It’s no secret that the road of entrepreneurship is a challenging one.
In fact, a study published in the 2018 issue of Small Business Economics: An Entrepreneurship Journal, suggested that mental health challenges affect more than 70% of entrepreneurs, with individuals found to be more likely to deal with depression.
One of the biggest downers that entrepreneurs face in business is that they’re working with terrible clients.
Clients who don’t value what you have to offer, expect you to do everything for them rather than put in the effort required, and on top of that, are constantly asking you for more.
In other words, you’re not working with your ideal clients – the people you best serve, and the people you deserve to work with.
Maybe you’ve felt this before, where you’re frustrated and thinking to yourself “I hate working with these types of people. They really drive me nuts!”
Well, here’s the brutal truth — As an entrepreneur, that’s your fault.
But you probably didn’t mean to get yourself into this position.
So here are 3 ways you’re sabotaging yourself in business that you may not be aware of…
Problem #1 – You’re Trying To Attract Everybody
The first and most common reason that entrepreneurs work with bad clients is that they’re trying to attract everybody.
These are the entrepreneurs that go out there and say “I help anyone.”
And while you may be able to help everyone, it’s a very ineffective way of marketing yourself.
What ends up happening is you end up either:
- Helping no one because they seek specialists with expertise
- Taking on clients who aren’t the best fit
Either way, it’s not going to be energizing.
And even if you did take on clients, they’re going to be draining.
You’ll have issues communicating with one another, it’s difficult to see things eye to eye, there’s almost a subtle layer of distrust underneath the surface, and they’ll have a hard time seeing the value you offer.
And it’s not just about you. It affects your clients too.
They’re not going to get the results they deserve either, because I don’t know about you, but for myself, if I’m not a good fit with somebody, if we’re not connected or aligned personality-wise, they’re not going to get the same result as someone I do click with.
Take Robert for an example. He’s a 50-year old financial planner.
When he first came in as one of my clients, he was nervous about putting himself out there. But the one key difference about Robert that made him stand out was he said to me, “Lucas, I’m willing to run through a wall for you. So tell me what I got to do and I’m going to get it done.”
And he’s been doing exactly what I’ve asked him to do.
Now he’s doing talks. Next week is his first self hosted event. He’s doing presentations, he’s putting it out there.
Other people don’t carry the same tenacity, don’t take the actions I tell them to, so they don’t get those results.
So really it’s about that connection and having that ability to say who it is that you want to work with.
Solution #2 – Get Very Clear
As an entrepreneur, you need to get very clear.
Who are the people that you want to work with? And more importantly, who are the ones that you want to avoid at all costs?
If you want to avoid them at all costs, maybe there’s a referral partner that’s stylistically a better fit for them.
That’s a very powerful tool to have, not to mention the confidence you convey across.
Imagine you’re having a sales call with somebody and they’re saying, “I want to work with you,” and you go, “hey you seem like a great person, but I know somebody who might be a better fit for you. Maybe give this person a call.”
Two things are going to happen.
- They’re probably going to want to work with you even more because the fact that you’re actually pushing them somewhere else shows them you’re not desperate.
- When they connect with the referral partner who’s a better fit for them, your status is going to elevate. Plus they’re more likely going to send referrals to you because you had that confidence and integrity to make that step.
Problem #2 – Lack Of Exposure
Entrepreneurship is an exposure game.
When I first started, I’d go around sharing my message and people would tell me “wow, this is actually really good”.
But that was only once they met me and got to know me in person.
No one else knew who I was outside of interpersonal interactions, and as a result, the pool of prospects to find ideal clients from was severely limited.
Back in the day, you could build a very lucrative business simply by having a great service to offer. People would find you, come knocking on your door and send you referrals.
In today’s world, however, it’s all about exposure, and it’s never been easier.
Solution #2 – Put Yourself Out There
To get your message out there, all you need is your phone.
You can record and upload videos to YouTube, you can do live videos. You could even fill up a room for public speaking by hosting events online.
The more you put your message out there (be it through videos or speaking on stage), the more people get to know you, and the more likely you are to draw in your ideal clients.
See yourself as a social media star.
I guarantee you, the more exposure you get, the more business you’re going to have.
It’s just a numbers game, especially when you go at it with a very defined ideal client.
Problem #3 – You’re Being Vanilla
One of the biggest obstacles I see that’s holding people back from getting the business, the financial income and also the impact that they deserve is they’re being vanilla.
In other words, they don’t stand out.
This is a classic mistake.
What most people do is they look at what everyone else is doing in their industry and they go, “Okay, let me just kind of fit in.”
They want to blend in instead of standing out.
And the reason why they do that is because of fears and insecurities.
They think if I stand out, then…
- I’m going to be judged.
- I’m going to be different.
- I don’t know, people are going to think about me. They’re going to talk about me.
Yes. People ARE going to talk about you. It’s because you’re standing out.
And you’re standing out for all the right reasons – you’ll be noticed for who you are, what you believe in, and the value you bring to the table. As a result, the people who resonate with you most are drawn towards you.
The other alternative is to stay vanilla and hidden amongst everyone else in your industry.
But here’s the problem.
When you’re vanilla, you’re a commodity.
And when you’re a commodity, it’s no longer about the quality of work that you do, or the value you bring to the table.
Instead, it becomes about PRICE.
It becomes all about “who charges the lowest price?” instead of “who can deliver me the best result?”
I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to be seen as a commodity, because I have self-respect and you should too.
Solution #3 – Develop Self-Respect
When you have self-respect, you say, “forget vanilla. I’m going to be true to myself and I’m going to stand out.”
As soon as you do that, it’s going to attract your ideal clients.
It also gives you the freedom to be yourself.
One of the scariest moments I’ve had was with a client who was in his mid-fifties. He was a consultant and at the end of my training, he became really emotional.
I asked him “Mike, what’s happening? Are you alright?”
And he tells me, “Lucas, for 30 years I’ve lived my life focused on what it is that other people expect me to be – how they expect a consultant to show up in the world and how they expect a consultant to speak, to sound, and act. All this time, I’ve lived my life based on other people’s expectations and I’ve not been true to myself and I’m upset because I’m thinking I’ve wasted 30 years of my life showing up this way.”
I replied “Yes, but at the same time, you now have clarity about how we’re going to move forward. You’ve got 10 years left in your business career, so let’s have some fun and share your message in a bigger way.”
And that’s what he’s doing now.
Putting It All Together
In summary, there are 3 steps to get more ideal clients through competent communication:
- Identify who your ideal client is. Who is it? What do they sound like? What do they act like? How do they feel? What do they want? Get clear on that.
- Get exposure. Public speaking or videos. It’s so easy today to put yourself out there. Then identify what fears are holding you back.
- Don’t be vanilla. Stand out because you are unique. You’re born to stand out.
Once you carry out these steps, you’ll have options. You’ll have choice.
And you’ll truly be coming from a place of power.
You were born for greatness, so step up in the world and make it happen.
Level Up Living
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