Stop Making Your Boss Rich
I worked as a marketing manager for corporations for 10-plus years before I realized: I could selfishly use my skills to sign my own ticket into success. Now, I’m all about giving, but this is one selfish move I had to consider.
After all, it’s been said that:
[bctt tweet=”Entrepreneurs who market their businesses find more and better clients and end up making more money. “]
And I had the marketing thing in the bag. But what I soon found out was that having the skill to market is much different from having the drive and passion to turn a dream into something you can actually live on (I’m talking seafood and steak dinners, not just Ramen noodles, folks).
It’s been a daily struggle, but I’ve finally figured out a two-step process that gets me from A to B in my business: have faith in my talents, push forward to achieve my dreams and stay the course. Sounds simple enough, right?
Here’s the details of the three-step process:
(Proceed with caution, friend, this could send you into client overload!)
1. Believe in your greatness
The first step to growing your business is quite easy. You gotta believe you got somethin’ worth selling!
You know that “specialness” I talk about all of the time. When you’re the boss and the face of your business, what you’re selling is YOU. So you have to believe in YOU or you won’t really be able to aggressively market your business.
I watched Steve Harvey talk to T.D. Jakes a few weeks ago and he called himself the most “’fearful fearless dude you’d ever meet.” Wow, now that’s powerful. Fear trips up all of us, but you must know when to believe in yourself enough to keep pushing toward your goal.
I talk to a lot of entrepreneurs and here’s what I’ve heard from you:
- You’re afraid you won’t make enough money to keep food on the table.
- You’re afraid you’re not good enough to compete.
- You’re afraid you don’t have enough money for a full-blown marketing campaign.
- You’re afraid people won’t buy from you.
It’s okay to be afraid. But you’ve gotta dust yourself off and get out there. If you fail, get back up. If you can’t get people to buy from you, keep trying until they will. If your clients leave you, look at it as a lesson learned.
2. Be relentless
Remember that song by P. Diddy, “Can’t Nobody Hold Me Down”? That’s your new anthem! Here’s the attitude you need to have to be a successful entrepreneur:
“You’re not going to let anyone or anything stop you from reaching your dreams.”
Now, sometimes that’s easier said than done. Put down that “I can’t handle the pressure” hat. And use these self-esteem exercises to get you through the rough times:
- Own your swag.
- Make a list of all your strengths as an entrepreneur and as an individual.
- Look in the mirror every morning and say, “Damn, I’m amazing!”
- Shake off the haters and spend time with your “swag lovers.”
3. Stay focused
To wrap up, stay focused. Confidence is attractive, so get your head in the game.
Prospective clients can smell desperation and insecurity. So drop it. Once you do that, you’re ready to market your business and land your dream clients.
Why am I so confident it’ll work for you? Because you know you’re awesome. That. Is. That.
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Apryl, this is a great reminder of what it takes to push past self doubt to make big things happen. Thank you for writing this post. I an invigorated and renewed just by reading it!
Thanks! Self doubt can be crippling … if you let it get the best of you.
As a small biz owner, I know that the fear can surely get in your way and “You gotta believe you got somethin’ worth selling!” is, indeed the first step. I should add, being grateful for the progress I’ve made and the loyal customers I currently have has brought me to a new level of business. Practice gratitude daily and you will see your confidence grow. Best! Elaine
Elaine – thanks for the add. Practicing gratitude is a very important step to add.
Great article. I particularly like ‘be Relentless’. Absolutely! Every, single, day. Do whatever it takes to get the most important things done. Schedule everything around that goal, and keep doing it.
Thanks Stewart! It’s not always easy, but you’re right … every day you gotta push.
I love the “Own your swag” statement. It’s so true…you’ve got to bring the real, authentic, one and only YOU to the table. People want businesses that are transparent, real and who really want to connect. Great reminder…thanks for sharing!
Sherree – thanks for your note! Owning your swag is not only helpful for your business but also so much easier than trying to be someone else!
Great article Apryl, and resonates very well with me. There was an article some time ago on either Inc or Forbes website about being an entrepreneur. It had a clever metaphor, and I’m paraphrasing here: Being an entrepreneur is like sitting on top of a lion, people look at you from a side and are amazed at what you have accomplished by sitting on top of a lion. But deep down inside you think to yourself “how in the world did I get on that lion and how do I stay without being eaten alive.”
Being good at your specific skill or craft is great and necessary, but when you get in business for yourself you have to understand that now you’re the CEO, HR manager, accountant, janitor, security guard, an intern, etc – all in one – on top of your specific skill. Thanks.
What a great metaphor – I love it. Thanks Viktor!