“Fix it, Mommy!”
My two-year-old repeats this refrain at least twenty times a day. It could be about his toys, or his socks falling down, or some milk he spilled.
“Fix it” doesn’t always mean that something is broken. What he actually desires is for something to work the way it’s supposed to, or be within reach or simply look tidier.
Many times, entrepreneurs or freelancers think their business is “broken.” No one knows who they are. They can’t stand out. They are not attracting the right clients, resulting in nightmare projects or people who haggle on price. Or they are not attracting ANY clients. They can’t get email signups, their sales inquiries are few and far between – even though there is a lot of goodwill for what they do and they have built a solid reputation.
I never promise to “fix” anyone’s business. No one can do that for you because that’s a big, complex question. If you want to pay $20,000 to some guru who promises that they can, well, proceed with caution.
Because it’s not about “fixing.” Most of the time, I find that clients are offering real value, bold creativity and fabulous wisdom. Nothing is inherently broken. They’ve got amazing talents, content or wisdom to share with the world.
What they actually need is clarity, because their message or offering is so confusing, the beauty of it gets lost in a less-than-stellar elevator pitch or overwhelming home page copy.
What they actually need is focus, because they are chasing every new shiny promotional object, praying something will work. And most of the time, they are chasing the wrong things that will never work. Once you focus on your ideal customers, where they are, and what they need and focus on doing a few activities really well, you will see great results.
What they actually need is creativity, because they are so busy grasping at everything that the creative well has run dry. The passion is gone. I’ve so been there, believe me! They are cranking out soulless guides or bland social media posts or boring blogs (if they even have energy left to do these things) that lack the unique and strong voice I can instantly hear when they tell me why they do what they do. All this busy-ness results in burn-out, not new customers. With my guidance, they reignite their spark to discover that the experiences, stories and passions that they are discounting are actually their greatest brand strengths.
You don’t always need “fixing.” What you may need is an infusion of clarity, focus and creativity. (Tweet this!)
If your business is not where you’d like it to be right now, I’d urge you to stop for a moment. Take stock. Perhaps, like my son, you simply want your business to work the way it’s supposed to, or for your goals to be within reach or that your efforts are more streamlined and tidy!
See if any of these three culprits is actually to blame before you try another tool or switch directions yet again.
Image credit via Flickr