Last week, I wrapped up the last official mastermind that I’m going to be leading. There were about a dozen entrepreneurs and business owners there, from a variety of markets and industries.
(in case you’re wondering, we decided this year that we would no longer offer high end coaching or mastermind programs in order to create more time and space for our families, friends and passions.. more on that in future posts).
As I helped guide everyone through the challenges and opportunities they’re facing in their businesses, I saw the same pattern repeating that I’ve seen in so many clients, and even in myself.
It’s a damaging, anxiety-building problem that so many entrepreneurs deal with — and the worst part is that it’s self-inflicted.
That’s right. We do it to ourselves, and this is my effort to try and save you from .. yourself.
So what is this pleasure-robbing villain, lurking deep in every entrepreneur’s mind?
The best description of it I’ve ever heard came from my friend and brilliant business building strategist, Rich Schefren:
Spending time on things “just in case”,
instead of spending it “just in time”.
Let me explain what this means, and why it’s SO important to understand (and avoid).
A fatal error that most business owners make is that they invest a LOT of time into things “just in case” they end up needing them sometime in the future.
They are influenced, convinced or otherwise manipulated into believing that if they don’t do “this”, they’ll never be successful.
For example, I can’t count how many people I’ve watched rush off to take some kind of training program on social media – without having ANY clear idea about specifically WHY they need to understand it, or how they’re going to apply it.
They try to learn how to market using Facebook, because they’ve heard that if you’re not on Facebook, you’re a fool. So they invest a whack of time creating a crappy Facebook Fan Page that brings them zero new clients or revenue.
Or they spend hours trying to understand how Twitter works because they feel anxious about being “left behind” — that somehow, if they’re not on Twitter, they’re just not going to succeed as an entrepreneur.
So they spend hours writing up dozens of cute little “tweets” so they can schedule them to go out automatically (completely defeating the whole purpose of Twitter’s unique premise of being authentic conversations and updates).
They start following hundreds of other people and end up attracting back a bunch of people following them who have NO interest in what they even do.
They try to learn every kind of tactic and technique possible that promises to bring them closer to their dream of financial freedom and business success — yet ironically, every new thing they pile on their list just weighs them down even more .. cause the exhaustion and overwhelm that most entrepreneurs are very familiar with.
Of course, they never have the time to really do ANY of the things correctly, so they don’t get the results, and end up with a bunch of half-finished, and poorly-performing tactics at work, without any kind of plan or integration.
Please, STOP THE MADNESS.
If you’ve been looking for permission to STOP trying to execute all of these marketing tactics and strategies, this is it.
Not only did I see this approach in some of the entrepreneurs at the mastermind last week, but it’s a VERY common thing I see in most entrepreneurs — never actually doing ONE thing fantastically well, because they’re always distracted by the next strategy they’re going to implement (and feeling guilty for not already having done it).
Trying to execute several different marketing strategies and tactics, all at the same time, is a recipe for disaster.
So here, then, is my best advice when it comes to deciding how to market your business or organization.
1. Get clear on who your target market is.
I know, pretty obvious – yet more than 95% of the entrepreneurs I meet have NEVER actually done this. Sure, they lie to themselves that they have. But they haven’t. Too hard. Too much hassle. Whatever the reason. Stop avoiding it – do it NOW. Seriously, this will create BREAKTHROUGHS if you do it.
2. Get clear on your market’s most urgent pains and problems.
People buy solutions. They don’t buy information, and they don’t buy products or services. In fact, what you sell is an OBSTACLE to your prospect. They don’t really want to buy what you sell – they just want what it will GIVE them. But the only way to get it is by buying the product or service. Focus on the outcome, not what you sell.
3. Get clear on WHY you do what you do.
Most entrepreneurs truly have NO clue on this one. Many can come up with a clever answer that seems to make sense, but again, answering a question like this is NOT easy. If you cannot express powerfully and clearly WHY your business exists (that strikes an emotional chord in your target market), I suggest reading the book “Start With Why” by Simon Sinek.
4. Choose ONE marketing strategy and implement it until you get a result.
Just one. ONE. Pick one thing, and put it into motion. Don’t get distracted by the next one. Pick the one that seems to make the most sense for you, based on your target market and how YOU want to build your business. If you can’t imagine yourself Twittering every 20 minutes and you can’t see the value, then DON’T DO IT. That doesn’t mean Twitter doesn’t have value, just not to YOU.
5. ONLY once you see results from #4, choose your next strategy and implement to completion (and success).
In other words, as the headline of this article suggests (which came from one of my wise coaching clients a couple of years ago) .. Commit Slowly, Complete Fully.
STOP beating yourself up for all the things you’re NOT doing.
Focus on ONE thing and doing it well and to completion.
Take the time that you’re using to beat yourself up mercilessly, and use that time to instead implement ONE strategy deeply and fully.
Not only will you feel better about letting go all the things you’re NOT doing, you’ll actually see RESULTS in your business! What a concept.
Most entrepreneurs spend ALL their time switching and running back and forth between strategies and tactics, they never actually spend any time on implementing them.
For example, I personally never “got” Twitter. Never felt natural to me, didn’t like doing it, and seemed like a waste of my time. Go and follow a bunch of people so they’ll automatically follow me. Huh? That doesn’t make sense to me.
So I’ve never really used Twitter. And hell, we’ve built a multi-million dollar business somehow without it.
By focusing on very few strategies and taking them to COMPLETE implementation.
I may not have a Twitter following, but very few companies are as effective at marketing via a blog and email as we are. Because that was the strategy we decided to focus on.
I’m not saying Twitter is a waste of time – in fact many people have built businesses using Twitter. But it’s a waste of time for me.
And that’s okay.
The thing to notice is that for the people who HAVE built businesses through Twitter, you’ll likely find that this is the MOST dominant strategy they use in their business – and they probably ignore a bunch of other strategies as a result.
For SimpleWealth, our blog and our email list have been the 2 strategies we’ve used the most – and the results speak for themselves.
See the pattern?
The pattern is, decide to focus your energy on one thing, instead of spreading and diluting it out over a number of different things.
You can’t execute everything well at the same time.
And work like hell.
Only once you’ve got that one rocking, THEN (and only then) give yourself permission to look at what you might implement next.
Follow this concept, and I guarantee you’ll not only feel SO much better about your business, but you’ll actually be able to generate real results and fulfill the original purpose of your business — to support you and allow you to make the choices you want.
And now, please do YOUR part and post a comment below – let me know what you think!