French at cocktail parties, keeping my opinions to myself..and I can go on and on. I do it anyway and guess what..the more I do it, the better I get. Ditch your excuse and get out there.

9. I Have A Young Family

Oh, this doozy was mine for ages. I didn’t want to leave my 5-year-old at home and go out networking or travel out-of-town to large conferences and speaking gigs. Well, some wise women (one being Sandra Yancey) had me changing my perspective about this and I began to see it as simply the excuse that it was. I’m not like the George Clooney Up In The Air character where he was gone 300 days of the year. I only venture out-of-town once a month for a few days. The networking also isn’t so bad because I get to see him during the day.

10. I Need To Make Money So I Have To Work IN The Biz

Well, this is perhaps the biggest place to hide for entrepreneurs-their work. I have clients who build their businesses with me and get so busy with client work that they literally drop our marketing work entirely. I get a call from them during their dead season a few months later asking to start the work up again. Biz growth is a mean mistress. Unless you build it into your busy life all the time, she will not want you back easily.

I hope you were NOT able to recognize yourself in this list. Maybe there are even a few excuses I’ve missed. Let me know..I always love a good chuckle.

Need more chicken soup for your biz? Follow me on Twitter, friend me on Facebook, watch me on YouTube or connect with me on LinkedIn –and let’s talk

What My Superhero Power Would Be

picnicmanWhen I found out that a multimillionaire, multi-talented serial entrepreneur named Tina Roth Eisenberg credits her success with her ability to answer one single question, I was intrigued. The question was:

If you were a superhero, what would your superpower be?

What The Successful Said

She said that almost all the successful people she met were able to answer this question instantly. For example according to the Inc. magazine article, John Maeda, who led the MIT Media Lab and Rhode Island School of Design, responded with “curiosity.” Maria Popova, who curates the popular Brain Pickings blog by reading 12-15 books a week, said “doggedness.” Eisenberg’s own superpower? Enthusiasm.

What I Said

I really loved this question because it made me realize that my own answer is the focus of my business and it’s simply this:

To enable people to overcome their childhood crap around money (which translates to their ability to market and sell themselves).

Yup, this is my life mission.

Your Focus

If you think about what your greatest mission in life and in your business is, then wouldn’t you naturally want that to be your superpower?

For example, a client who is a financial advisor recently decided to become ‘the business tax deductions expert’. Imagine a superhero looking at your finances and finding missing deductions to hand you unexpected savings out of the blue! How about another client who helps women get over hot flashes through simple dietary changes? That’s a superpower any woman would love.

If you don’t have a niche, you probably haven’t met me or haven’t had the pleasure to speak to me about this topic that’s my personal frustration with businesses I meet. I try not to cringe every time someone tells me that they work with everyone and do everything.

I want to convince every one I meet from every industry and every walk of life that indeed, life is sweeter when your business has a focus (a niche) and you can’t become a superhero if you don’t have one main strength. Otherwise the Xmen franchise would star a single hero and wouldn’t that be boring to watch?

Need more chicken soup for your biz? Follow me on Twitter, friend me on Facebook, watch me on YouTube or connect with me on LinkedIn –and let’s talk

Still Bragging About Yesterday? Then You Haven’t Done Much Today

pinball
Pinballl Clemons

I met and fell in love with a man called Pinball Clemons last week. Not to worry, my husband was already in love with him. I, on the other hand had never met him.

CFL Hall of Famer,
Vice Chair of the Toronto Argonauts, Michael Clemons was a name I’d often heard in the community but due to my armchair sports allergy, I’d never personally been acquainted with.

Well, did he ever blow me away when I saw him speak for the first time last week. He had some doozy quotes that I LOVED and resonated so much with. Here are a few of them.

The first zinger was:

“Excuses are like belly buttons, everyone’s got one and none of them are good for anything”

I laughed out loud at that one. I want so badly to say this so many times during so many conversations I have with business women I’m networking with. (Not clients though, with them I tell them how it is and I call them on their excuses. Most times they love me for it, other times I piss them off.)

You know who doesn’t have excuses? Successful people, that’s who. They take responsibility and change their lives if something isn’t working. Victims blame everything and everyone except themselves for their circumstances and wait to be rescued by the miraculous change in the ‘excuse’ condition that’s responsible for their situation.

“If what you’ve done yesterday still sounds good today, then you haven’t done much today”

I loved this one so much that I made it the title of this post. I found that I was doing this a lot. I kept talking about how I tripled my revenue last year. What about this year? I’m happy to say that I’m 132% ahead of year to date same time last year right now. However, I have to double that if I want to reach my true goal. So as Janet Jackson would say ‘what have you done for me lately?’

“If a paralyzed 15 year old can golf, you as an entrepreneur can’t be afraid to take risks”

Pinball cried when he told the story of his true hero, a teenager who became paralyzed from the neck down, who was unable to move or speak and could only communicate through an interpreter who read his blinks. He talked about how if this little boy could still have the spirit to get up each and every day and live his very difficult life in joy, going as far as golfing while strapped to a lever and having his dad’s help for his swing, then we as entrepreneurs didn’t have the right to be afraid of discomfort.

I really loved the lessons contained in these golden nuggets that fell from Pinball’s lips and I live by them. Who is inspiring you today?

Need more chicken soup for your biz? Follow me on Twitter, friend me on Facebook, watch me on YouTube or connect with me on LinkedIn –and let’s talk

 

 

 

 

Is Comfort The #1 Enemy Of Your Success?

uncomfortableLast night, I watched the amazing Ewomen network founder Sandra Yancey speak at our chapter event and when she said that ‘comfort is the #1 enemy of success’, it was as if a shot was fired off in my head. It resounded so much with what I’m feeling all the time as an entrepreneur that it felt wonderful to hear her validate that I’m normal and that it’s actually good to be me.

Sandra had a lot of doozies last night. She is after all a millionaire and a visionary. Having built a business network for entrepreneurial women because 14 years ago in Dallas, where she lived, she couldn’t find anything that wasn’t a social club for women or an old boys’ club for..well old boys, she’s pioneered the networking industry. Since I was also privileged to sit with her at a private session earlier, I’ll share her pearls with you:

Give Everything Away Free, Holding Nothing Back

Her philosophy is actually pretty similar to mine. If you give give give, you will get get get. No exceptions, no fears and no limits.

When Your Past Calls, Hang Up

That cracked up a lot of people. I’m not really hung up on my past but oh those pesky patterns and conditionings that follow me from when I was a baby sure are hard to shake. Constant vigilance and mentorship to help keep me from sliding back are the way I hang up. How do you?

Your Biggest Success Lies On The Other Side Of Fear

I LOVED this one. I’ve dramatically changed my business over the past year. I’ve spent my brains out on investing in my own growth and in my own marketing. Do you think I’m not scared? That’s why I’m uncomfortable dammit! Ask yourself if YOU are uncomfortable right now. Your ability to step away from your comfort zone in almost every aspect of your business will be directly proportional to your growth. I’ve lived this truth and still see its results.

Quit Your Negative Circle

You know those people who are complainers and blamers and constantly want to drag you down and drain your energy? Sandra says to dump them with love. Harder to do if they’re your family (and luckily my family’s my biggest fan and support base but I can see how hard it would be to ditch your fam).. Here’s an example Sandra gave of how you can do the said dumping “Do you notice we keep talking about the same things and that they’re not really adding anything positive to us? Well, instead how about we keep each other accountable and not do that?” Then if they still won’t get the message after 3 tries, they’re out.

I’m still on a buzz from the high that was this inspirational night. If my buzz inspired your buzz, we can vibrate together. Eww not like that!

Need more chicken soup for your biz? Follow me on Twitter, friend me on Facebook, watch me on YouTube or connect with me on LinkedIn –and let’s talk

Stop Hiding Behind False Ethics Because You’re Uncomfortable

hidingI spent a day with the Sales Master James MacNeil this weekend and what he said resounded so well with my own thoughts that I can’t stop quoting him to my clients.

Here’s the story:

James was training bank tellers who were on the verge of quitting. These people resented being turned into sales reps by their bank who was rolling out giant and uncomfortable selling initiatives for their front line staff. Prior to the training, James was told he could not change the tellers’ minds about selling. He disagreed and challenged them to a test.

Selling versus Serving

The reason why the tellers were up in arms in the first place was because they considered themselves people who were interested in Serving as opposed to being like people in the Sales Department who were interested in Taking. This delineation in their mind was sorely challenged when they admitted to James that almost with every client, they noticed when funds were being mishandled. Time after time, instances would come up where the tellers could have stepped in to introduce a product or a service to help but didn’t because–are you ready?–they weren’t in SALES.

I’m Not Sales-y

When the mere word of Sales conjures pictures of the devil in your mind and equates to taking something away from people rather than helping them, you will naturally refuse to sell. It’s that simple. What James said to the tellers at that point was very powerful. He said: Stop hiding behind the false ethic that Selling is Bad, simply because you’re uncomfortable with it and don’t know how to do it. Strangely enough, when put this way, they admitted that that’s exactly what they had been doing. Refusing to Serve because of their own fears and prejudices. There are so many business owners I meet who are in the same situation.

Hiding

When you hide behind ethic, nobody can win an argument with you. But when you hide behind THIS ethic- that sales is bad, not only do you lose but those you could’ve helped also lose.

Life Is A Pot Luck

Famed author and speaker T. Harv Eker tells us that life is a potluck and that we each brought something to this world when we were born. Some of us brought math gifts, others brought music, others brought teaching and so on. Whatever you were brought on this earth for, is being wasted since you are hiding behind false ethics around selling.

Integrity In Selling

I loved James’ definition of Ethical Selling: It’s helping others make informed decisions in their own best interest. What are you doing to inform those you can help? And if you are hiding, what will it take for you to stop doing so to bring more of your gift to the world?

Need more chicken soup for your biz? Follow me on Twitter, friend me on Facebook, watch me on YouTube or connect with me on LinkedIn –and let’s talk