3 things you should do if you want your business to fail
I feel like I’ve been in business long enough that I’ve learned some lessons.
Anyone in business for like a month has probably learned plenty of lessons.
Like, DIYing and bootstrapping everything is hard AF. That being an entrepreneur gets kinda lonely. And that it’s way too easy to eat all day when the kitchen is 10 feet away from your desk. #sendhelp
You see, I’ve started two businesses now: a health coaching business and this – my favorite, cherished, spoiled second born – a copywriting business.
I started my health coaching business when I was a bright-eyed, bushy-tailed, brand-new entrepreneur. Fresh out of the cubicle farm, full of motivation, determination, angst. Ready to take on any and all challenges (and challengers).
But I had a LOT of mindset issues (oh, what’s that? still do…) that were really keeping me from blossoming into the world-taker-overer that I wanted to be.
I fell victim to the if-you-build-it-they-will-come belief. I never told people what I did. I hid behind my computer (and fridge) all day long.
And I wondered why my business wasn’t taking off the way I wanted it to. Le sigh.
Keep reading for my advice on the three things you should totally keep right on doing if you want your business to fail.
Don’t ask for a sale.
We all know we don’t have a business if we’re not making money. Yeah, sure, you might have a snazzy website, tons of followers on social media, maybe even a very legit LLC situation going on.
But if you’re not making money all that stuff just adds up to a ridiculously expensive hobby. Like, more expensive than getting your equestrian on. (Horses aren’t cheap, y’all.)
If you’re not regularly asking for a sale or promoting your business, well…I hate to break it to you, but people might not even know you sell anything. They might just see you as that weird person on social media who’s always posting pictures of salads with silly captions. (Oh, hi, that would be me…)
Which makes it even more awkward when you do randomly ask for a sale or talk about your latest offer because people are totally surprised. Like, they thought you were a pro bono health coach or something? Or you’re just obsessed with salads?
Look, it can be super uncomfortable to ask for a sale. But isn’t it more uncomfortable to not be making any money at all? To be faced with the possibility of going back to corporate life? To give up on your hopes and dreams and passions? Not to be dramatic or anything.
Another thing: Reframe what selling means.
Selling can simply mean teaching people. It can mean helping people. It can mean entertaining people.
Find a way of thinking about selling that gives you the warm and fuzzies.
Besides, you’re not annoyed when you stumble across a sales page for a person or a product that you kinda sorta need, are you?
Nope. You’re freakin’ ecstatic that you finally found the answer to your problems.
Who’s to say you’re not THAT answer for someone?
You DO NOT have to sell a certain way. You DO NOT have to employ certain sales tactics. You do NOT have to do anything that makes you feel gross.
But you do have to ask for a sale. At some point or another. Sooner rather than later, preferably.
Believe you shouldn’t have to sell and feel bad for making money helping people.
Let’s think about this one logically for just one millisecond.
Isn’t making money what every job is about? You’re doing something, offering something, selling something and you’re getting paid for it.
I mean, do you think lawyers feel bad for helping clients stay out of jail? Or doctors? Do you think they feel horrible about getting paid to save someone’s life?
So why is it that we, humble entrepreneurial types that we are, have a block around this? We say we’re not in it for the money, but EVERYONE’S in it for the money.
It’s not that we want to make money. We NEED to make money. And not in a greedy GIMME GIMME GIMME way.
Because, like it or not, society kinda sorta revolves around money. You need money to live, my friend.
Shit costs money. Food, clothing, shelter – you know, those basic needs – take cold, hard cash.
Think about this, too: Did you ever feel bad, when you were sitting in your overzealously air conditioned office cubicle that you were getting paid to do whatever it is you were doing?
I’m willing to bet you actually thought you didn’t get paid enough!
So why do we adopt this mentality the minute we strike out on our own?
Yes, it’s a nice, noble cause to want to help people. A lot of us chose our businesses because we wanted to help people.
But wanting to help people and wanting to make money are not mutually exclusive.
So let’s just drop that tired-ass excuse, shall we?
You can charge money to help people. Lots of professions are built around this whole concept. (See lawyers and doctors above, plus COUNTLESS others.)
You don’t have to charge luxury prices if you don’t want to. But you don’t have a business if you’re not charging something.
Don’t give a call to action.
I know, I know. I talk A LOT about calls to action around here.
But without a call to action people just won’t do anything. Or much of anything.
I mean, even if you KNOW you should take an action, you don’t even do it sometimes, right?
It’s like that scene in The BreakUp. Remember that one with Jennifer Aniston and Vince Vaughn? Where she wants him to WANT to do the dishes but she never specifically asks him to do the dishes? (Classic miscommunication, but of course…)
No one WANTS to do the dishes. Dishes suck. Especially at my house where the water comes out of the faucet hotter than the surface of Venus.
But if you ask someone to do the dishes, that’s gonna up the chances they might actually do them.
And before you get all squirmy, your call to action doesn’t always have to be asking for a sale (or, I guess, asking for help cleaning up the kitchen).
It does have to give people something to do though. To keep them engaging with your content, to keep them on your website, to keep them interested and thinking about what you do.
Maybe it’s to leave a comment on your blog post. Maybe it’s to reply to an email. Take a poll. Watch a video. Sign up for a free consult. Forward your email to a friend. Download your freebie. Share your post with a friend. Follow you on Instagram. Like your page on Facebook.
There are sooo many calls to action that don’t involve selling.
But, between you and me, those other calls to action, that ones that aren’t directly asking for a sale? They’re STILL selling.
They’re a part of your overall marketing strategy and getting people to know, like, and trust your brand.
So make sure every piece of content you put out into the universe has a call to action of some sort.
It’s like you’re training your audience. They know you’re going to ask them to do something. So, when it comes time to ask for a sale, they won’t be surprised because it’s not the first time you’ve given them a call to action.
Here’s where I’m going to give YOU a call to action: Spend 10 minutes thinking about what you’re doing that’s not serving you and your business. Are you wasting countless hours tinkering with your logo? Are you hesitant to launch a website because you’re afraid of what people will think? Are you waging war against some major mindset demons?
Come up with one thing, just one thing, you can change for the better that will move your business in the right direction. Maybe it’s asking a graphics-savvy family member to design your logo. Maybe it’s accepting and taking imperfect action. Or maybe it’s setting a weekly check-in with an accountability buddy.
When you’re done, come on over to the Facebook group and tell us all about it. Can’t wait to hear what comes up for you, my friend!