What are YOU Willing to Fight for?

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Last Monday I was really sweating it out. The colleagues of my mastermind group, all top entrepreneurs, had me on the grill.

I had just finished telling them the UnReasonablegoals my two companies were going to achieve in 2011.

And they weren’t buying it.

 

One member of our group, Michael Margolis of Get Storied and the “Dean of Story University” for businesses and entrepreneurs said, “Stefan, this all sounds cool, but it is lacking your passion.”

 

“What are you willing to fight for in your businesses?” he continued.  “What is so core to your existence that you’ll do whatever it takes to make it happen?”

Great question! I was embarrassed I didn’t have an answer, though.  And told them I would have it in a week.

The answer to Michael’s question is crucial to anyone committed to achieving the UnReasonable.

 

Look at what the citizens in Egypt have recently accomplished in just 18 days.  Tunisia.  And now possibly Libya as well as several others.

What they were willing to fight for was to have a say in their lives.  And they were willing to risk their lives for it.

Now imagine the impact your business would have when you approach it from the same perspective!

Don’t be confused with what you are willing to fight for and your company’s vision/mission statement. It is something core and dear to you and your employees.

It is what you are all about.

It’s personal.

The benefits for your business:

  • Complete Focus–with clarity on what is core to you and your business.  Your rapid response system will jump up to the situations as they come up.
  • Clear Target Market–when you know what is most near-and-dear to you and your business you’ll be clearer on whom to aim your product/service at.
  • Powerful Team–imagine how quickly you can mobilize a team around your core beliefs, once articulated.  People love following a leader clear on their values.
  • Engaged Stakeholders–those whom resonate with these core beliefs will most likely quickly jump on board.
  • UnReasonable Achievements–with a powerful why there is no telling what the ensuing energy and inspiration will create.  It might even amaze you!

 

Knowing the impact of having an answer to Michael’s question, I spent the week contemplating what I was willing to fight for. I meditated on it and ran it past several people. And got tons of coaching on it.

And after several long days of turmoil, I suddenly got it.

I am willing to fight for those committed to being the best they can be with the environment and society.

 

 

Immediately after writing this down I saw how my entire life has been devoted to working with those committed to this crucial purpose.

 

And the hairs on the back of my neck were standing up.

 


Action Steps for the Week

Planned out your business goals for the year? How do you feel about it?  Feel like you’re playing UnReasonably?  Super-excited about achieving them?

What are YOU willing to fight for?  If there were only ONE thing that is the most important to you in regards to your business, what is it?

It’s that thing you will protect with everything you have and too sacred to leave behind.

Be with this.

Come up with a list of possibilities. Narrow them down by asking yourself: which of the (first) two on your list is more important?  The next two?  And so on until there is only one left.

Then be with this one core thing you are willing to fight for until you feel it.  Feel the energy and passion around it? No feeling, go back and try again.

And when you get it you will know.  Your creative juices and energy will start to take your body over. You will more easily create a new set of goals and?go to UnReasonable lengths to achieve them.

Just have your seat belt on!

 

The Problem with Free Introductory and Sample Sessions

If you’re a coach, consultant, or service professional, it’s possible that you offer some kind of free introductory session, sample session, or complimentary consultation. Indeed, this is the primary method of “marketing” taught in some coaching schools. It goes something like this: “Go offer free sample sessions to everyone you know. Ask them if they’d like to continue coaching. Some will. Congratulations, you now have clients!”

And you know what? Some people will hire you. Maybe one out ten. Maybe two out of ten. Chances are, some won’t want to pay the going rate for a coach or other service professional, some may even insist on “trading services” instead of cash, but they enjoyed your service, and they’d like “more, please!”

You rationalize, a client is a client, and you take a few under-paying clients.

Now you’re somewhat busy (though not making much money), so you go find more people to give free intro sessions to. And the cycle repeats… you give umpteen free sessions to find a few clients who might not even be willing to pay your rate, much less stick around for the long term. Invariably, they leave about the time you find your next new client, so it feels like you are just spinning your wheels.

And it’s getting harder, not easier. You’ve exhausted your initial list of friends, colleagues, acquaintances, and other warm contacts, and now you’ve got to go meet complete strangers you hope will hire you.

You give free sessions to friends of friends. You offer sessions to people you meet at grocery stores. You network like a maniac. You blog. You tweet. You give introductory sample sessions, and just in time, because the first people who hired you have now run their course, so the new clients are just replacing the ones leaving through attrition.

Congratulations, you’re broke and exhausted. Welcome to self-employment.

What went wrong!?

Let’s take a look:

1.      You used the scattershot method of marketing.

You didn’t wait for people to identify themselves as prospective clients; you simply went out and found people who could fog a mirror and agree to a sample session. The result is that now you’re trying to convert prospects you didn’t even really attract in the first place! It’s more like you “attacked” them – by putting them on the spot to do a “free sample session” with you. [Read more...]

Cutting-Edge Approaches to Getting More Clients in 2010

When it comes to getting more business, it’s amazing how many coaches continue to “hunt” for new clients using the same strategies that were used 5-10 years ago!

To be successful as a coach or consultant, you need four main skills:

  1. Coaching/consulting skills.
  2. Business skills.
  3. Marketing skills.
  4. Selling skills.

In my experience and observation, most coaches and consultants fail to be successful because they lack general business skills, marketing skills, and selling skills. Some of them may even be “allergic” to business development, marketing, and/or selling. I know I used to be! [Read more...]