One thing that screws with my soul is the suspension of disbelief in so many entrepreneurs.
To be clear, I’m not talking about the shocked, “Wow! Can you believe he just tweeted confefe?!” disbelief that happens when something amuses or alarms us.
I’m referring to the, “Who am I to say/do…?” lack of belief of our own worthiness. It’s the brand of disbelief that stops us from making the fullest impact we’re capable of.
And it’s in opposition to the belief we had to have to even start a business in the first place.
A passage in Kyle Cease’s quirky, challenging and entertaining book, “I Hope I Screw This Up” gives an example:
…any time you have a decision to make, you’ll feel either excited in your body or scared and in your head, so just ask yourself, “Which would I rather live in?” Whatever decision you make will move you toward that reality. “I really want to do this. Yeah, but I can’t afford it.” Well, maybe you’ll be able to afford it when you decide to do it. This sounds crazy to a lot of people; that’s their “Yeah, but…” brain that they’ve trained themselves to listen to.
The source of the “yeah, but…” fear Kyle talks about stems from disbelief.
It’s a lack of self-trust in yourself. And it fires up fear whenever something looks even slightly risky. It’s when you stay put instead of choosing to pursue possibility.
It’s so sneaky that we often don’t notice it. But when you tune in with yourself, you see it.
I’m not immune. I’ve been there hundreds of times.
Even though I’ve been intrigued for months, I was avoiding Facebook Live like rats after dark in NYC.
(Who am I kidding, I avoid rats during the day too.)
The truth is that I was afraid people wouldn’t show up, participate or give a sh*t. And that would be a hit to my ego.
But after doing a couple, I realized I was wrong. People did show up. Some did participate. And a few even care.
I’ve seen this disbelief show up in myself and others by not publishing that blog post, not hosting the retreat that would light people up, not sharing your point of view or doing webinars that would open eyes, not joining the program or hiring the coach who would grow your business, not making the follow up call that would land the new client, not creating the program that would generate additional income, not following through on your commitments that would keep you in integrity… This list could go on for miles.
Staying suspended in a state of disbelief eats your dreams for breakfast.
And let’s not forget lunch and dinner. Although occasionally it might ease up for a snack on faith.
Even though we have control over that fear, we succumb to it anyway. And it keeps you playing small.
So I’m going to keep facing my fear of Facebook Live by doing it again.
And because I’ve got a lot to share about my observations and lessons from 15+ years of working with thousands of entrepreneurs, I’m going to work at improving the experience so people get so much value they come back for more.
This week, I’ll share the results of a simple experiment I did with a few of my clients last year that suspended their disbelief and fear — and yielded life changing results.
HINT: It was so much effing fun!
(And now I’m wondering why I haven’t done this with more clients more often! Disbelief, perhaps?)
If you’d like to learn about one ridiculously magical way I found to deal with Ego + Fear, be sure to click over to Facebook Live on Wednesday, June 28 at 12:30 Eastern.
I believe that when things get tough, it’s not time to back down. It’s time to step up.
Ever heard of Lady Gaga? (Yeah, of course you have.)
She was dropped by her first record label after just 3 months.
Imagine the despair she must’ve felt. How could they do this to me? What do I do? What will people think? What now?
Well, we all know she didn’t back down. She clearly stepped up.
And she’s not the only one who’s ever stepped up.
But how do you know if it’s worth stepping up when you’re ready to expand and up level but it feels so big? And you wonder how to make it happen? And your family thinks you’re nuts?
Or on the flip side, what if the fifth prospect in a row doesn’t hire you? Or you don’t fill your group program? Or not enough people register for your event? And nothing seems to be working?
What if you fail? (What if you succeed?)
What if you’re publicly humiliated? (What if you’re publicly praised?)
What if you’re worn out and don’t have the energy to step up? (What if it infuses you with energy?)
What if you can’t afford what it takes to step up? (What if you took a chance on yourself?)
What if you don’t have the support to step up? (What if you found it somewhere else?)
What if you don’t have the self-trust to step up? (What if you did?)
What if…? What if…? What if…?
Great questions. I’m glad you asked. I’ve asked myself those questions many times over my 15 years as a business owner.
Join me Tuesday, June 20 at noon Eastern over on Facebook Live to swap stories of backing down and stepping up. And how to know whether it’s worth the bother. I’ve got loads of thoughts on this topic and I bet you do too.
Hope to see you over there.
I believe it takes courage to start a business — and a bit of crazy to continue.
(No darling, you are NOT the only crazy one. Although it may feel that way some days.)
Click on the video below to hear me riff on this topic for you.
I’ll be expanding on each one of my beliefs (downloadable below) over the coming weeks and months.
And I hope you’ll join the conversation over on Facebook Live where we can chat about it in real time!
My all time favorite quote comes from Gary Lew who says,
“This is your world, shape it or someone else will.”
I come back to this reminder whenever I’m less than thrilled with my reality — and wanted to share it with you in case you happen to find yourself in one of those moments
If you’re not already living the dream, keep imagining the world you want to create!
“I just need the step-by-step plan for success.”
That’s the plea I made many times over my 15-year career as a business owner.
And it led to learning different ways to do launches, sell from the stage, get Facebook leads, shoot video, write blogs, create leveraged programs, build my list, run tele-seminars (that seems so old school!)… and literally dozens and dozens and dozens of other tactics
Did they all work?
Did the majority work?
Do I regret my time and financial investment?
Here’s the truth: It’s context for finding the way that DOES work for you.
The problem for most of us is that the path is too long and winding.
Because we want the shortcut. And it makes sense that the sales pitches we receive is that their solution IS the shortcut.
But that’s not necessarily true.
Years and years of this cycle prompted me to write a MANIFESTO about it. And it ended up being delivered as a video. So if you’ve tried all the success blueprints but still don’t feel successful, give it a watch by clicking the image below.
When I started The Biztruth 7 years ago, I wanted to know exactly what to do in order to have a screamingly successful business.
I came from the franchise world where I invested in the promise, “do this and you’ll get that.” So I expected similar results with any sort of “system” or “blueprint” advice that was offered by the success coaches out there.
I spent a lot of time and money implementing anything that promised a “step by step success formula” for 5- and 6-figure paydays + a loyal tribe + massive exposure + record breaking back of the room sales + filling group programs + and any other promise that sounded like a great payoff.
And when one didn’t work — I’d lick my wounds — and go buy the next one. Looking for the perfect script. The step-by-step. The how-to-do-every-last-bit-right.
Yeeaaaaah… that was me. The gullible blonde over here. Putting my money on the promise of big pay days.
Hoping, wishing, praying…
that THIS NEXT ONE would be the silver bullet.
But that didn’t ever happen quite as promised.
Don’t get me wrong. The blueprints weren’t ALL bad. I learned a few valuable things along the way. But none ever truly seemed to fit me.
I always found myself adjusting something. And I never got the results I wanted.
So 5 years ago, I decided to commit to following a “6 figure tele seminar secrets” training to the letter. Every single step. Every single piece of advice. Every single email template and email schedule — I did it. Even when I felt my stomach sinking and second guessing WHAT it was doing to the relationship I’d built with my community.
Turns out — I should’ve trusted my instincts.
Over the course of 10 days, my open rate plummeted in HALF. I’d worked so hard to build up that know, like and trust with my community and it was wiped out in the blink of an eye.
And I didn’t make a dollar more than any previous launches I’d done with a lot less cost and effort. In fact, I made a little less.
Plus, I lost opportunity because I was never able to regain the open rate I’d enjoyed before that launch. Because if people aren’t opening your emails, they’re not clicking. And if they’re not clicking, they’re not engaging. If they’re not engaging, they’re not buying.
So yes, it took me several painful years and tens of thousands of dollars to figure out I’m not a blueprint kinda gal.
And I know I’m not the only one.
I hear about a lot of negative experiences with blueprint programs from other business owners. And for those brave enough to say something, there’s a sense of shame that goes along with it. What’s wrong with “ME?” — not knowing that so many of their fellow blueprinters are struggling too.
After that damaging teleseminar launch 5 years ago, I made the decision to UnBlueprint myself.
What’s UnBlueprint, you ask? It’s…
1. the powerful decision to strip away anything that prevents an entrepreneur from realizing her full potential; or interferes with what she intuitively knows to be true to her
2. the intentional actions an entrepreneur takes to wholly own her brilliance; profit from the value she brings to the world; and what allows her to live her truth
It’s a way of looking at things in your business.
It’s a philosophy.
It’s a way of life.
UnBlueprinting stopped my cycle of disappointment and shame. It started my journey to profit. And it gave me complete freedom.
If you can relate to any of this, I urge you to UnBlueprint yourself.
You don’t have to do it without a net. I have a lot more to say about my philosophy on this topic over here to get you started:
Freedom didn’t come until I stopped following other people’s rules — and trusted myself to make up my own.
Rebels are welcome to join me!
Do you ever catch yourself in your same old self-defeating patterns?
I know I sure don’t!!
Not because I don’t have them. It’s because I walk around with a blind eye to my self-sabotaging behaviors — until I get in a room with friends and colleagues who are able to see my bulls*t.
And that’s why I always love when I’m in a room with smart business owners.
As I was preparing for my upcoming Business Design Retreat, I found a note I had written after the very first BDR I hosted almost a year ago. It was a list of 3 (plus) things that were the biggest mindset lessons that popped up during that powerful day together.
It was a good reminder that building a business isn’t just about your business model and marketing and sales. So much is about mindset. And I’d like to share my takeaways with you from that particular day…
#1 You choose.
I was at TED headquarters in NYC last week and met a late 20-ish guy who told me he sold drugs for 4 years “because he had no choice.” When I was curious why he didn’t have any other options, he said he “wasn’t going to take a job at Target for $20,000 per year.”
Let’s be clear, I don’t care if he sells drugs or dish detergent.
But I DO strongly care that he didn’t think he had a choice. Because he did. It’s not that he couldn’t get a job. He CHOSE to sell drugs instead.
And you get to make your choices too. Don’t let anyone tell you any different.
DON’T tell yourself, “I can’t.”
DO tell yourself, “I choose to” or “choose not to.”
#2 You decide.
Kerry knew she wanted to grow her business and found my mentoring program which she knew was right for her. She considered asking her husband and mom (yes, her mom!) for their permission to make the investment.
After tangling internally with the decision for awhile, she said, “F*ck it. I’m a grown woman” and went ahead and enrolled without asking them.
Within 30 days, she had increased her sales by 2.65 times – which more than paid back her investment. And ultimately doubled her revenues for the year.
DON’T ask for permission from others.
DO make your own decisions.
DO the work.
DO celebrate your results!
#3 You rule.
Meet the 2012 poster child for succumbing to Fear. >>>>>>>>>>>
After a severely disappointing and financially devastating period in my business, I froze.
I became so afraid of making another mistake. Afraid of making the wrong financial decision. Afraid of rejection. I was so afraid that I quit trying new things. Stopped taking risks. And was a living, breathing contradiction machine.
Until one day my coach asked me, “how long are you going to continue to let fear drive your decisions?”
It had become such a part of my fabric that I didn’t even realize the Real Carolyn Herfurth had shrunk into a tiny little shell of her former, ballsy self. All because I let Fear take the reins after making a few mistakes.
That was enough to wake me up — and I made fear my bitch.
(This is the part where I’m supposed tell you about how I’ve made millions and brag up my fancy Maserati convertible and second home in Hawaii. That’s not my jam.)
I became verrrrrry good at distinguishing between my fear (#false) and my instincts (#truth.) I found my groove and love that I now get to help others find theirs too.
I’ll admit Fear creeps in from time to time. But for the most part, I rule my decisions now. 🙂
DON’T let fear rule your potential for a rich and happy life.
DO make fear your bitch.
Oh, and there was a fourth scribble on my note that says, “Don’t wait to be great.”
Yeaaaahhhh… DO great now.
Did you know that women business owners earn approximately 45% less than our self-employed male counterparts?
I get agitated reading the analysis of women-owned businesses* because our earnings are a highly distorted reflection of our true value.
How can it be possible that…
- 82% of women have annual sales of less than $50,000 per year
- only 11% exceed $100,000 in yearly revenue
- and just 1.7% break $1,000,000?
Another thing that irks me is the recommendation to support the women-owned businesses that are just shy of the million dollar mark. The SMALLEST percent of business owners.
But what about the women who are making less than $100,000? Or <$50,000? Or <$25,000?
Yes, what about YOU?
I’m not here to judge what you want out of your business. Or project what you should want to earn. If you’re happy with less than $50,000, that’s okay. Maybe you’ve got other resources. That’s cool. Really.
But the women who seek me out all have bigger financial goals than that.
And it’s possible you might too… but can’t figure out why it’s not happening.
It’s one of the reasons I host a free webinar about ‘The Real Reason You’re Not Earning A Reliable Income — and How To Get Off The Money Roller Coaster’.
I’ve got a session coming up soon. And we even do a live Q&A so you can ask any questions you’ve got on the topic.
There’s no charge to participate. And maybe I will have cooled down by then. (Unlikely 😉 )
* Source: The State Of Women-Owned Businesses Report (United States) has been commissioned by American Express OPEN for the past six years.
As a small business owner, have you ever fallen flat on your face in your business like I have?
Maybe a program launch flopped. Or your sales conversations went nowhere? It’s no fun, but it happens to every small business owner.
A few years back I had a huge moment of clarity that I knew would help women entrepreneurs move out of the struggle. And start to finally have all your hard work pay off big time.
It all started on a cocktail napkin as I explained this phenomenon to a few fellow entrepreneurs over drinks one night.
Since this topic has been coming up a LOT lately, I put it into a quick video for you to explain the real reason you’re struggling.
If you’re floundering in your business, this is totally worth your time!
As you can see, you’re not alone.
If you’re in (or fast approaching) The Dip, we can talk about what’s going on for you and discuss best steps for your unique situation.
Simply complete a short assessment by clicking the link below – and let’s talk about the next best steps for you.
launched The Biztruth.
Those first few years were quite a shock after a relatively cushy and predictable 7 years of owning my franchise!
Yes, it’s been quite a ride.
And looking back, there were two things that initially stunted my business growth and personal happiness when I launched.
And I notice those same things with many of the women entrepreneurs I meet so I want to share them with you.
1. Women feel the need to ask others for permission.
From their spouse. Coaches. Peers. Friends. Mailman. Butcher…
I’ll never forget the time I asked my “millionaire mentor” what he thought about me creating a web tv show that would’ve gotten me a bunch of visibility early on. He flat out told me “no don’t do it.”
Ummmmmm… why in the world would I let HIM decide for ME?
Sigh… because I didn’t trust myself.
How do you expect your prospects and clients to trust you if you don’t even trust yourself?
That’s the question I had to ask myself because I had overwhelming evidence in the form of the next problem…
2. There’s not a single entrepreneur who’s not looking for more clients.
We spend all sorts of time and money on programs hoping for an instant and BIG payoff.
But when it doesn’t work, we lose trust in ourselves to make good decisions.
It’s a vicious circle.
Once I was able to pull my head out of my ass (Sorry, Dad. I know you’re reading this, but it’s true!) and look clearly at the real keys to strategically building my business, everything changed for the better.
If you want to learn more, I wrote a brief that explains what to do to get more clients and gain a fresh level of self-trust.It’s something different that’ll make you question what you’ve been told about how to get more clients.
It’ll challenge your assumptions.
And it’ll explain what to do about it.
Once you master the five things you’ll learn in this brief, you’ll stop asking others for permission.
Because your level of self-trust will be locked in.
You can download this free brief using the link below:
Knowing this stuff 6 years ago when I moved into this wild West of business sure would’ve been a time, money and heartache saver – so I hope you take a moment to read it.
And a lifetime living it.
Wishing you many happy and prosperous anniversaries in YOUR business!