Remember as a kid how joyful and carefree you used to be?
Life was a cinch. You woke up, played, ate, played some more and went to bed. The next day was the start of another new and exciting adventure.
Why can’t your business feel as fun and simple as that?
Why, even though you’re working your ass off and making investments in your growth, do you feel like you’re barely an inch closer to enjoying the results you’d hoped for by now?
Why are you working overtime instead of enjoying quality time?
In Martha Beck’s recent article in O magazine (about how to keep “flakes” on track) she said,
Remember, fun is the new work.
Wouldn’t it be AMAZING if there was a way to do business that’s actually as much fun as you imagined it would be when you started your venture?
Wouldn’t it be WONDERFUL if you found a way to grow your business, your way instead of trying to fit into someone else’s little box?
Wouldn’t it be FANTASTIC if you made money doing what you love?
Well, there is a way.
There are 5 essential keys to infuse fun, flow and profit into your service business (so you can stop working so damn hard!).
- Design your business, your way. Do not mimic others thinking it’ll work for you. It won’t.
- Develop your voice and point of view so that you’re considered a thought leader by peers and clients. Be the voice, not the echo.
- Commit to your primary and most effective marketing strategy. Too many entrepreneurs hide behind email and social media but don’t have a strategy that really, truly works and is a reflection of 1 & 2.
- Do whatever it takes to love selling your services. Find an approach that feels true to you and it’ll change your life in ways you can’t even imagine.
- Prioritize all of your time, money and mindset around the first 4 pointers. Everything else is extraneous.
Knowing how to do this will help you stop working overtime. Do more of the stuff you like and less of the stuff you don’t. And actually have FUN in your business!
And isn’t the idea to biz happier, not harder?!
If you’re not fully feeling the fun in your business, join me for a webinar next week where I’ll go deeper into each of these five essential keys to infuse fun, flow and profit into your service business (so you can stop working so damn hard!).
Tags: biz happier, business coach, business coaching, business mentor, business training, carolyn herfurth, entrepreneur, evolve accelerator, how to close a sale, sales coach, sales coaching, small business, small business coaching, the biz truth, the biztruth
Do you ever wonder, despite all of your hard work, why you don’t seem to get what you want?
And you work so damn hard to make things happen, too!
My TUT.com from last Thursday morning said:
Those folks who meet with life success and then tell the world it was due to their hard work, really make my job challenging. They almost NEVER work harder than others. They don’t even work smarter than others.
They simply leveraged the magic by thinking, speaking, and acting in line with what they wanted.
But, oh, no, they have to go out and tell impressionable minds that it was their hard work, and so, for all who listen and nod, it becomes hard work.”
I’ll admit I’ve done more than my share of overcomplicating, sweating and making things hard.
In hindsight, it’s because I didn’t know what I wanted. I knew what I was supposed to want. I knew what other people wanted. I knew what my guru coaches told me to want. But frankly, I didn’t truly have it figured out for myself.
Because I didn’t have a way to give shape to what I wanted.
After years of making a lot of bad decisions and desperate choices, I created one. And today, this is the very first thing I do with my private clients, my Mighties in Evolve Accelerator, and even my Art of the Ask™ students.
So let’s not make this hard work. Let’s walk through my super simple approach right now. (Grab my 4D cheat sheet here if you’d like to follow along.)
The first key here is to DECLARE what you want your business to do for you.
You’ve heard the saying, “where there’s a will there’s a way”, so I created the W.I.L.L. Formula™ to help you declare what you want:
Why – why do you do what you do?
Income – what level of income do you require? (there are 3 levels: need, want, fantasy)
Lifestyle – what do you want to spend your time doing? who do you want to spend it with? where do you want to be doing it?
Legacy – what do you want to leave behind? how do you want to be remembered?
Today, I know what I want and it makes all the difference! Here are the cliff notes of my personal W.I.L.L.:
- I want women to believe in themselves more than they presently do… so that they no longer hold themselves back from getting what they truly want and deserve from life.
- I want to be free of the last of my debt from my guru worship days… (can you relate?!) without interfering with what I want to create for my future. In other words, I’m still investing in my biz.
- I want to work “easeful” hours so that my lifestyle includes plenty of time for me (no alarm, exercise, dating), my friends and my family. I want to enjoy all (or at least as much as possible) that NYC has to offer.
- And I want to leave a legacy of having empowered and equipped women entrepreneurs with the know-how to get what THEY want, by running businesses that are fun and make her life and biz happier.
Once you’re clear on what you want your business to do for you, your next step is to DEFINE what you want your business to do for others.
From there, you’re able to DESIGN your business to support the first two things. This involves packaging and pricing your services (also referred to as your business model) so that your business is set up to give you AND your clients what they want.
(Too often it’s done the other way around and then life gets out of whack. You’re working ’til 2am and never have time w/your family.)
And then you DO it. Because now you have a new clarity that shapes your thinking, speaking and acting in line with getting what you want. It all becomes so much easier when those first three steps are clear.
And the beauty of having this “container” of the 4Ds is that it allows you to evolve and shift and adapt your business, as YOU evolve and shift and adapt.
So tell me…
What do you want?
I still have the note of thanks that the CFO of International Dairy Queen wrote me 13 years ago when I worked for Oracle. You can probably guess sales reps don’t get too many notes of praise from their clients!
Well, I got a doozie of an email this week to add to my “praise file”.
It’s from a client, Brynn Breuner, who’s in my Evolve Accelerator. She sent it to me with the intention of sharing it with you. So here goes… unedited.
For a gal with perpetually redlined bank account I had no reservations about ponying up [for Evolve Accelerator]. None. Still don’t, think it’s one of the smartest things I’ve EVER done in anything and without hesitation the best thing I’ve ever done for my business.
If I could pay you more I would.
I feel like I’m finally learning things about how to run a business that I simply never knew before. If I’d gone to business school? Maybe, maybe not. But I know without question that this course is giving me the best chance for a long-term successful outcome.
I wish other entrepreneurs I know could afford it—I think of it like an entrepreneurial MBA. Each time we have a call I realize that I couldn’t afford NOT to do it.
I have a clear plan (ok, still evolving but it’s right there on the tip of my mind) about what I want my business to accomplish. Totally new!
I have for the first time a strong sense of working ON my business and not just IN it. I’ve read about that for a long time but doing it is like f*cking pure business oxygen. And I’m not gasping for breathe, I’m breathing deep and calm for the first time ever.
Sure sometimes I still get scared, but now I have things I can DO about it, and that beats the fear back into place and grows the capable, savvy badass.
Instead of being super positive and super enthusiastic and pushing the same old buttons while I work harder and harder and am still broke—now I’m super enthusiastic FOR A GOOD REASON. The difference is staggering.
You somehow make it possible to realize where and how I’ve been a complete idiot for two decades but not feel like an idiot—I feel like a normal person who just didn’t know and didn’t know how to find out.
It makes it hard to stay in the closet of shame when the door’s open, sun is shining, and a very smart, very savvy pro on the other side is there to help me kick my own ass into gear and have a ball doing it. In fact the relief I feel to not be making the same mistakes as I was is so huge and so sweet I feel almost evangelical.
You said once, “Hope is not a business strategy” and you couldn’t have nailed me better. Except to add Crossing your fingers isn’t a business plan either. Got it. Oh boy do I got it.
You’re getting me out of my little safe hiding place of mediocrity and challenging me to challenge myself to get my f*cking big girl panties on and make this thing happen.
And the guru thing. I don’t feel like I have to Be Like You to make this work—the opposite in fact:
I have to be like ME or else I’m sunk.
What a relief! And I don’t have to go to groupie parties or getaways or feel like I’m not good enough b/c I didn’t get invited to them. I just have to stay real and stay on it.
Know what I love? You don’t get 3,000 Facebook comments when you buy a pair of shoes or go to a restaurant or take a yoga class. I feel like the whole point isn’t to become a Carolyn disciple or wannabe, but to be me.
The value you offer doesn’t come from cookie cutter teacher worship (which ultimately makes me feel like I’m not good enough to do it on my own)—it comes from doing the damn work with other women who put it on the line, and hold my feet to the fire as much as I hold theirs. This alone is worth gold.
And the other people in the group? They’re gold too—and surprise, surprise, no matter how “far ahead” of me I think they may be in terms of experience or skills, it continues to amaze me that we all offer and find value in each other’s experience. In fact, of course our shared journey (however different we are) drives the learning far far deeper than I would’ve been able to take it on my own.
You want accountability? Honesty? Feedback? PROGRESS?? Join an Evolve group and get to work, sister!!
If Brynn’s letter speaks to you, apply to be a part of Evolve Accelerator. I want to get to know you. Visit the intro website to complete your application for an interview today.
If you feel like you’re making the same mistakes and want to stop circling success don’t stick this in your “think about it” or “get back to this later” files.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Most entrepreneurs are looking for shortcuts and hoping to avoid detours. Watch this video to learn the very first thing you can do to reach your destination more quickly!
It’s like going to Home Depot and an iParty [store] all at the same time!
This is how one of my clients described Evolve Accelerator earlier this week.
So in the spirit of fun, I’m going to celebrate today’s newsletter with 7 ways to make business more fun for you.
- Get in sync with your sleep. I don’t set an alarm. I get up when my body tells me it’s time to get moving. And I looooooove a short afternoon nap when my body calls for it! Ditch the sleep rules and figure out what works for you
- Connect with your inner guides. That groggy morning time is when I get my best inspiration because I haven’t gotten into my head yet. I make it a practice to let my “soul team” guide me. Resource: Soul Language
- Move. It’s incredibly important to your body and mind to get your heart pumping and stretch and build your muscles so you feel strong. Don’t worry, you don’t have to become the female version of Arnold Schwarzenegger. I run, bike, walk and/or do yoga 4-5 times per week and still don’t have a perfect body, but I feel damn good!
- Stand in your power. I see far too many entrepreneurs shy away versus acknowledge the value they deliver. Quit trying to please everyone. Be who you are. Give yourself credit for how remarkable you are. And own it!
- Align your business. Declare what you want your business to do for you and define what you enjoy doing that brings value to your clients. (I love creating, inspiring, activating, accelerating.) Then design your business model with the right packaging and pricing to support that. You’ll want to include #1-4 in your declaration, btw. Resource: Evolve Accelerator
- Prioritize. You’ll never get it all done. Decide what’s important (doing #5 helps with this) and let the non-essential stuff fall away. Don’t worry, you’re the only one who will know (or notice).
- Play! All work and no play makes Jill a dull girl. So, Ma’am, step away from your business. Play hooky. Take vacations. Hove those toenails polished. Get massages & facials. Yummy!
This list could be 17… or 107 things to bring more fun to your business, but I’ll stop here. They’re the ones that have made the BIGGEST difference to me over the years… especially in 2013.
You may have noticed that few of these have to do directly with business. Hmmmm…
And as I plan out 2014, you can trust there’ll be even more FUN in store!
P.S. I just celebrated my 11-year business anniversary. Here’s the post I wrote for my 10 year anniversary. Thought you might enjoy it: http://www.thebiztruth.com/2012/10/
When I was a kid, I dreaded bath time because I knew that the “comb routine” afterward was a painful process with my long hair…. It would get all tangled up and so I spent many, many tearful nights having Mom battle running a comb through my hair.
And then one day, she put J&J No More Tears Detangler in my hair and the agony was gone. It was sooooo simple. Keep in mind that I’m the youngest of 5 and money was tiiiiiight but Mom found it worth the investment because she probably disliked that routine more than I did.
This is how I see so many women running their service based businesses. There’s so much to sort through that it gets all messed up. And hairy. And painful. You’re tangling with all sorts of complexities that could be smoothed out with the right solution… so to speak.
Unfortunately, there’s not a single bottle of tonic you can buy at your corner drugstore for $1.99 that’ll make all of your pain go away.
But there are 5 things you MUST do if you want to avoid getting caught in hairy biz mistakes:
- Stop mimicking other people’s bis model. Create an intentional plan for how to set up your business to support your personal goals
- Stop sounding like everyone else and regurgitating what you learn from your coaches. Learn how to develop yourself as a thought leader so you’re the voice, not the echo.
- Stop believing that email marketing is the only way to build your business. Response to email marketing is on the decline. Create marketing strategies to find and meet more of your perfect peeps.
- Stop treating sales so casually. Create a sales conversation strategy that converts more of your prospects to paying clients.
- Stop wasting your time on inconsequential crap. Get ruthless when it comes to prioritizing your goals, as well as managing your time and mindset.
If you feel like you’re tangled up in your business despite the coaching you’ve gotten (or not) and you’re not making the progress you’d expected, check out my Evolve Accelerator program where I walk up to 6 women through each of these keys over 6 months that brings you clarity, clients and cash.
Visit this intro page and apply now:
This is the program I wish I’d had when I started my business but it didn’t exist. I’m a biz vet who’s played a hand in the launch of over 100 businesses and trained thousands of entrepreneurs over the past 10+ years in business and I want to help you.
So complete the short application using the link at the bottom of http://www.evolveaccelerator.com/. I’ll personally review your app and schedule an interview to determine if we’re a fit for each other.
So let’s talk. I’d love to help you.
It ain’t always easy.
When I saw my parents walking down the sidewalk holding hands on Sunday, I couldn’t help but consider of what great roles models they are for us as entrepreneurs.
They’ve been married for almost 56 years. Raised 5 kids. Moved four times. Undergone countless surgeries. Belong to different churches. Disagree on plenty of topics. And dealt with their share of challenges and adversity over the past 5+ decades.
Despite the challenges that life presents, they still hold hands every now and then.
So I asked them what one word they would use to describe what it’s taken to make things work.
They both replied “commitment”.
Interestingly, I talk to plenty of entrepreneurs who don’t have that same commitment to their business.
So I have a suggestion for when the going gets tough.
Commit to your goals (not your business).
Achieving your goals is what will bring you satisfaction. Your business is simply a vehicle to help you get there.
If your biz isn’t set up to allow you to reach them, you need to do one of two things:
- Change your business model to support your goals
- Change your goals to endure your business model
And then commit to the path you choose.
My parents have changed their “marriage model” multiple times to support their shifting goals over the past 50+ years. They have the stories to prove it’s not always pretty, but are still holding hands as evidence that it works when you stay committed.
If your business isn’t supporting…
Why you started in the first place; helping you earn the
Income you want; enjoying the
Lifestyle you want and creating the
Legacy you’d like…
Explore the W.I.L.L. Formula™ further to whip things into shape.
Dare to commit.
Hope isn’t a business strategy.
As an entrepreneur, your success isn’t guaranteed.
Unfortunately, far too many people cheat themselves out of success by taking chances with their time, money and opportunities. They do this by patching together a series of well-intentioned advice and “hope” it all works out in the end.
To vastly improve your odds for enjoying success, you must establish these 6 keys to grow your business with confidence:
1. A sound, simple business model. You’ll get stuck and struggle needlessly until you package and price your services to support your clients AND you every step of the way.
2. A point of view. You can be a thought leader or a follower. Which do you think potential clients value most?
3. A marketing strategy. Based on your business model and what (and who) you stand for, what are the BEST ways for you to elevate your profile to attract clients?
4. A sales strategy. I know you hate this part, but without it, you’ll never have a successful business. The good news is there are ways for you to get clients without the dread you probably feel now.
5. The ability to identify and manage priorities. Far too many entrepreneurs admit to chasing far too many shiny objects, only to abandon them to chase the next shiny object. Knowing your priorities allows you to pursue what matters most.
6. Money management. This is my least favorite (to my retired banker dad’s chagrin). I love to make it and I love to spend it, but I don’t like to manage it. It is, however, a key to improving your profitability.
Once you have these building blocks in place, the odds that your venture will succeed are far greater than skipping past these steps.
If you’re an entrepreneur who started a business based on your desire to serve others in a big way, but don’t necessarily know the ropes when it comes to creating business success and would like to learn from someone who’s played a hand in the launch of over 100 businesses, I encourage you to visit us here.
Dare to CHART, not chance your success.
If you dread, avoid, and/or completely resist selling – there’s a reason behind it. Five potential reasons, actually.
These culprits are so pervasive with the thousands of entrepreneurs I’ve dealt with over the past decade that I put together this free video series for you. It lays out what the 5 things are, along with practical advice for what you can do about each one.
This video lays out the first reason for you. Be sure to check back for the other reasons each week. I welcome your Comments and encourage you to share with any of your friends who might be experiencing a case of sales dread.
Tags: art of the ask, biztruth, business development, business development strategy, carolyn herfurth, closing a sale, how to get a sale, overcoming an objection, sales expert, sales training, the biztruth
As a service-based entrepreneur, your business venture is very personal. You’re taking financial risks to strike out on your own and you want it to…