Before You Build a Business, Get Clear on What You Want

Have you ever hired a business coach before?

Did they give you all the tools, worksheets, software, training, and technology you could ever imagine with the promise that it would lead you to build the most amazing business?

And did you build an amazing business?

Or did you get busy designing a logo, getting your website ready, creating a free offer, recording some videos, planning an online course, launching a webinar, chasing clients who couldn’t pay you, and buying ads on social media to build your list?

(For those of you who feel like you just got punched in the gut, please take a deep breath. Inhale, count to six, hold it for three, exhale and release for six, hold for three, and repeat until you’re ready to cut ties, release all of that, and move on.)

I call this the “Keys to the Hardware Store”.

20160603_165613Many business coaches offer a path to success that comes in the form of all of the tools you could ever need to have successful sales calls, hire the right staff, and leverage your business to make the magical six-figures you’ve always dreamed of. They are teaching a wide variety of entrepreneurs at various stages of their business and assuming that their crowd knows how to filter out the high-level “tools” and “trainings” from the lower-level ones and only use those that apply to the stage of business they are in.

Unfortunately, I see three problems with that method:

  1. When you’re new and someone tells you to try a new tool, you try it in hopes that it works. Desperation kicks in and you get busy doing EVERYTHING you can to make money (I call it the Spaghetti Method of Marketing – throwing everything at the wall to see what sticks.) All the tools in the world are great if you know what you’re building and which tools and supplies you’ll need to build it. If you don’t know what business you want to build, who you want to serve, and what services you want to provide, the keys to the hardware store are worthless. This is where CLARITY IS KEY! What are you trying to build?
  2. You can only leverage something that is built on a solid foundation with a system in place that is consistently working. Your business can be a temporary shack on the beach that gets you through the summer, or you can build a house that grows and expands with you as your needs change. Do you want a shack that you have to rebuild every year? No. You can’t work with one client, assume you have the magic solution and instantly sell it to 500 people in a group program. You have to test it out, gain client insights, and build momentum. It takes some trial and error to figure out what you want. You need to give yourself: space to change your mind, time to make mistakes and learn from them, and permission to get it really wrong before you get it right.
  3. The magical six-figure mark as a goal is horse shit. If we assume that you do make $100,000 in your business, we also need to assume that you have a budget, know your expenses, and understand the difference between NET and GROSS. If you GROSS $100,000 in your business, that doesn’t mean that your salary is $100,000. It means that you have billed your clients $100,000 and you now need to subtract all of your expenses: your website, marketing, logo design, cell phone, office, coaching, accountant, assistant, computer, software, subscriptions, scheduler, etc. And you’ll be lucky to clear/make/have a salary of $30,000 NET depending on how much you invested in your business. Six-figures can be a good goal to start out with, but you need to be thinking even bigger and get a hold of your numbers if you really want to have a successful business.

Instead of throwing things against the wall spaghetti style, building a crappy shack with no foundation, and investing in the keys to the entire hardware store when you only need a plan, a couple of tools, and a few materials to get started, I want you to get CLEAR. Why are you in business, what do you really want your business to look like, who you want to serve, what do you want to offer, and how can you communicate what you do to ONE IDEAL CLIENT that guides EVERY. SINGLE. THING. YOU. DO?

Your entire marketing plan (the blueprints for your business that lay out what materials you need, what tools you’ll use, and how to use them) MUST then be guided by that ONE IDEAL CLIENT. I call them your FAVORITE CLIENT because I want you to LOVE working with them!

If I sent you 20 of your FAVORITE CLIENTS today, right now, you’d be so happy you’d cry. Heck, if I sent you just two of them you’d probably kiss me… through the computer of course.

I can’t send them to you, or tell you which tools and materials you need from the hardware store, unless you identify who your FAVORITE CLIENT is and what you want to do for her.

I know this concept goes against everything you’ve been taught, but it works and my book, Finding Clarity, is proof. I wrote it for one person. Her name is Clara. She’s 34, has two small children, wants to start her own business to use her MBA skills in a way that pays her well, doesn’t have her reporting to a boss, and helps her clients build thriving businesses. As proof, I encourage you to download the ebook from Amazon, (It’s free June 8th-12, 2016 and $2.99 otherwise) read the first two chapters, and then tell me that I didn’t write it specifically for you and that you can’t relate. (I just had a middle-aged man tell me that the words I wrote spoke to him so clearly that he KNEW HE HAD TO WORK WITH ME! He is nothing like Clara and now I have the power to decide if we’re a good fit. Clients are coming to me. They are attracted to my clarity… and your clarity will be just as attractive.)

When you have a fear-based or “lack” mindset, you think you need to cast a big net to catch clients when, in reality, you just need to put your fishing pole in a lake with your type of fish and start attracting them one at a time. You can leverage, scale, and grow later but for now, you have to prove that you can handle one fish.

If you’re ready to find clarity in your business, create a plan for what you want to build, and have the support you need to choose the right tools and materials from the hardware store to build your business on a solid, sustainable foundation, sign up for a free Clarity Call with me.

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