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Do you struggle to explain your expertise in a compelling way?

You know you are good at what you do, yet when someone asks you to describe what you do, you are stumped.

You call yourself an expert but deep down inside you’re winging it, afraid that you will eventually get caught. It’s not that you don’t know what you’re doing. It’s more that you haven’t really figured out patterns and ways to deliver what you can do. So you’re inconsistent. You have no system or process for consistently delivering value to your clients.

Whether you are confident in your expertise or insecure and winging it you are going won’t be able to earn any money from your expertise if you:

  1. cannot explain it in a compelling way
  2. don’t position that expertise brilliantly

Without these two components, it means that you are easily interchangeable with other service providers. Your potential client can find many viable substitutes for your expertise.

Has this ever happened to you:

You’ve been working with a client for a couple months. For some reason, the project starts to head south. You and the client might have had a disagreement around a particular approach. The client decides it’s a deal breaker and goes off in search of your replacement.

When you hear about who they are replacing you with you scoff. You rant to your colleagues that this person is so inadequate. You think to yourself:

The client will quickly find out that I wasn’t so bad after all and that what I was saying made loads of sense.

Except crickets.

Nothing happens.

The client doesn’t realize ANYTHING!

All you got out of it was energy wasted on a rant and the realization that nobody cares about your opinion. You are hurt by your investment in that client.

Good positioning makes you non-interchangeable.

If you are positioned well, it will be difficult for the client to find substitutes.

If you are like everyone else, looking and sounding the same, it won’t take long for a client to find replacements for you.

You’re not just providing a service. You are in the expertise business and it starts with being able to explain what you do in a compelling way and position your expertise brilliantly.

I can help you with that if you’re interested. Click here to find out how.

Do you doubt your own ability to make a difference?

Self-doubt is par for the course. We all doubt ourselves from time to time. Today however it’s worse. Why, because we now measure everything we do by likes and comments from friends – some we know well, many are just ‘friends’ on social media.

A like, a reaction, becomes our external grading feature. We have moved away from being able to assess how we are doing on a deep and very personal level. So much so that many days we might feel empty, not even perhaps realizing that we are reacting to a low like score from a recent post.

We have become sharers of pictures, of events, of accomplishments; occasionally we share something that is very private. We are driven by a need to belong, a need for inclusion and a need to be accepted and liked.

Too much out there, not enough internal connection. Many of us are so far adrift that we have lost connection with what is real for us and what really matters.

This is one of my favorite quotes and I have used it before in previous posts but I love it for the message. It is a quote from Martha Graham to Agnes de Mille:

“There is a vitality, a life force, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time. This expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and be lost. The world will not have it.

It is not your business to determine how good it is, nor how valuable it is, nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open. You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work. You have to keep open and aware directly to the urges that motivate you. Keep the channel open.

No artist is pleased…there is no satisfaction whatever at any time. There is only a queer, divine dissatisfaction. A blessed unrest that keeps us marching and makes us more alive than the others.”

I believe that we are all artists. We are all creating something from nothing. Those thoughts, those ideas that we literally think are a dime a dozen have been given to us, to do what only we can do with it. This is not to say that similar ideas don’t exist. It is to say that similar ‘yous’ don’t exist. There is only one you and only you can bring that idea to life…like you.

Don’t let dissatisfaction thwart your efforts. Don’t let a lack of belief keep you tethered to fear. Don’t let outside voices and external noise block your efforts. Be aware of the urges that surface and act on them.

The bottom line: quit comparison and remember that while there is always enough – YOU ARE ALSO ENOUGH – as is, no apologies.

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As business owners we say we have faith yet never ask for what we want

Whenever a solopreneur or business owner reaches out to me, they can usually list all the things that are not working for them.

  • Their website isn’t working
  • They are wasting time on social media
  • They need help with customer service
  • They are not sure what to do next
  • They are not making enough money

Interestingly, before anything could happen, they need to tell me what they want. I often ask, because money is almost always an issue…

What is your number?

Many can’t answer this question or perhaps are afraid to actually voice it because they don’t believe that it is possible.

Without clarity – as in – if you don’t know what you want, how can I, or anyone else help you?

You have to be certain AND once you decide, you need to keep whatever it is that is driving you front and centre.

I am always amazed at how we set goals and then go about our lives, never focusing on the progressive realization of said same goals, and wonder why we aren’t hitting those goals.

On a daily, yep, I said D-A-I-L-Y basis.

If not done daily, you lose sight of the big picture and get pulled off your game by distractions.

Once we know WHAT we want, the next step is to ASK for help.

Yet most of us just muddle through, hoping that we will figure it out. We don’t ask for help because we can’t afford to pay for the help. So we remain stuck.

But what about faith?

Do you think, that if you sincerely asked for help/guidance, that none will come?

I believe it was Marianne Williamson who said…there is no such thing as a faithless person.

It comes down to what you have faith in. If you think that nothing will happen if you ask for help, then guess what? NOTHING WILL HAPPEN!

If on the other hand, you think that there is possibility, that’s when the magic happens. People show up in your life. Doors open. Things start happening in ways you never dreamed possible.

But you need to stop complaining.

  1. Ask for what you need.
  2. Ask for help.
  3. Delegate.
  4. Hire others to assist.

Have faith, and ask!

To achieve true success and abundance, is your mind in the best optimal state ?

I believe it was Dan Kennedy who recommended that I get Grow Rich! With Peace of Mind by Napoleon Hill. Dan said that this was by far better than the book Hill became famous for – Think and Grow Rich.

Napoleon had once believed that it was essential that he owned a big house and drove nothing less than a Rolls Royce. However, the extravagant spending prior to the Great Depression of 1929 led to him losing his estate.

Napoleon wrote Grow Rich! With Peace of Mind when he was 84 years old. By then he had tons of experience under his belt (he wrote Think and Grow Rich when he was 54 years old) and enough time to test principles in the real world and distill wisdom which he shared in the book.

Freedom, according to Hill, manifests itself in many different ways.

  • freedom from negative forces which may take possession of the mind and from any such negative attitudes as worry and inferiority
  • freedom from any feeling of want
  • freedom from all fears
  • freedom from seeking something for nothing
  • the habit of being one’s self and doing one’s own thinking
  • the habit of giving before trying to get
  • freedom from anxiety

If your mind is not in the best optimal state – you simply cannot experience true abundance. Abundance starts with feeling gratitude for everything and knowing that you are abundant already.

When we discuss abundance in business, we are usually talking about money. The question is: will you master money or – will it master you?

Hill cautions that we lose peace of mind when we pursue money too anxiously.

“Enough money” is a relative term. When you feel you will be satisfied enough for solid comfort and securities and some luxuries, you often attain more.

NAPOLEON HILL

How do you decide what to focus on to improve your sales?

Where should you focus?

Where should you put your energy and effort?

How do you know that this is what you should do?

It all starts with the diagnosis.

If the diagnosis is off, then the solutions, the prescriptions won’t work. Yet we often skip diagnosis to get to solutions because we want results fast.

Imagine you have a problem with your car. The drive light on your dashboard, the D, keeps flashing. When you run an initial diagnostic it tells you that there is a communication problem and that perhaps the brain box needs to be changed. The brain box is changed and the problem remains. Several things have been checked and changed before this point:

  • The transmission switch
  • The battery terminals
  • The harness to the transmission has been checked and cleaned.

Still the D light flashes.

This is by the way a true story.

What I’ve observed so far is that the general mechanic makes some seemingly logical educated guesses. The transmission expert tries to determine if it’s a transmission issue. The electrician tries to find an electrical problem.

Which leads us back to the diagnosis.

Not enough time is spent on diagnosing the real problem. So in the car example, each expert charges to examine and still not fix the situation.

Sometimes not properly diagnosing a situation can lead to a lot of money being spent with no results.

Are you listening to the content marketing expert, or the social media expert or the Google Analytics expert?

Without a proper diagnosis, these are all viable solutions but not necessarily the solutions you need.

Sometimes we KNOW what the problem is and what solutions are available but the real problem is that we don’t take action. Again we say, we procrastinate, but that word in itself is a catchall for so much that could be going on.

Sometimes as you fix or attempt to fix in one area, another problem appears. You patch a leak and the pressure cause the faulty tap to explode.

In healthcare there is something referred to as a differential diagnosis – a method of analysis of a patient’s history and physical examination to arrive at the correct diagnosis. It involves distinguishing a particular disease or condition from others that present with similar clinical features.

A Clinical marketing definition according to Evan James SVP of Marketing at Time is Limited is this – Every market, industry and enterprise is unique. Therefore, to develop or optimize an effective marketing strategy, a company needs to undertake a prescriptive analysis in order to properly diagnose the communication (and content) strategy that will maximize return.

Differential diagnosis is key.

When developing a marketing strategy (or evaluating an existing strategy), it’s necessary to undergo the due-diligence necessary for determining the channels you should be creating and promoting content for. For each industry, size of company and business goals (see example below) there is a customized checklist that is necessary to complete before determining where you should spend your resources.

These are the topics Evan suggests you look at:

Once you’ve answered these questions don’t waste your time on trying to be everywhere.

Instead, focus your efforts on trying to deliver the right content, to the right audience, at the right time and via the right channel.

Start and never stop. Momentum moves mountains

I remember hearing a motivational talk referencing a moving train with the question: Have you ever tried to stop a moving train?

If you visualize it, with all the power of a train, it would be impossible to stop this massive piece of machinery.

But similarly, a train starting off builds momentum first before getting to top speed.

It takes a tremendous amount of energy to start, but less and less so, as you continue moving; yet often we stop.

The magic is in the streak.

I walked every day for 100 days and lost weight….I think overall in excess of the 100 day streak I lost in total, about 15 pounds and then I stopped.

Once I did that, the weight started piling right back on.

The rest. The pause. The hiatus is the killer.

Jason Leister talks about discipline versus habit.

A habit is something that requires no discipline because it’s been installed in your regular routine.

JASON LEISTER

So, every morning when I wake-up and start my routine of coffee, meditation and running hill sprints, I’ve removed the need to invite Mr. Discipline by choosing to do the routine every single day.

But I’ve also given myself an out. Something to placate my mind’s bizarre interest in being a lazy sloth.

I can “take off” any day I want…as long as it’s not today.

I realize that the focus needs to be on the daily execution. The Nike essence of just doing it. Whether it’s walking, writing or meal prepping, it’s the daily “do” that counts with the reminder that you must keep going until like Jason says, it’s installed in your regular routine.

That’s when mountains start to move, weight falls off, blogs start doing the intended work of leading potential clients to your website with words that match their search, and cooking no longer feels stressful and overwhelming.

What comes before any train moving is the START!

How do you turn what you know into what you do to get what you truly desire?

Do you need someone to tell you what you need to do next in your life based on where you are?

Is it a lack of knowledge?

Hardly!

Maya Angelou says that when we KNOW better we DO better – but I am not sure that it’s automatic – the doing part.

There is a huge difference between knowing how to do something and actually taking action.

We’ve been conditioned to believe that only knowledge counts and as a result billions is made yearly by authors giving us that knowledge.

I have found that it takes being REMINDED daily and taking action daily that moves us forward. We all feel that we must take enormous strides but it is in the doing of the little but significant things that makes all the difference.

Bob Proctor reminds us that a person’s paradigm—ideas that are fixed in the subconscious mind—determines if they’ll be successful because the paradigm (which is a collection of habits) literally controls their behavior.

We are comfortable though with our habits and so we must be determined to focus on shifting our paradigms daily.

We can do that with written reminders like what David did after a three day hiatus from the Internet.

  1. By default, data and Wi-Fi on my devices is off, and the laptop is closed. Calls and texts are accepted.
  2. By default, the phone is out of arm’s reach (in its wall-mounted holster in the kitchen, if possible)
  3. By default, I don’t use the internet before 11am
  4. By default, Saturday and Sunday are offline days
  5. By default, one or two weekdays are offline days (which ones depend on the week)
  6. By default, before turning on data or Wi-Fi, I list on a sticky note what I’m going to do online
  7. By default, don’t choose an online activity when an offline one will do
  8. By default, avoid taking on hobbies that require regular internet use
  9. When you notice you’re ignoring these rules, close the laptop and put the phone away, and choose an offline activity to do for a while*

Or we can recite affirmations or listen to recorded affirmation statements in our voice.

Whatever works, try it.

Repetition and emotion is what will create the change.

Proctor says, “You do it by impressing the image of the “new you” on your subconscious mind every day…when you do that day after day, the new image takes hold in your subconscious mind, thereby replacing the current paradigm, and you automatically begin to do the things that will get you where you want to go.”

Belief triggers the power to do. Without belief – you won’t succeed

I love the classics.

Today I decided to re-read ‘The Magic of Thinking Big’ by David J. Schwartz.

Why so few people are financially independent…

According to Dave – “It’s not about the variation in intelligence. . . it’s not about the number of hours worked. . . it’s not about education or health. There is one big difference. The difference is that the rich fellow thought five times bigger during his career.”

If Thinking Big accomplishes so much, why don’t we all think that way?

“All of us,” says Dave, “more than we recognize, are products of the thinking around us. And much of this thinking is little, not big. It tells you “whatever will be will be,” that your destiny is outside your control, that “fate” is in complete control. So forget those dreams, forget the better life. Be resigned.”

Grant Cardone tells us to set targets that are 10x greater than what you believe you can achieve and take actions that are 10x greater than what you believe are necessary to achieve your goals.

So where do we need to pay attention?

Two areas really – our thoughts and our actions. We need to rid ourselves of average thinking and average action.

Do you believe that you can succeed?

Do you think your work is important? Do you think you can make a difference? You are what you THINK you are, and therein lies the difference in outcome. Failure or success? Become more aware of what you’re choosing daily. Don’t get in your own way.

what is the great win for you in choosing your own path?

This is the one topic that I will probably speak on for the rest of my life. You need to be you AND you need to choose the path that brings the best of who you are and allows you to deliver your snizzle snazzle shit to those who need you the most.

To do that you need to be able to speak simply and share some version of…”I am the person you come to when…fill in the blank.”

You need to be so clear that when folks read your website or newsletter or social media posts – boom! Those that need you will be drawn in. They will understand beyond a shadow of a doubt that you are their go-to girl or guy.

You know you’re good at what you do.

So why waffle? Why be shy? Why pussy foot around potential clients? Why harbor self-doubt? Why be quiet about your offer? Why try to sound like everyone else and risk losing yourself forever?

Write down the different ways you create value and meaning for clients (aka, your strengths, unfair advantages, and any special ingredients).

And take this page out of Austin L. Church’s KEAPPS Playbook –

Make a bold promise.

This is the only way you will come out of hiding and get recognized for your work but first you choose YOUR path.

Stop the course of being overlooked once and for all. Refuse to remain clever and invisible.

Don’t let murky messages become an impediment in your path to success. Get the help you need in one click.

What can you do when your marketing and sales efforts fail consistently?

Your bank balance is at an all time low. You wake up knowing that you HAVE to make something happen TODAY! Your mad scramble begins to generate money.

Some days your hustle works. Some days it doesn’t.

Our natural response to anything that doesn’t seem to be working is to try harder, push more, put more effort into it. Or we assume that what we’re doing is wrong and so we anxiously scour the terrain for a quick fix or immediate solution.

In a nutshell – here’s what you need to know: If you can get your message, market, and media right, you’ll be on your way to marketing dominance.

To get there you need to ask yourself the following:

What is the problem I’m solving and for whom?

  • Is it a problem others know they have?
  • Is it a problem they want solved?
  • Is it a problem for which they will happily exchange money for a solution?

How best to package and position the solutions I offer?

Why am I the one they should get it from?

Once you are clear on these questions then you need to figure out how you will get found. You have covered getting clear, and understanding your offering. So now you need to ask:

  • How will my ideal clients find out about me?
  • How do I build trust and credibility in a systematic way?
  • How do I attract the right people to what I have?

And finally you need to consider: How do I take the need to sell what I have off the table so that people just show up wanting what I am offering?

This is the foundation you need to build a successful business. As you can imagine, missing this part will result in more of the helter skelter, roller coaster journey you’ve probably been experiencing.

The solution is to lead with strategy, lay the foundation, then build your business.