What Entrepreneurship Is Really About.

This post has been a long time coming, inspired today in large part by one of my absolutely RADIANT Entrepreneurs whom you’ll hear more about in the next month. This isn’t going to be tactical advice. If you’re looking for a step-by-step how-to of something, Google will help you more.

This post is distilling entrepreneurship to its core, in the hopes of attracting more people into the great big world of business.

For anyone who knows me well, or has been anywhere near my yard, it is no secret that I absolutely love gardening. In fact, I love it so much that our family of 4 eats almost all of our summer produce exclusively from our little 0.099 acre city lot – and I still have plenty of lawn left to dig up!

One of the things I find most interesting this time of year, as we’re putting together our food garden for the summer, is the parallels between gardening and entrepreneurship. I’ve talked about this before.

You plant a seed, you feed it and water it, watch it grow, and reap the rewards. Always feed and water your plant for the development stage it is in, and you’ll do well.

But the nourishment. What is it? Where does it come from? What is the difference between a business that grows (and grows big!) and a business that withers, shrinks, dies a slow death, or never even sprouts from the seed?

What makes an entrepreneur? What is entrepreneurship really about?

It should be no surprise to those reading this post that our society views entrepreneurship as a risk. Leaving a steady job to run a business, even if it already has substantial profit, is often referred to as “brave” to our faces – and crazy behind our backs.

So is it risk that makes an entrepreneur? Is it the constant risk that makes the difference between success and failure? Taking big risks is the recipe for success?

Well, yes and no. Taking big risks is important – but not stupid “this will probably both kill me physically and ruin me financially” risks. Successful entrepreneurs do one thing, they do it often, they do it with persistence, and they do it in the face of fear:

They ask.

Not for little things, like a hand unloading the groceries. We’re talking about:

  • Asking for the sale
  • Asking for promotion
  • Asking for the interview
  • Asking for the contract
  • Asking about opportunities
  • Asking for content
  • Asking for a solo mailing
  • Asking for advice
  • Asking for a social share
  • Asking to be let into the group
  • Asking the client if they’ll stay on after a price increase
  • Asking the President of the United States for a quote
  • Asking friends to connect you
  • Asking strangers to connect you more

If the difference between success and failure, thriving and death, a bumper crop and an empty field can be summed up into one word, the difference is that successful people ASK.

I’ve interviewed television hosts, had my events promoted to over 100k people, got on the phone with coaches that require 6 figure investments “just to chat”, closed deals, and to be honest, built my entire business on that premise – just ask.

So, do you want to be more successful? Do you want to reach out, do more, be more, and live your dream? Then tell me – what have you asked for today?

I had to share this story today.

A departure from my usual posts, I wanted to share this story with you today. Sometimes, in the course of “doing what I do” and helping entrepreneurs and companies to succeed, the little successes get lost in the big ones. That isn’t the case in the story of William Isley, teacher and student of The Emotion Code and new entrepreneur.

Read his story here – unedited, in his own words when I asked him to tell the story of his first client:

Greetings,

During my first two months of working with Cheryl she has helped me shift my perceptions of my self. I have no questions as to whether I can help people. Been doing that all my life. My questions where about whether someone would pay me for my abilities. The shift she brought me through is phenomenal.

One of her programs is a crash course in what makes an entrepreneur and how does one get started. Totally amazing!

She helped me laser in on who I’m most comfortable working with and what are they looking for. She helped me see what I started out looking for as a way to get to where I am. I had forgotten the why of how I got here. She helped me go back in time and rediscover the language and wording that I used to find the folks that helped me.

One assignment was to do 5 practice intro sessions with 5 safe people. So, during the two weeks between assignments life happened and I was unable to do those sessions. I sent her an email totally stressed out that I hadn’t been able to do the assignment. She assured me the all was well and to simply breath. We put off the session for a week on the condition that I would actually do the assignment.

I did get my 5 sessions done. From those 5 sessions, one client signed up for my 3 session starter package, and two that asked me to talk to them in 2-3 months for my 3 month package. Since I did my sessions with busy people I was not surprised about the delay. I was more excited that if they could have hired me ‘right now’ they would have.

The key to the whole thing was focusing on the fact that I was practicing to get better and not trying to land a client because I NEEDED the money. Cheryl gave me a wonderful concept. The idea that I could give potential clients options for answers that aren’t no. Going with the flow of spirit is how I do my sessions and making my offers at the end are grounded in what does the client need and not in how much I need to make at the moment. I’m here to make a difference in the world, the knowledge that I can do that AND get paid for it is icing on the cake.

– William Isley
   Silencing Suicide Radio

What I love most about this story is that it is so relatable. Even in my journey as an entrepreneur, when starting something new it is hard to remember where you came from. It can be difficult to remember your big why – and how you made your own journey. William was able to get back to that place, and after several years of feeling lost and stuck, finally got his first clients.

The amazing thing is that he still doesn’t give himself enough credit. From our first chat to finishing the program was about 60 days, yes. The actual program, and the actual work, was less than one month. William went from “wantrepreneur” to getting paid for the difference he wants to make in less than 30 days.

Congratulations, William! You’ve earned this success, and thank you for sharing your story with me. I invite everyone reading this to share your congratulations in the comments below, and if you’re ready to make a difference in the world – and get paid for it – drop me an email. I would love to publish your success story here, too.

Minimum Effective Dose: Stop doing more than you have to.

minimumeffectivedose

Warning: Applying the lessons from this post will require some self-exploration and analysis, as well as some acceptance of who you really are. If you’re not ready to do that, this may not be for you.

I’ve been fielding a lot of questions lately about how to manage time. How can you get everything done in a day? How can I effectively build a business to the levels I want with only 24 hours in a day? How can I stop burning out?

To answer this question, I’m going to bring out one of my favourite tools – an analogy! (Insert shock and awe here…)

When you visit the doctor with a specific ailment, let’s say an infection, the doctor will probably give you a prescription for antibiotics.

Now in this case, would the doctor prescribe you 6 metric tonnes of antibiotics? 4 pounds? 800 pills 3 times a day, by mouth? Probably not, because that much would likely kill you (in the first case, by crushing you like an infected insect hitting an antibiotic windshield.)

It is highly likely that the doctor will give you the smallest dose he believes will work for your infection. You’ll have a follow up appointment within two weeks to see if it is working, where he may increase or decrease the dosage as needed or change the antibiotic entirely.

In other words, the doctor will prescribe the minimum effective dose because anything more than that is simply overkill.

By this point I’m sure you can see where this is going. While your business is hardly an infection that needs to be treated, the principle still applies.

You have a goal – curing an infection or reaching a specific revenue goal.

You have a tool to meet that goal – antibiotics or selling more stuff.

You want to use as little as possible of your tool to achieve your goal, so that you’re not wasting resources and throwing your system out of whack.

So, how can you apply this to your business? By doing as little as you can get away with.

I know, I know – it sounds like I’m advocating laziness here. And in a way, I totally am – because we aren’t lazy enough in these modern days. But what I’m really trying to do is get you to cut out all of the unnecessary, the judgement, and the busy-work to get to the core of what is needed – and do away with the rest.

What would you do if you were running your business on the bare minimum? If you never had to “look busy” for anyone, you just had your goals and that was your only measure of effectiveness?

What would it look like if 60 hour weeks were no longer a badge of honour?

What would it look like if you stopped caring what work was supposed to look like, and just did as little as you could get away with?

This is your golden opportunity.

Look at your working style…

Do you work better in big, long days? Or in small, scattered chunks?

Do you prefer a rigid schedule, or to work when you’re inspired?

Do you get lost without routine, or do you get bored doing the same thing all the time?

Pay attention to how you feel, and use that to guide your working style.

Once you know how to work and when to work, you need to determine what to work on.

This comes back to your outcome – what will produce the value of your business in the lives of your clients and customers the fastest, easiest, most effective way?

Twitter is probably not it. Client sessions definitely are. Candy Crush, not. Newsletter, yes. See the pattern?

We do so much in our day to day that is just killing time, keeping busy, doing things we “should”. We literally judge ourselves into doing things that don’t serve us to meet our own unrealistic expectations.

To get started with cutting out the excess and finding the minimum effective dose, write yourself a to-do list. (There are some fantastic ones in my annual planner.) Then scratch off everything that:

A) Doesn’t feel good AND wouldn’t feel good to accomplish (you can delay or delegate almost anything that doesn’t feel good.)

B) Will not move you toward your goal in a real, meaningful way.

C) Is only on your to-do list because you “should” do it.

Then every day, following your own unique working style, scratch items off of the to-do list – without judging the items that remain at the end of the day.

That is the key to all of this, letting go of the feelings of failure or judgement when you don’t do everything you could or should have done. So what if you didn’t fold the laundry, finish your ecourse, or do 10 posts on Facebook? If the world won’t end and you’re no further from your goal, there is no sense dwelling on it.

Acknowledge and express gratitude for everything you can and do accomplish, and give yourself permission to take the minimum effective dose.

 

Manifesting clients, customers, and cash… NOW!

makeitrainToday I’m going to share a very cool, actionable technique that you can use to grow your business. Whether you want clients, customers, or even just cash, this quick technique will work – and work quickly – to manifest what you’re looking for.

How do I know this? Because I just did it! I wanted to find 2 new clients for 2 new spots in my roster… But not just any clients, clients that I would love. I did this process, and within a week I had two absolutely amazing clients who are already making progress!

So, how do you “make it rain”?

Many people state that “the universe abhors a vacuum.” Of course we know that this isn’t an absolute, otherwise outer space would be filled with junk BUT we do know that here on our terrestrial planet, as terrestrial beings, we fill spaces.

You have an empty closet, it ends up full.

You find an empty lot, someone builds a house.

You have an empty counter, it is a constant battle to keep it from filling up with junk.

So what do you do when you want new clients, customers, or cash to appear in your business?

You create an empty space.

There are two ways to do this, and I’ve found it is most effective when you use both.

The first is to put together new client files and folders, ready and waiting for your new clients. Completely blank, of course – full of potential. By creating a space for these new clients, you are more likely to fill that space.

You may find by doing this process that you actually don’t have all of the supplies you need to serve the clients you want (as I did.) Go out and get the supplies! That way you’re fully prepared to serve the clients you intend to bring into your business, and nothing will be subconsciously sabotaging you from doing this.

This process will make the end result seem more real, tangible, and achievable.

The second way to bring new clients, customers, and cash into your business is to create a visual representation of your business AND the space you want to fill.

First figure out how many total clients, customers, or dollars you want in your business. Then using a whiteboard, chalkboard, or even a piece of paper, draw circles (or stars, hearts, squares, trapezoids or even tangential quadrilaterals) to represent this number. In the case of dollars, you may want to do this in chunks (i.e. 5 circles each representing $1,000 rather than 5,000 circles to represent $5k.)

Fill however many spaces as you can with your current clients, customers, or cash-flow – this is acknowledging your current abundance and making your goal very clear. The remaining empty spaces are there, waiting to be filled.

Now set it somewhere that you can see it every day, and go about your business. Keep your goal in the back of your mind if you wish, but don’t dwell on it or stress – it will happen! Sometimes the results have come in less than a week for myself and my clients, so don’t be afraid to be ambitious.

Go ahead, give it a try – then come back and share your results!