Riding the Rollercoaster of Entrepreneurship

Expect the unexpected. That old phrase rings especially true for entrepreneurs. 🛎

One day things are cruising. 🚢 The next, you may be in crisis mode. And then the next moment you may experience unprecedented levels of growth! 📈

Yesterday morning: Closed a new deal and followed up with two leads.

This afternoon: One client still deciding if they are staying or going. Signed a renewal with a current client.📝

This morning: Lost an account and gained a new one in the span of an hour.

Some leads take months of negotiation and nothing happens. At other times, I’ll receive a message or phone call out of the blue and we start right away. 📱 Sure, some will insist on the importance of process and develop a system to minimize the unpredictability. And I’m certainly a fan of having a process. But, at the end of the day, business is business and in the real world 🌎 , not everything can be reduced to a neat little academic formulaic system.

This line of work is certainly not for the faint of heart ❤️ who enjoy stability and predictability. For those who don’t mind or even enjoy the rollercoaster of entrepreneurship, it’s the ride of a lifetime. 🎢 😀 #entrepreneurship

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Are You Really Providing Value or Are You All Talk?

There is a lot of talk about “providing value.” You need to give value to your audience, your prospects, your customers. Prospects have to be made to understand the value of what you offer.

At times, it sounds tired and cliché.

How many of us are really searching for additional ways to provide more value to others — not only to our customers but even to people in our personal lives?

Are you honestly being creative and thoughtful about how much value you can deliver or are you more concerned about what you get in return?

Something to think about over the weekend!

Is There a Fine Line Between Follow-Up and Being a Pain in the Ass?

You’re in a meeting or on the phone. You’ve made your pitch and the other party sounds interested. Then, they say: “We’ll be in touch.” They’ll call you (or email or text or DM).

Now, what?

Do you push and not leave the room or hang up the phone until they have signed on the dotted line or paid you the money? I certainly don’t believe in waiting for people to get back to you if you really want the account. But how much time should one give the prospect to decide? In my experience, most people who contact you aren’t actually ‘ready to buy’ just yet.

Is there a fine line between follow-up and being a nuisance?

I find it interesting that I often get so many contradictory responses to this question. Some will say that you’re not doing your job of following up until you’re told how annoying you are. At the other extreme, some are timid and caution against coming off as “desperate.”

I believe in being relentless, but I also believe it can be done tactfully without turning someone off. Do you agree? Disagree?

What are your thoughts?

Be the Bigger Person

Being the bigger person doesn’t mean you’re letting others walk all over you.

Quite the contrary.

Being the bigger person, not getting even, settling the score, or playing tit for tat gives you the leverage.

You win when you don’t dwell and instead focus on the positive. You don’t gain by being petty even when others let you down or mistreat you.

Business and entrepreneurship is a rough game that has forced me to grow in so many different ways and push past my perceived limitations daily. It’s not always easy, but I’m grateful for the process and the opportunity.

Every day is a small step forward.

Should Everyone Be an Entrepreneur?

I worked a 15-hour day the other day with almost non-stop meetings, phone-calls, and regular laptop/smartphone detailed work from 9 am until midnight. Even when attempting to eat or try to catch my breath for a minute, I’d be interrupted. Now, I’ll admit that is pretty exceptional rather than the rule for me right now. I usually work normal 7-10 hours.

However, I had a realization that the busier my business gets, the more days like that I’m going to have.

The good news?

I LOVE it. ❤️ 😃

Sure, it will be necessary to wake up insanely early and require creativity to make time for other things. But, I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world. Why? Because I value the freedom of determining my own destiny and not answering to a boss over normal hours and a steady paycheck.

If you think you want to be an entrepreneur, understand the trade-offs. You may be happy as an entrepreneur/business owner, but you may be miserable. You may love being employed in a job you love where you feel that your skills and talents are valued, but you’re not responsible for the whole organization or aspects you don’t like. Or, you may prize autonomy over all like I do. It’s up to you. It takes honest thought and self-reflection and trying things to know. Nobody can tell you which is best for you.

Respecting Your Time is Respecting Your Clients’ Time

It’s important to set healthy boundaries in life and in business.

I believe in two rules for success with clients:

1) You’re not at beck and call.

2) When you’re speaking with a client, you give the client your undivided attention.

If you don’t follow rule #1, you will be incapable of following rule #2.

Unless you’re a doctor or it’s part of the nature of your business to respond to medical emergencies, you’re not “on-call” 24/7.

When your phone rings and it’s a client, many freelancers and others who work in client service feel obligated to answer or guilty if they don’t.

In my opinion, you should never feel obligated to take a call that isn’t scheduled. Making appointments isn’t snobby. It’s a way of making sure each client gets your full and undivided attention.

You are not expected to drop everything at a moment’s notice. We’re all busy. Our clients are busy. We all have families and careers.

If you don’t respect your own time, then you will not be able to respect the time of others. And, time is money so you must respect time.

In the beginning, it’s easy to get seduced by the notion that catering to your clients means you’re always available anytime they want to speak to you.

But you owe it to yourself and your clients to have some boundaries.

Marketing is Like Dating. Romance Your Prospects and Make them Fall in Love with You.

As a single and a marketer, I’m noticing some interesting parallels between marketing and dating. 

Nobody wants to transact on the first date. 

Asking for the sale right away makes you look creepy and lame. Offer to help first.

You’ve got to romance your prospect a little bit. Compliment them. Talk about what they’re interested in. Keep it focused ON THEM. Not you.

Give them value. Make them want you. 

And, timing is everything. You’ve got to be able to feel it out and read the situation carefully. 

When the time is right, you go in for the ask. 

And if they say yes, you’ve got yourself a date. If you play your cards right, one date will lead to more and eventually blossom into a fruitful, long-term business relationship.