3 Things You Aren’t Doing in Your Business Because of Fear (Read Time: 4 min.)

fear natureYou have this amazing business idea… or this inspiring start-up…

You’ve got some resources, tools, and you’re ready to make 2015 the BIGGEST year in business yet!

But something’s got you stalled… You’re not sure what it is or why you feel stuck but, on some level, it feels like for every step you take forward, you take two steps back… or you don’t take any steps at all.

Sound familiar?

The process of creating, building and growing a business is like conceiving a child: it takes time, effort, energy and A LOT of patience.

I’ve never been much of a gardener but the tomato plant example makes perfect sense to me:

When you plant a tomato in the ground, you don’t wake up the next day and run to the back yard expecting to see a ripe, red tomato.  You don’t go to the garden day after day cursing the ground out, saying, “Where the heck’s my tomato?”  No, you trust that the seed you planted, if properly nurtured and supported, will eventually grow ripe, red tomatoes.  You know that they won’t look that way at first.  You get that growing tomatoes takes time and track the growth, look out for progress and celebrate every sign of it.  When a green stalk or leaf sprouts, you’re thrilled.  When you see a tiny green tomato, you jump for joy and when the green tomatoes get bigger and turn red, you’re exhilarated.

That’s how we treat tomatoes… so why aren’t we taking the same approach to our businesses?

One answer: FEAR…

Fear is normal, natural, and bound to happen so you’re not going to read this article as a means of extinguishing fear.

Fear isn’t meant to be extinguished.  

It’s mean to be understood.

What I am going to tell you are 3 things you aren’t doing in your business because of fear… and 3 steps you can take to stop allowing the fear to keep you (and your business stuck).

Here we go…

#1 Thing you aren’t doing in your business because of fear: Marketing Yourself

Oooh ooh ooh… I went to the big bad wolf first!  When you are afraid of being seen, known, or judged, you play small in the world.  Many of us have immense talents and gifts to share.  It’s why we created a business.  However, as soon as the web site is up and the blog is created, we start to become shy.  It isn’t shyness ladies; it’s fear.  We’re afraid that we’re not good enough, afraid that we’re really a dime-a-dozen, afraid that no one will buy OR that lots of people will buy and then will hate what we have to sell.  No matter what the source of the fear, we play small in terms of marketing and promotion and then wonder why are businesses aren’t thriving.  Look at some of the hot shots in your industry.  The reason they’re at the top of their game is because they know three things that the fear of marketing yourself will keep you from believing:

1) They have something amazing to offer

2) People need what they have to offer

3) It would be an absolute disservice for them not to offer it

When you get clear on the above 3 principles, you start feeling less self-conscious and more service-focused.

Remember: Marketing involves sales but it also involves education and service.  

If you don’t like being salesy, focus on the service and education part and put yourself out there…

#2 Thing you aren’t doing in your business because of fear: Getting Help

Let’s face it.  Male entrepreneurs, in general, have a stronger and longer track record of delegating responsibilities, creating teams, and hiring help.  For some reason, as women, we’re still living in the “I can do it all!” phase of life.  It’s simply not true.  If you’re going to grow your business by leaps and bounds, you need a team.  Even in the very beginning phases of your business, if money will not allow for you to hire a personal assistant or a VA, you need to work with your family to delegate tasks like laundry, cooking, and cleaning to family members so you can concentrate and focus on your business.  It comes down to being able to ask for help.  If you don’t learn it early, your business won’t grow beyond a certain point.  One person cannot do what an entire team can do in terms of business growth.  You might be afraid to hire the wrong team or bring on the wrong people.  Get over the fear: you WILL hire the wrong people… at first. You’re going to learn and, very quickly, you’ll hire better and you won’t have those support team issues.  But, the fear need not be in asking for or receiving help.  If you’re going to fear anything, fear all the business you’ll lose and all the people you’ll miss out helping if you DON’T get help.

#3 Thing you aren’t doing in your business because of fear: Focusing on One Product for the Year and Hustling to Sell It

Many entrepreneurs start out wanting to do ten thousand things at once: one-on-one coaching, a membership site, online classes, group coaching, live workshops.  WAIT A MINUTE!  There are 24 hours in a day and 7 days in a week and Congress is not adding the 8th day any time soon.  If the golden rule of business is to put WHOLE mind into PRESENT action, how can you possibly do that if you’re working on 10 products/services at once?  You can’t.  But, so many entrepreneurs want to differentiate themselves in the market by offering something to everyone… which leads to offering nothing of value to anyone who’ll be willing to pay attention.  The fear of not being enough creeps into this situation without anyone even knowing it.  When you feel the need to overproduce, it’s a way of overcompensating for weaknesses you think you have.  It’s almost as if you’re saying to the world, “I know I’m not enough but if I give you this, this, and this, then maybe I will be!”  It’s also a clear indicator that you don’t trust your gifts and you don’t trust the process of life.

For many people, the fear is also about putting too much faith in one product.  “What if I spend my entire year on this one product and it doesn’t sell?  I’ll have lost an entire year!”  A- You won’t have lost an entire year.  If you’re doing it right, you’ll have learned some AMAZING lessons that you then apply to the next product/service launch, B- If you created the product/service right, you didn’t create the product first.  You created the overview of the product, marketed it to see if there was interest, sold it and THEN created the product.  That way, you don’t waste time and energy on a product no one wants, and C- You have to start somewhere.  Sam Walton filed bankruptcy numerous times before WalMart became WalMart.  Failure is necessary to success.  Embrace it and allow it to teach you what you need to know.

Bottom line:

Until you release the fear of putting single-minded focus on one product for the year, you’ll never get to the place where you can hustle and flow in your business.

So now that you know the 3 things you aren’t doing in your business because of fear, what do you do about it?

Here are 3 steps you can take to stop allowing the fear to keep you (and your business stuck):

Step #1: Spend 10-15 minutes a day talking about how your business serves the world.

Whether you do this on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn or in person with potential clients, get comfortable with talking about your business.  You don’t have to do a sales pitch.  Begin small by talking about how you created your business, why you started it, and what you offer to clients.  Give away something of value to potential email subscribers.  Get into the habit of giving away immense value for free and do it openly, completely, and time yourself at 10-15 minutes DAILY (that means 7 days a week).  It will get easier as you build the habit but the first thing you’ve got to do is build the habit.  Feel the fear and market yourself anyway!

Step #2: Delegate 3 tasks out of your hands.

Whether that’s laundry, cooking, or the cover for your eBook, talk to family, friends, or visit eLance.com and get some help.  By the end of today, get 3 tasks out of your hands and into someone else’s lap.  

Remember: the only way to do it is to do it!

Step #: Pick ONE product to promote, sell and work on in 2015 and do not focus on anything else until 1) you sell, create and deliver the product or 2) you figure out (after a MINIMUM of 3 months of marketing and sales) that it’s not a product that people really want.

Again, this is about persistence, consistency, and follow through.  Decide the ONE product/service you are most passionate about and that you think people most need and offer it to your tribe.  If you don’t have a tribe, spend 3 months building a tribe around this product.  Do teleseminars, webinars, and offer free reports/audios/programs to potential email subscribers.  Feel out the market for three months.  If you find there’s a need and people have purchased (advanced purchase), create the product and continue marketing it for the year.  If you find that there isn’t a need after three months, scrap the product and try something different.

The point is simple: Put yourself out there.  

You’ll never know what you’re capable of until you challenge yourself to face your fear and go after what you want anyway!

If fear is something that’s keeping you stuck, grab my FREE audio power coaching program From the Fear of Failure to the Joy of Success in 3 Simple Steps…

–>CLICK HERE TO GRAB YOUR FREE COPY<–

 

Are You a Woman in Your 30s, Single, and Serious About Having Kids Before You Turn 40? 5 Reasons Why You NEED to Start a Business NOW… (Read Time: 4 min.)

PregnantThe biological clock… I used to think it was a myth… in my 20s… And it is a myth, of sorts. But here’s the reality of female reproduction:

As women, we have a very small window (esp. after you figure college, climbing the corporate ladder, a few bumpy relationships, maybe a divorce or two, and then finding ourselves) in which to have babies.

Yes, Halle Berry had a baby at 46.  Yes, Geena Davis was over 40 when she had her first.  Those are the exceptions (and, hello, we don’t really know HOW they accomplished that- let’s not go there).

The reality is that while you can spend your entire life building a career, as a woman, you don’t have your ENTIRE life to have babies.

So what do you do when you’re in your 30s, single, and ULTRA serious about having kids BEFORE you turn 40 (at least baby #1):

Start a business!

Oh, yeah, I said it.

 

Here are 5 reasons why, as a woman wanting to have babies and planning to start a family later in life, entrepreneurship is the way to go:

Reason #1: After all the drama, trauma, and waiting you’re going through to get to Baby #1, the LAST thing you want to do is have that cute, adorable baby and then shuffle him or her off to daycare at Month 3.  For most women, putting babies in day care is a heart-wrenching process and if you don’t want to do it, starting a business is a surefire way to ensure you never have to.  Nanny? Yes.  Baby day care from 6 am to 5 pm Monday through Friday and miss out on all the key moments of those first years? No.

Reason #2: If you don’t want to do the “sacrifice” thing when it comes to mommyhood and your self-care, you’re going to need the kind of money that only entrepreneurship can bring (without the crazy work hours and schedule that higher income jobs require).  Pedicures, manicures, spa days, girls weekend out in Vegas… they cost money.  And so do diapers, formula, humidifiers, strollers that are cute, playpens that don’t feel like baby jails, jumperoos, and all of those Baby Gap outfits… oh yes, $$$$$$.  The more PROFIT you make, the more disposable income you have to take care of the baby AND you…

Reason #3: Providing for a child long term is an expensive state of affairs.  There’s some number rolling around in articles to the tune of $350,000- the cost to raise ONE child.  They forgot that children don’t always leave at 18.  In fact, they’re now coming home after college more than ever so add $80,000 to that price and you’ve got a 30 year estimate for the first 30 years of your FIRST child’s life.  Multiply that by 3, 4 or 5 if you plan to have more kids.  So, the reality is you get the cute, cuddly babies.  The other reality is they cost money for a lifetime.  Multi-millionaire entrepreneurs have the time, freedom AND money to provide security, nurturing, and love to the children they create.  A 9-5 job will never do that on the same level.

Reason #4: You might want to have the option to raise your children as dual stay-at-home parents who happen to be lifestyle entrepreneurs.  What if you want to raise your children with an ultra-involved spouse who, like you, can drop things at a moment’s notice to take the kids to Aspen or Maui or New York City or Japan?  That doesn’t happen when both you and your spouse are working “day” jobs and let me help you out: doctors, lawyers, pharmacists and engineers may make great money but they still have “day” jobs.  #justsayin

Reason #5: You’d like to enjoy the highs and lows of pregnancy with the option of actually ever having to dress up.  As an online entrepreneur, you can be pregnant, plump and happy making money in your PJs.  Does it take a lot of work to get there? Yes.  Is it totally doable?  Yes.  And, trust me, your swollen feet, big belly, and mid-day craving trips to the store for ice cream will thank you for your entrepreneurial decision.

These are just 5 of the MANY reasons that, as a woman who’s in her 30s, single and planning to have a family SOON, you want to start a business NOW.  It might take you a year (or 2, 3, or 4) to find the right partner, get situated, and get pregnant (contrary to all those after-school specials, in your 30s, “one time” isn’t the norm of what it takes to get pregnant).  Why not use that time of “waiting” wisely?  Build a business that supports your need for personal and financial freedom.  Build the nest for that baby you KNOW is on his or her way.  That way, when you actually have the baby, you’ll also have the time to enjoy this long awaited dream.

Yes, darling, it’s time you ramped up on the business so when the baby comes, you can bask in the miracle of the one thing money can’t buy: the ability to create and nurture new life.  

If you’ve been thinking about a business but you don’t know where to start, join me on a FREE call tomorrow night.  I’m bringing you AMAZING information on clarity and calling, two ingredients that are critical to business success.

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When was the last time you held someone else’s dream in your heart? (Read Time: 2 min.)

SRTS 3Connection… It’s a word we entrepreneurs read, hear and see EVERYWHERE…

People talk about it, teach on it and debate through it.

But here’s the deal: connection is what human beings crave.  Of course it’s at the heart of business.  Just as a newborn needs to be touched to remain alive, so people need to be seen, heard, and known in ways that are quickly becoming extinct.

So often, when you’re starting a business, you’re laser focused on what you need to do to get the business off the ground:

Who’s my target market?

What’s my core message?

How often am I posting?

What am I offering?

When’s my product launch?

It’s so easy to get into the self-centered place of ME, ME, ME…

But that’s not where a successful business comes from.

A successful business comes from a clear and complete focus on helping others achieve their goals and dreams, a thing you can only do if you actually understand what those goals and dreams are.

So… I have a challenge for you this week…

I want you to change the lens of your focus.  Instead of focusing on what you have to be, do, or say, I want you to ask and act on one important question:

When was the last time I held someone else’s dream in my heart?

I want you to find out the dreams of 20 people you don’t know this week (use Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, wherever) and I want you to find out how you can help each of those 20 people achieve their dreams.  Whatever is in your power to do, I want you to do it.

Okay now… let’s get started!

7 Ways to Use Less Time to Get More Done in Your Business (Read Time: 5 min.)

dear 3 amThere’s never enough time.  I know no other way to say it.

I get the Ford mantra, “If you think it’s hard, you’re right…” and the Wayne Dyer philosophy of “When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change” but here’s the deal:

If you have major life commitments outside of your business (i.e. a family, going to school full time, a day job, a part time job, etc.), building your business means that you have less time to become MORE productive.

So how do you leverage what little time you have to get A TON of stuff done in your biz?

Here are 10 Time Hacks you can use to create entrepreneurial momentum and SERIOUS productivity:

Hack #1: Stop multi-tasking.  Multi-tasking is highly overrated.  #1- Studies now show that human beings don’t multi-task,  #2- Multi-tasking results in less done well.  Total waste of time.  Stop doing it.  Instead,  put WHOLE mind into PRESENT action.  In other words, whatever you’re working on, give it all you’ve got for the entire time you’re working on it.  Set a timer if you have to but be PRESENT.

Hack #2: Create a triggering ritual that starts your day off right.  What is one thing that you could do that would start your entire day off on the right foot?  For some, it’s exercise.  For others, it’s Starbucks.  Find that one ritual that wakes you up, gets you excited for the day and do it CONSISTENTLY.  Some-timing things doesn’t produce long term results.  It needs to be something that will become what Twyla Tharp, in a book she wrote called The Creative Habit: Learn It and Use It for Life,calls a “triggering ritual.”  It signals to your mind and body, “On your mark, get set, go!!!!!!!!!!!” and you’re off and running. Do it daily.

Hack #3: Sleep less.  Yes, I’m the big bad wolf here.  Yes, I know sleep is critical (books like Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder
and The Art of Extreme Self-Care: Transform Your Life One Month at a Time are champions of this and I agree with them).  However, when you are launching a business, when you are growing a business, and when you have many other priorities pulling for your time, guess what?  Sleep becomes a luxury.  I’m not saying sleep 2 hours a night.  Be smart about your sleep requirements.  Everyone has a sleep threshold (the minimum number of hours of sleep they can operate well on).  Whatever that threshhold is, apply it to a MINIMUM of 4 nights a week.  Try to get good sleep (7-8 hours) 2-3 nights a week.  Will your body’s sleep clock be off?  Yes.  Will your body basal thermometer readings look coo coo for cocoa puffs?  Yes.  Will this be short term if you do it right?  Absolutely!  Do what you HAVE to do now so you can do what you WANT to do later.

Hack #4: Hire help.  I’m bad at this one.  In fact, I’m trying to hire my first assistant right now.  The reality is: no woman is an island.  At some point, if you want to get to the next level, you have to DELEGATE.  For most of us starting out, the sentiment is “I can’t afford an assistant.”  What I’m quickly learning is that you can’t afford to NOT have one.  Go to Task Rabbit or post on a job board or get a referral from a friend but hire help.  And, yes, you will have bad hires the first few times you do it (all of my women entrepreneur friends who’ve been there and done that have told me MANY horror stories) but you’ve got to get up that learning curve.  Start hiring and decide to fail forward.  Eventually, you’ll get the process down and you’ll find the right people to be on your team.

Hack #5: Slash half of your To-Do list.  Ooooh… I know… Tough stuff.  Far too many of us love the feeling of a checked off looooooooong To-Do list but do we ask ourselves, “How important is each of these things to the overall success of my business?”  I don’t think so… Be super-vigilant about your To-Do list and keep it small (like 3 items a day).  What are the 3 MOST important moves you’ll need to make today?  Get those done and then figure out your next 3 steps…

Hack #6: Get a massage.  Weird, right?  Massage?  Business?  Massages relieve tension.  Relieved tension makes way for creativity.  Creativity fosters innovation and innovation produces results.  Use Groupon to find cheap massages or go to the local massage therapy school in your area and have massage students give you a one hour massage for cheap.  Either way, make this a once-a-week to once every two week REQUIREMENT.  Ease your mind, restore your life!

Hack #7: Keep family time CENTRAL and work time PERIPHERAL.  One of the most profound things I’ve ever read on this issue came from Jon Acuff’s book,Start: Punch Fear in the Face, Escape Average and Do Work that Matters.  In the book, he says, “Be selfish at 5:00 am… When you’re a spouse, parent, or caregiver, your time doesn’t just belong to you.  It’s in large part communal property, shared by the entire house.  But that doesn’t mean you can’t be selfish with some of that time.  You just have to know when you can be, which is why I mention 5:00 am.”

None of these hacks are “secrets.”  They’re timeless strategies that work.  The key to making the most of them is CONSISTENCY.

Pick one of the above hacks and commit to implementing it for the next 30 days.

I’d love to know which one you pick.

Leave a comment letting me know which Hack you’ll be working on the for month of December.

Let the accountability begin!

Time flies