You're sitting at the bar minding your own business and this guy walks up to you and asks for your phone number or worse, just goes straight in and asks to have breakfast with you (it's only 10:00 pm... you know what he's referring to). Dude at this time you can't even hear his name over the music and he wants what?
If you're several drinks in, this might sound like a good idea. It's not. Check with your friends and move on.
Then another guy comes up. He's got a drink in his hand for you, the same one you were just finishing so you know he took the time to order you what you liked. He tells you he likes your shoes. That's enough to make you want to ask him to breakfast. But hold on... he's not rushing. He asks to sit and you end up spending the next hour or so talking. Talking about who you are and what you want. And when it's time to leave he pulls out his calendar and asks if you're free for dinner sometime next week.
Hell yes you are.
Because he seduced you. He saw you. He took the time to get to know you before he took the next step.
So now, I have to ask - who are you showing up as in your business? Are you so busy trying to get your clients into bed with you that you're just rushing through the seduction? Buy this! Sign up for this! Be my Fan! Get my Newsletter! Come on... let's go!
Or are you slowing it down, taking the time to get to know your people? Ask them what their dreams are. Find out if they like red or white. Have a real conversation with you before you do anything else. Care more about them than you do about you. Notice their shoes. Don't rush to get people to become your 'fan'. No one needs numbers - everyone needs CONNECTION. Who are you connecting with in a real way? Don't be in a rush to 'process' - take your time and find the people behind the avatars, to meet in a real way the people who rush to hand you their cards.
Be the hot guy who sees you.
700 Beautiful Fans - and I walked away by shutting down my fan page to create a new one. WTF was I thinking? Each and every one of those people was a hard earned Like. I paid for ads, I begged and pleaded, I invested all my marketing ninja skills into getting a number. I could have just changed the name of the page...
I'm not going to say it was easy - one of the most important qualities I like to infuse into my business is really loving my community so what would my community say when I moved? Would they be mad at me? And my ego really kicked in overtime, asking beautifully judgmental questions like what would people think of a marketing coach with no fans?
But here's the thing - I knew that I was making a big leap. And sometimes when we make a leap, it's important to double check your foundation. If your business foundation isn't solid, isn't in full alignment with who you are being in the world then your business will energetically always feel off kilter.
And there's nothing worse for a sensitive person than to go into working while feeling ungrounded and slightly out of integrity.
We have to be willing to put a stake in solid ground.
So I wiped the slate clean and the oddest thing happened. My rebranding brought in more clients than I'd ever had before, my fan page engagement was off the hook (with 1/4 of the fans I used to have), I was invited to speak and participate in more events, and I had total clarity every morning when I woke up so it's easy to choose what is in alignment with me and my brand.
Because it's not about how many people are on your list or how many fans or followers you have. It's NOT about your numbers.
It's about 2 things...
MORE IS NOT MORE!!!
See here's the thing - and I'm going to be really honest with you - I get a majority of my business from Facebook. And here's the secondary thing - it's not really from my fan page. It's from the relationships I take the time to nurture. My business doesn't come from having fans - it comes from building trust and relationships. It comes from taking the time to know all of the people who join me on their path.
And it took walking away from an outdated page for me to really GET that it's not about the numbers. Ever. It's about reaching the people inside your box and being of service to them.
So I have to ask you - what are you holding onto that is no longer in alignment with you or your business because you're afraid of letting it go?
This morning I was sifting through my draft posts figuring out what to write and I grabbed a post about Facebook and the pros and cons of being online. So I just spent the last 30 minutes or so editing it to the ground until I realized that I really didn't care. Not only did I not care what I was writing but I couldn't figure out what the heck I was writing it for.
Actually I do know why I was writing it - I was writing it to produce something, to have something to post up on my networks, to be sure I had blog musings for my newsletter. I was writing it because it was on the schedule and I've been behind on my blogging. It was an obligatory writing assignment like the essays you'd have to turn in when you were in school. There was nothing wrong with the post, I totally would have gotten an 'A' on it, but I deleted it anyhow.
Why? Because it wasn't authentic. It wasn't really who I am or what Living ImPerfect is about. It was just another post for posting sake and honestly, it felt like a fun sucker. And I bet you would have read it and been like - that was okay, there were giggle moments and head nodding moments tossed in there. But would it have moved you? Because if I'm not moved on my end would you feel it in my words on your end? So, this is my second attempt for the day - it's me letting you know that I didn't shine this morning.
I was playing small.
I was acting in a role: blogger, business owner, coach, head inspirational diva - pretending that you would care. How many things do I do each day that are because I'm obliged to so I go through the steps, uninspired? Is it possible to feel like I'm bringing who I really am to the table? I pulled back that post because it wasn't me - and now I'm redoing it. It's the same result - I have a post for my networks and newsletter and all the other things a post does for my business and for you, the reader. The difference is that I can feel these words. I can tell you that approaching this task from a heart felt direction is so much more powerful than just doing something on my list.
And boy do I have a list... it's filled with things I am avoiding because they are un-fun. And like the post I deleted, I can tell that if I do those things with the attitude I had this week, they won't be great.They will just be unfulfilling moments in an already short life and I'm worth more than that. I deserve to be inspired and happy to be doing even the dishes.
The lightbulb comes on... see it's not the tasks or the post or the to do item - it's me and how I approach every single thing in my day. I can look at things like I have been this week, like more crap to do on top of crap. Or I can have a serious AA (attitude adjustment) and trick myself into looking forward to doing the previously dubbed crap. I love writing in this blog but I forgot that when I approached it as an obligation.
No more posts just to post, no more doing stuff because 'I have to' or "I should". It really is as easy as hitting delete and starting with a different attitude. Heart wide open... let's seize this day and make it big and fun and meaningful okay?
Playing small doesn't mean that I'm not doing enough. Playing small means I'm leaving the biggest part of me out of my business... my heart, my soul, my spirit. Doing things through obligation or 'shoulds' serves no one. Doing things that are inspired and aligned? That's going all in.
You know how you have this great idea about something and all you can do is tell people about it because you're so excited and you ask everyone's opinion? I totally get it - I love getting people's opinion on all of my multi-passionate ideas. Hey, what do you think about this? And so I ask for their opinions... and somewhere in their masked enthusiasm I hear it - that one little tone or word or sentence that makes me no longer be in love with my idea. It's such a let down.
It's like when I put on an outfit and I love it. I mean the shoes, the accessories, the colors all fit my mood for the day and I walk into my Great Room and I ask my kids how I look and they look at me and kind of crinkle their noses like there's something they just don't like. I no longer feel like I'm rocking my look, I feel like I look stupid. Okay, my son is 11 and a BOY. Do I really think he has a better fashion sense than I do? No. Does it still make me question myself? Yep. Every time. How about asking me if you should date someone? Why would I know that for you and why would my opinion on who you should like and not like matter? What - should I arrange a marriage for you too since I obviously know what's best for you even better than yourself?
In a perfect world we just wouldn't listen. But let's get real, we listen. Especially when the dream is really big and personal. Why? Because the really big ideas are scary and quite honestly we love having a way out for ourselves... it confirms that little nagging voice on our shoulder that says 'See, I knew it would never work and someone else agrees. Forget even trying when other people agree that it's a stupid idea."
What is more realistic than not listening is to just stop asking. Stop questioning and start telling. YOU know when an idea or dream is right FOR YOU because it feels really good inside and it scares you in a really great way, like a tingly anticipation. Other people will never feel that way about your dreams so why are you asking for their opinion on what you should do?
Instead of asking "Should I", say "I'm Going To". You are the only one who really knows if it's right or not for you. Trust yourself enough to not have to go running to others for guidance.
I had lunch with a friend yesterday and she asked "I need to learn better time management and organization because I just can't ever seem to get enough done. Can you help me with that?" Um, okay - sure. My advice to you is to stop trying to do more and get down to the core of what needs to get done and do that instead. Less is the new black didn't you hear? And I looked at her confused face (probably the same one you're making as you read this) and it dawned on me that we are trained to try to be SuperWoman - capable of doing all things and conquering unreasonable lists each and every day and if we don't we are failures. Shouldn't I give her the tools to accomplish them all? Heck no!
Let me tell you a little something about your to-do list, you know the one you're so determined to time manage your way into doing? It's a big ole pile of crap that you insist on shoveling each day to make everyone (including yourself) think you've got your '$*!t" together. You don't need any more time management tricks - you need better task management skills. Don't give me your "but"s or get angry - just keep reading and I'll explain.
I got a phone call from another friend who was having a mini-meltdown over how much work she had and that she just didn't have time to do it all. Nearing the end of her day she still had 32 phone calls to make so she legitimately didn't have enough time to accomplish the tasks at hand. I'll give her that. But I asked a simple question instead - how many of those 32 phone calls are "so critical that if you don't do them today the world just may end"? And after a few deep breaths and a few more repeats of the question (she's stubborn), she came back with a new number. 5. There were 5 calls that she absolutely could not miss that day. So - did she have time to make those 5 calls? Yes. In fact once those 5 calls were made she looked at the list again and made a few more tier 2 calls. It became easier to get through the tasks by focusing on only a few items at a time and she went home feeling like she accomplished some important things instead of feeling like she hadn't done anything on her list.
See we get so tied up and twisted inside with our massive pile of crap tasks that our gems - the really important diamonds that will propel us towards our dreams and goals - get lost somewhere in between. I do not doubt that we can justify that each and every task on our list is critical - I'm sure that cleaning your baseboards is critical to your mental health, but I'd have to argue with you that having clean baseboards isn't really a top tier project. Why are you wasting your energy doing menial tasks, things that make you smelly and dirty and feel bad that you didn't do them all? The real way to accomplish more is to toss out all of the crap on your list and just do a few truly important things. Time management isn't the trick - it's task management. Spend your energy on things that propel you forward. And if you have some extra time left over then dive into your pile of crap - or go enjoy your life the way you're meant to.
One of the most common things I hear when my fellow female entrepreneurs hear that I'm a Life Coach is "I would love to have life coaching but making my business succeed is my first priority. Once that's going then I'll have time to take your course". And that makes TOTAL sense - if you're a man.
Let me go on record - I have nothing against men. I love them AND acknowledge that most men think differently than women (thank goodness!). For the most part they act first and think second and they have very defined areas of their life. Their Work Life is totally separate from their Spirituality and their Family. There's a clarity and crispness to what they do in a given moment. But women are messier. The lines that define the areas of our life aren't clear cut. We are never not a mom. We will hop in and out of what life coaches define as the 8 facets of living faster than we can even keep track. And I mean let's face it - when was the last time you saw a man cry when the phone lines go down during a webinar? We bring ourselves into EVERYTHING WE DO.
So that brings me to the idea that we are unable to fix only ONE facet of our lives while ignoring the rest. We are thoroughly interconnected and tangled up inside. If any part of us gets better then all parts of us must follow. If we're learning to take control of our paths and take ACTION then guess what? Your business will start succeeding!
So if you want to get your business to the next level, get your life in order. Start learning to be clear and calm and focused. It's not just about having a better business plan or spending more money on advertising, it's about learning to succeed as a person and getting the drive and moxy you'll be needing to set out of your comfort zone to start kicking butt!
I came across this article by Mark Harai this morning and I had to sit down and read it twice. At first the title put me off "In Business, Results are the Only Things That Define You". Masculine drive, my results are bigger than your results right? HOWEVER I am a huge fan of this core message. "Don’t be a talker, be a doer."
We as women do a lot more talking, planning, feeling if it's right first. I mean we even check to see what our friends are wearing to a party while we're getting dressed. We are communicators and researchers and planners. And that's both our strength and our weakness. Jumping in and taking action is not our first response. But it is something we need to do more of and it is one of the cornerstones of Living ImPerfect. Do I agree with taking action solely to get results? Nope. But listen, we can manifest until we're blue in the face but without really doing SOMETHING, we'll NEVER get results.
There's a second message buried in this article that I never would have suspected by the title alone. "The only people who matter in life are those who support your dreams, goals and ambitions... Separate yourself from anyone who doesn’t celebrate your life and your mission."
Yes and more yes! This topic could be an entirely separate post (and will be). Sometimes as we grow personally, it's hard to remember that the people around us don't always grow as well. We do outgrow friendships, acquaintances, loves - and that is okay. They become like shoes that are 2 sizes too small - be okay with donating them even if they are Jimmy Choos, because it will become impossible to continue taking steps towards your dreams if your shoes are restricting your blood flow.
So the take aways from this article really are flipping do something and go buy new shoes. Wait, no that was't it... Take Action and do it with people who raise you up. And then go get new shoes...