I’ve been around for long enough now to understand a number of things. One of them is the secret to succeed in business. I’m about to reveal the real secret, how to find the magic wand to succeed in business. Drum roll please.
I love observing, and from doing so for some time, I can tell you there is a category of entrepreneurs who are desperate to find THE MAGIC WAND, or the secret formula to succeed. Some are relatively new entrepreneurs who are still trying to learn the ropes and some have been around longer, and well… also still trying to figure out the ropes of what it takes to “make it”.
I’ll give it straight to you.
There is no magic wand. There is no secret formula. It is completely against what most people want to sell you out there, but the real truth is that the magic formula is a lie. At best, a fairy tale like Santa Klaus or the Tooth Fairy.
Why? Because building a business requires to master A LOT of different pieces of a puzzle, and nobody can sell or teach all of those pieces. Nobody is an expert at everything. And we are all individuals with different needs and skills. Now, very few people will tell you this.
Take this as an example: niching. You may have heard about the need for you to find or choose a niche (who you are trying to reach). Then you choose a niche and hope clients will magically show up your front door. And then you are disappointed when you finally choose a niche and clients don’t line up straight away. What did you do wrong? Nothing. That was only a (well needed) first step forward.
Niching is only a part in the whole marketing process. It’s actually the beginning, but not the whole process. So those who are telling you that you have to niche to find clients aren’t lying, they are just telling a partial truth. A more complete truth is that choosing your niche is part of your marketing message. Along with defining your niche, you need to understand what their issues/aspirations are, and also get clear on what outcome they can expect if they work with you.
And again, defining your marketing message will only get you started. Once you know this, you can start having conversations with people, you can start creating meaningful relationships that will eventually turn them from strangers to prospects.
Moving a stranger through the different stages to becoming a client requires skills and a bunch of sub-steps. There is a lot of action taking in this process, and that doesn’t look like magic at all. But when you understand the whole process, and follow the steps, it works.
However, many other entrepreneurs are trying to sell you “the ultimate formula to get clients or build a 6 figure business in 24 hours”. Since they have made it, they will teach you how you can too. Erm. Be aware of this: this promise is an illusion, and an illusion that is built on your fears. Fear of missing out, fear of failing, fear of trying, fear of not knowing, fear of running out of money…
SO WHAT IS THIS FRANTIC SEARCH FOR THE MAGIC WAND ABOUT?
I believe there are several reasons:
- A search for ease – which makes a lot of sense. We human beings love things to be easy (even though we tend to make them difficult or hard). But ease is often associated with “not doing” – as in you use some of your magic dust and poof, 10 clients line up in front of your door with 10k each to pay for your services. Not doing is easier than doing. We’d love to just sit on a hamac sipping piña coladas, and have money piling up in our bank account.
- Not knowing what or how to do things, so the best solution appears to be the magical one, where you don’t have to figure things out (=stressful, painful, uncertain), only use your magic wand.
- Not knowing where to look for answers to your questions. Hoping/wishing/praying that the problem will solve itself.
- It’s a way to avoid doing the real work. As much as it s*cks saying it, having a business is a lot of work. There is a lot of uncertainty, a lot of different hats to wear, a lot of discomfort. You are confronted to the worse in you day in and day out, your fears, doubts, crappy limiting-beliefs, real and invented limitations, etc. Wouldn’t it be just a-we-some if magic could solve everything? Well, it does, doesn’t it? Doesn’t it???????
It’s all very human. I’ve been there on and off and really understand the mind-process. I know lots of people who go through this too, so you’re definitely not alone.
WHY AM I RAISING THIS AS AN ISSUE?
- Hardly anyone talks about the whole process, and nobody -NOBODY- tells you that what they are selling you as a magic solution is actually part of a bigger process (even if they can’t teach it or aren’t an expert at it). So please, don’t take a part for the whole. Do your homework and understand what is REALLY required for you to have in place BEFORE you take the course or hire someone, so you know if you have a chance to succeed by using their solution. Be aware that this will only answer a few questions and that others will arise (which is fine), because growing (and sustaining) your business is a never ending process.
- It’s perfectly fine to ask for help, hire a coach, buy a program or a course because you really need outside help. You can’t do all by yourself. However, make sure you understand as much of the whole picture and its sequence as you can. Be clear on where you are in that whole picture, what you know already and what you don’t know, what comes first and then second, and then bridge the gaps. (like: you can’t plan a FB ad campaign and be successful if your message isn’t clear. Even if the person tells you it’s the ultimate FB marketing strategy to get more clients and has had exceptional results – you need to be clear on your marketing message first). If you don’t know what you don’t know, ask for help in seeing what you’re not seeing.
- What worked for someone may not (and will most probably not) work for you. Because you two are different, your businesses are different, both your contexts are different.
- The promise may look all glamourous and glittery and you may want to have the same, but be aware that you may be applying something that is not aligned with who you are. When that is so, it will feel gross or manipulative, and you will procrastinate and therefore not have the results you expected (hence, disappointment and resentment). This is when you start feeling like you are selling your soul to the devil, because it’s not aligned with you. And one of the most frequent consequences is that you avoid or stop doing it, in order to avoid that knot in your stomach that makes you feel sick (which is also not a solution, because then you feel guilty that you aren’t doing what it takes to build your business).
- There is no pre-packaged ULTIMATE solution to anything. The only ultimate solution is your own experience, your own journey.
- Become aware of what is motivating your action. Fear? Trust? You will not make the same decision whether motivated by fear or by trust.
IF THERE IS NO MAGIC WAND TO SUCCEED– THEN WHAT?
If the magic wand is a quest for ease, my experience and knowledge have taught me that ease is achieved through a combination of different ingredients:
- Defining what success means to YOU. Stop looking at what others are setting as their standards, and look for your own.
- Connecting with your Inner Compass (your values, your intuition, your wisdom)
- Acting out of integrity (integrity= aligning your actions to your Inner Compass)
- Trusting that you are creative, resourceful and whole. You already have all the answers within you. You may not see them yet, you may need help to start listening to yourself again, but they are all there already.
- Being audacious. Daring to try. Following your urges.
- Daring to be a dissonant voice when needed. Letting your voice be heard, letting your way be the right way.
- Not going the lone-wolf route, instead, finding your pack and leaning on them.
- Finding the right mix of free-flow and structures.
- Tenacity and resilience.
May you find your own magic to succeed in business.