It breaks my heart when entrepreneurs struggle to make the impact they know their work can make.
They scratch their heads and wonder why.
“I network. I’m on social media. I often work 16 hour days and 7 days a week. Why am I not doing better?”
They feel like a failure and sometimes give up entirely, only to live with a head full of “what if’s” and “if only’s”.
First, let me just say that I don’t believe in failure. I believe in lessons.
If something didn’t work out the way you had hoped, I’ll bet you learned a few things in the process. Things that will strengthen your determination, change your tactics, sharpen your skills, and/or shift your mindset. Bravo! You grew!
Second, let me encourage you not to give up entirely.
If you’re an entrepreneur, my guess is you’ll always feel the tug to be your own boss. (Someone once said that to me. When I assured him I was done, he hired me. Four years later I was outta there, ready to run my own show again and I’ve never looked back.)
Maybe this particular idea isn’t working quite as you envisioned.
Maybe there are some things that are working well but are in need of a tweak.
Is there something you can let go of to make more time to focus on something more important?
Once you’ve consider that, consider this…
Do you love your customers/clients?
Are you attracting your ideal customers or are your customers challenging to work with?
For instance, do they demand a lot but want to pay very little?
Do they love you?
Are they recommending you to their friends and colleagues?
Here’s what I see as one of the key issues business owners have…
Sally Smith is looking for a business coach. She goes online and types in “Business Coach”. Hundreds of sites pop up.
“Hmmm,” thinks Sally, “how do I know which is the best coach for me?”
Sally begins clicking on sites. (This is where we get into the 5 Second Rule, which means there are some sites she immediately clicks away from. For now, we’ll talk about the ones that hold her attention.)
What Sally is doing is comparison shopping. She’s comparing apples to apples. One coach to another coach.
She may get her search down to about four or five that she likes the look of – maybe they’re local, maybe they’ve listed their prices, maybe she likes the look of their site. She decides to book calls with three of them.
During her conversations, she’ll ask things like: How long until I see results? How many weeks do I have to commit to? How much do you charge?
Then she’ll likely say, “I have to think about it,” or “I have to talk to my husband.”
Then she’ll have the same conversation with the other two coaches and select the cheapest one.
How do you compete when everyone is looking for cheap, fast and easy?
In other words, how do you stay in business, make a difference and own your value?
The answer: Speak from your WHY.
The #1 Way To Stop People From Comparison Shopping and Pick You
If I asked you right now, “Why are you doing your work?” you might say, “Because I want to be a good example for my kids,” or “To make a lot of money,” or “To change the world.” Guess what? None of those are your WHY. They are the results of your WHY.
Based on Simon Sinek‘s Start With Why work, your WHY is “your purpose, cause or belief that inspires you to do what you do.”
We all have a WHY – only one – and it never changes.
You don’t have one WHY for your family, one WHY when you’re with your friends and another WHY for work.
Your WHY is who you are at your core. It’s what motivates you to do everything you do – or don’t do.
But it is MUCH more powerful than that.
As Simon says, when you speak from your WHY, you attract people who believe what you believe. In business terms that means you attract your ideal customers.
Here’s the thing: most people don’t know their WHY and they certainly don’t know how to articulate it clearly because it lives in your deepest feelings. Not only is it hard to connect with those feelings, it’s really hard to put them into words.
His team, however, has developed a method to help you discover your WHY and articulate it.
I can tell you that once you know your WHY, it’s a game-changer!
Knowing your WHY is validating and empowering.
Your WHY becomes both your compass and your anchor as you journey through life.
Here’s how knowing your WHY will transform your business:
If you can speak to your customers (in person, in your web copy, in presentations) from your WHY, comparison shopping stops.
Why? Because you move people out of their head (where they’re calculating costs, weighing pros and cons) and you move them into their body (specifically their heart and gut).
They’re connecting with you on a deeper level.
Let’s go back to Sally when she’s online during her initial comparison shopping phase.
Sally has narrowed her choice down to Janet, Lisa and Charles. All seem like good coaches; they all have glowing testimonials. She likes the look of their home page. She begins to search further.
Next, she clicks on each About page. (By the way, this is common practice: Home page first, About page second.)
Janet’s About page says how long she’s been in practice, lists her degrees and certifications (relevant and not), talks about the types of coaching she does, and has little icons for the awards she has won.
Sally thinks, “Janet seems very accomplished. Look at her schooling and awards. I wonder what she charges?”
Lisa’s About page starts off saying she’s a mother of two boys aged 6 & 9, is happily married to Fred and likes hiking with the family and their dog, Max. Next she talks about where she went to school and the coaching training she has. Then she says she loves helping her clients have a fulfilling life. Hire me.
Sally thinks, “Well, Lisa seems very personable. I like dogs and hikes but I’m single and career-focussed. Can she relate to me? Will she have time with her young kids? But I do want a fulfilling life… I wonder what she charges?” << That’s good by the way. Your About page should help to weed people out. Lisa’s page is starting to do that because Sally is wondering if they’re a good fit. You don’t want to appeal to everyone. You want to appeal to your target market.
Charles’ About page starts with a story. It tells about a specific time in his life when things looked pretty grim. He was feeling very lost and turned to someone for help – his baseball coach. Charles goes on to talk about how his life shifted as a result of the work he and his coach did, and he gives examples of some of the changes he personally experienced. Then he talks about how his transformation has inspired him to want to help others experience the same kind of transformation: he is driven to support others to find their own stance so they can go out on the field (that field called Life) and knock it out of the park.
Sally was sold!
She didn’t know his price. She didn’t how many people he’s coached. She didn’t know if he was married, liked hiking or had a dog. She didn’t know his credentials (yet).
What she knew was Charles was the coach for her. It felt right. She booked a call and they worked out a way to work together.
Charles’ WHY connected with Sally. She felt in her heart and in her gut that he was right for her.
Even if she did go through the process of calling Janet and Lisa, she’d be saying to herself, “…yeah, but I like Charles. I feel like he can help me best.”
Years ago, Charles thought his Why was to help others recover from drug addiction. His Why discovery took it much deeper than that because he discovered how he shows up in all areas of his life – long before the drug issues – and how he’ll always show up long afterwards. His Why isn’t because of the drug issues; it’s because of who he is at his core. Knowing this also shifted who he helps. Now he works with driven millennials who want to break through the challenges that are keeping them playing small (which is the descriptor on his website that first caught Sally’s attention). He also has a number of other stories that illustrate his Why. This is the one he chose to share on his About page.
When you speak from your WHY, you connect with people who believe what you believe.
Sally believes that regardless of the obstacles, when you find the right support nothing can stand in your way from reaching your goals. She believes Charles believes the same thing; that’s why Charles feels like the right for Sally. And when Janet and Lisa discover their Why’s, they too will attract those who believe what they believe and their conversations will change from their fees to how they can help their clients.
In other words, you attract your ideal customer and repel those you’d rather not work with anyway.
It works for any type of business.
Knowing your WHY doesn’t only connect you with your customers, it deepens your own connection with yourself.
It builds your confidence since it connects you to who you are, what you stand for and what you’re here to do.
It takes you out of your own head – the constant confusion around wondering if this is the right decision or the right path – and connects you to your purpose and core beliefs; those beliefs that magnetize your friends to you, and which will magnetize your clients to you too.
I used to think my WHY was to help change-makers make a greater difference because I have strong environmental values and believe we can/should do our part to make the world a better place. While, yes, that IS what I believe, it is not my WHY. That statement is applicable to my business, but what about when I’m with my friends or my kids?
Your WHY is how you show up when you’re at your best in all you do, in every situation.
What’s my WHY?
My WHY is to encourage people to believe in themselves so we own our value and what we have to offer to the world.
When I run that through all the filters and situations of my life, it’s bang on.
It’s the focus of my work, it’s in the conversations I have with my kids, it’s how I show for my friends.
It validates my past, grounds me in present and helps me shape my future.
One of the ways I bring my WHY to life – one of my How’s – is by matching inspiring ideas with inspiring words.
It’s why I write these blog posts and why I have a business that helps change-makers with their copywriting.
Your WHY may be similar to others because you attract those who believe what you believe, but it’s your How’s (you have 5 of those) that make you unique. By-the-way, discovering your How’s also comes out of this WHY discovery work.
Here’s the truth: I couldn’t find my WHY on my own. And neither can you. You need a partner who is willing and able to dig for it and find the golden thread.
I would love to be that person for you*.
Knowing your WHY truly is game-changing.
Our world certainly needs your change-making work, now more than ever!
Speaking from your WHY will connect you to people who believe what you believe. Imagine what you can do then.
Wonder what your WHY is?
I’d love to help you discover it so that you can truly own your value and what you have to offer to the world! Email me for more info.
*I am an avid student of Simon Sinek’s “Why” work. While I am not a certified Find Your Why trainer, I have been through the Why Discovery process with a key player of Simon’s team. Not only did he help me find my Why, he gave me pointers on how to successfully help you find yours. It is with his full blessing that I share their work with you. Why? Because their vision is to bring this work to as many people as possible in order “to help build a world in which the vast majority of people wake up every single day feeling inspired, feel safe at work, and feel fulfilled at the end of the day.” I am so grateful to have their blessing since I know what a game-changer this will be for you. Connect with me here if you’d like me to help you find your WHY.