I love working with entrepreneurs for a number of reasons. For one thing, they’re interesting! I’ve met people who are starting businesses in areas I’d never even dreamed of! I recently heard of a couple of guys who have a business flying a remote control airplane over solar fields detecting cells that need to be replaced. Who knew you could make a career out of flying a remote control airplane?! And for good money!
Another reason I love it is that I so get it! Having my own business has given me an up-close and personal view of the fears and limiting beliefs that can block success – and the difference it can make to be able to clear them.
Truly, starting my own business has been a profound spiritual process for me. Nothing in my life has brought up as much S.T.U.F.F.
Being able to clear my stuff has also meant that nothing in my life has brought as many wonderful changes in as short a time, either. My business has helped me grow up big time.
I had the chance this past weekend to be in the company of over 200 entrepreneurs who came together for a conference called Uplevel Your Business. As the presenter Christine Kane explained, marketing your business isn’t about selling someone something. It’s about sharing yourself with more and more clarity.
It’s about understanding what you really offer – beyond the surface layer of “writing and editing” or “image consultations” or “puppy training”. How does your work affect people? What’s the deeper service you provide?
Now, all of this sounds really good. In fact, it’s great! And, boy, can it bring up the stuff!
First of all, you have to be willing to really look at what you do. And not just look at it. Claim it. Be confident of your results and their value.
Then, you have to stand in that confidence when you talk to potential clients, when people are waffling about hiring you because of their fears about money and commitment. If you’ve released your own fears, you can be compassionate about someone else’s without buying into them.
Most of all, as an entrepreneur, you have to be willing to be vulnerable.
Being an entrepreneur and being vulnerable go hand-in-hand. You can’t be creative, innovative, a risk-taker, a leader without also being vulnerable.
As an entrepreneur, you’re biggest asset is you. Having your own business is a process of becoming more and more authentically you, expressing yourself with more clarity.
And once you make a stand, send that email, give a client your new prices, publish that new course, it can leave you feeling naked and shaky. Just waiting for the person’s reaction.
And each new, bigger step raises the bar – and the stakes.
So what do you do?
You’re greatest aid in these moments is your confidence. So remember to protect your confidence like the precious gift it is.
Here are a few practical tips for doing that.
- Remember that input affects output. Set up an email filter system so that you don’t see the unsubscribes from your ezine. If you have an aggressive client or nay-saying friend, consider blessing and releasing them.
- Reframe how you say things – especially what you tell yourself. I talked about this in an earlier blog (The Stories We Tell) and you can read more about it there. It’s just too important not to mention here, too.
- Get support. The best kind is from fellow entrepreneurs who know how you feel and who will also share your celebrations. Which brings us to:
- Celebrate. Every new step, every new client, every completed task. Pat yourself on the back. Do a happy dance. Celebrate. When celebrations become your focus, you find a lot more things to celebrate and you raise your energy overall.
- Remind yourself that you’re this big and more. Say it over and over. Say it in the mirror. Say it out loud. I am this big and more. Feel the inner expansion, the inner space. I am this big and more.
And when you do something that brings up all those thoughts and feelings of being too vulnerable, being in danger, being too seen – call me and let’s clear them. It’s a perfect opportunity to release that stuff, making it so much easier to take the next step. And the next one.
Aloha Sara, I have a fun story about unsubscribes….
I used to feel badly whenever someone unsubscribed to my eZine, wondering why they didn’t like me. Then the number of my contacts came within 250 of moving me to a much higher cost to send out my eZines. Suddenly whenever someone unsubscribed, I cheered! Yippee! One less person on my list who doesn’t really want to be there! Then I noticed my open rates started to increase. The number of people who want my news is rising and the number of people who don’t is dropping. Interestingly, my total number of subscribers continues to increase, and I’m closing that 250 person gap, which means my cost of sending out the eZine will rise. And I’m good with that. Now I know the people unsubscribing are NOT my peeps and I’m good with them leaving. I keep cheering them off the list.