In my last post I shared the things that can BLOCK YOUR WEALTH. Today, you’ll learn how to boost wealth using scarcity.
In your business, you want scarcity in your offerings not in the amount of profit. What does that mean? Maybe you've heard marketers use the words “sales limiter.” An example of a sales limiter is when a store says a certain deal is only available for a limited time. You need to make a purchase within a given timeframe to get the deal.
A sales limiter you’ve probably seen before is in the fast-food industry when a company offers a new or special sandwich or drink, but only until a certain date. Ex. The Cadbury Egg McFlurry at McDonald's is only available around Easter. Another one is when the Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte comes out in Fall, people go crazy!
The scarcity in demand for a product in your sales pushes people to make a purchasing decision. This is a good sales strategy.
Lucky for you there are many types of Sales limiters. Here are three of them:
1. Time Limiters
Imagine I said that this blog post was only going to be available until tomorrow. I bet you’d read the whole thing right away. Imagine I said I was doing a live online workshop and there wouldn’t be a recording available. More people would show up live so they wouldn’t miss out.
Limiters push people to take action right away: action with their time, money, and energy; especially if they’re on the fence about it.
If you had a free resource or download where people had to enter their email address to view it, and that download was only available for a limited amount of time after they signup, there’s a higher probability they’d open the email right away. If you let them view it forever, there’s a higher chance they won’t ever read it.
So, a limiter is putting a scarcity in either the timeline you can get something, the amount that you can get in a discount, or the number of people that can get it. Limiters are amazing for helping people make a decision in the buying process.
In any buying decision, people only have three choices: buy now, buy later, or buy never. When there is a limiter in place, they won’t be able to make the decision later because it will be gone. They need to choose to buy now or buy never.
2. Quantity Limiters
You can also do a limiter on the number of deals you have available. For example, the first 100 visitors to the store that day get a swag bag. Or there are limited quantities of the product in-store.
You've seen the craziness that happens when new Apple products are released. People line up for days because there is only a limited number of products available and they want to be one of the few to have one.
When I was younger it was the Cabbage Patch dolls. My mom queued to get me one of them at Christmas. She remembers it very clearly and so the doll actually had a higher value in her eyes.
When there is demand in the economy for a specific item, it creates its own scarcity and pushes you to run and buy it, or hoard it. It’s like the run to get toilet paper during COVID-19. People thought that it was going to be scarce, so they panicked and bought as much as they could. This was scarcity of quantity pushing people to feel the need to buy.
3. Limiters for Stage Offers
This also happens when you're doing an offer from the stage. You make your pitch and offer it at a discount for a certain amount of time or a fixed number of people. For example, the first five people will get a particular added bonus.
You can also add a limiter to those who buy the lower-end package or product. They don’t get the bonus unless they buy the bigger package or product.
There can also be specials when people pay for the whole package or product at once and not in installments. So, if they pay in full, they get a special bonus or add-on. Maybe free delivery or a dollar discount. This is how you can make scarcity work for you.
Don’t use scarcity to bully
Scarcity in your offers push the customer to make their buying decision quicker. A majority of the time this is fine. But not everyone likes this and some will buy and then regret their decision.
That’s why I suggest if you have a limiter, put a guarantee on it so people can pull out if they regret their decision later. This could be a 30-day money-back guarantee, for example. This way if someone feels that you’ve pushed them psychologically to make a decision that wasn't in alignment with them, then you can show integrity by allowing people, if they haven't consumed the product, to return their purchase.
So, flip your mind on scarcity to abundance. It will open up possibilities to help you move forward, in life and in business. And, when you're going to make an offer, don't feel nervous about creating a limiter in your sales. That just helps people to make their decision and you need to trust that if people don't want your product or service, then that will help them to make a very conscious “no” and walk away.
But if they do want the product, or if there is a piece of them that wants your product or service, the scarcity of the limiter will help them to make a more immediate decision. It will help you to work together and, if you’re working in integrity and you offer a great product or solution with your services, the outcome will be a great benefit to them.
It really is a win-win solution. It makes people jump and move to make their decision. Scarcity in your sales is good, but scarcity in your mindset is not. Make sure that you know the difference and that you’re in a place where you're making a conscious decision to use it in the right way for your business.
When you can use scarcity in the right way, you will help more people, boost your sales, and stop hindering your success.
Until we chat again, stay dynamic!
Scarcity will either block your wealth or boost your sales. It’s all in how you use scarcity in your business.
How is it that one concept can both hinder and help you? That’s what we’re going to look at over the next two weeks. In this article, I’ll share how a scarcity mindset can prevent you from reaching your full potential, then in the next post I’ll share how you can use it to boost your sales in an ethical way.
What kind of scarcity do you struggle with?
Where do you feel scarcity in your mindset?
What is it doing to you?
If you have a scarcity mindset in your business, you may believe that there aren’t enough clients to go around. Not enough money for everyone. What this ends up doing is putting you in a place where you don't feel your full value because you're constantly doing these things:
1. You get Comparitis: You're constantly comparing yourself to others. And so, rather than focusing on yourself and staying in your lane, you start looking at what other people are doing, what they’re saying, and what they’re selling. You’re pulled into a scarcity mindset that’s distracting you from what you do well and what you really need to focus on.
2. You get desperate: You don't feel like there are enough customers out there and to land these clients you drop your value and prices, thinking that will win you the sale. You get desperate and you think, “I’ve got to charge less for that. I can't really charge as much because there are not enough people out there. I just want people to buy in so I'm going to drop the pricing.” This thinking rarely serves you.
Before the next point, ask yourself:
3. Your ROI (Return On Investment) with your current money is limited: Scarcity mindset also restricts your behaviour, because chances are you're going to hold onto your money tighter. If you have scarcity in your business, you're going to hesitate or refuse to invest money in working with others to move your business forward. We know that investing in support to delegate tasks or hire employees can help you move your business forward, but if you’re not willing to invest in that help and you choose to do it all yourself, you’re going to get overwhelmed quickly.
That scarcity mindset is going to have you holding on super tight to every little penny that you make and that doesn't keep the world’s economy spinning at all. You're not going to think of it as “investing”, instead you're going to think, “That costs money. I'm spending money. I'm losing money. That money is going away.”
So now it’s super clear how the scarcity mindset is a really great way to block your business & personal success. You’ll compare yourself to others and it will make you devalue yourself. You will block your wealth in many ways and it will lead to you not investing in yourself and your business which is crucial for growth.
So, how can scarcity also be a good thing? I’ll cover this in the next blog.
Until then, stay dynamic!
You’ve been there right? Sitting at a networking event where you’re getting the hard sell from someone and you’re not really interested in what they have to offer, but maybe you’re too polite to just say no and walk away?
It happens online too, when you get a strange friend request or follow, or someone sends you an email or direct message. You’re getting a salesy, unsolicited pitch that is just too awkward.
Last week I shared some of the worst direct message pitches I’ve ever received. (Click here to read “The Most Cringe-Worthy Salesy Direct Message Pitches I’ve Ever Received!”)
To avoid coming across as spammy and too salesy when you contact new prospects online, here are some great tips.
Tip #1: DO NOT lead with your own agenda
This one should be pretty basic, but is often forgotten. What are you leading with when you start a dialogue? Are you leading with your own agenda? Or are you leading with something that would be for them?
Connect with them, remind them where you met, give a compliment or share what you have seen them do.
Many of the next tips will help you focus on sharing how connecting with others online is less about you and more about them.
Tip #2: Be sure your “Friend Request” isn’t just to pitch
Friend request and properly connect before you offer, not 5 minutes later. And if they don’t know you maybe add a personal message sharing why you want to connect.
Read on to see what to do on the receiving end of a friend request.
Are you skeptical and cautious when accepting friend requests from people you don’t really know? I’m sure you have people want to friend request you often. Sometimes it’s because they genuinely just want to follow along with your updates. Other times it’s because they think you’ll be more receptive to a sales pitch in a private message.
Have you wondered…If they want to friend you and you don't personally know them, then what's the point of accepting their request?
I will say yes to their friend request if we have people in common, I recognize them or if they’re women, because that's my ideal target market.
I friend people when we have a lot of friends in common because I figure they would be a good connection. This is true since I trust my friends’ opinions and oftentimes we have other things in common.
It might be good for your business to friend people, for example, I work with high achieving women, so I will generally friend female leaders and female business owners faster than men. This is also because I do get unsolicited messages from the men coming in, such as “Hello beautiful”.
You can have 5000 friends so friend people and but do your due diligence. If you want to accept a friend request from someone, then you need to make the decision of whether that’s a good decision for you or not. For me it often is, because I do business on Facebook.
Have your own criteria for accepting friend request.
Tip #3: Give permission not to answer
I got this message the other day, “Hey, Diane, I know we don't know each other but I'm expanding my business in your area. And I was just curious, would you be open to taking a look at what I'm doing and make some extra weekly income? If not, no big deal.”
What I like about this is having permission to not answer her. So what did I do? I had a quick look to see what she does and I didn’t answer. Messages ended.
But sometimes, when you don’t answer, people will come back later and say, “Hey, you didn't reply to my message,” or “Hey, I'm sending this again, because you haven't replied.”
Coming from a business owner’s perspective, it’s not always good to just ignore private messages on places like your Facebook business page. If you ignore, or take too long to respond to a message on your page, it messes up your response rates. I.e.: that badge or message on a Facebook business page that says how long it typically takes for the page to respond to private message. By not responding it could drop my response rate, making me look like I don’t respond quickly to my messages. Not good!
To easily reply, sometimes an emoji happy face, a Thumbs up, or a “thanks” will be sufficient.
So, if you give someone an “out” not to respond, don’t follow-up with a “Why didn’t you respond?”
Tip #4: Connection. Connection. Connection.
The biggest indicator of a spammy sales pitch on the horizon is awkwardness, or just plain weird messages that have no clear intention or understanding of who you are. This means you have to look to see if they have a true connection with you or if they’re fabricating one.
Some people may use the question, “What do you do?” to get to know me better. But when this information is so readily available online, it comes across as lazy and disengaged. In my mind, that's them making me work.
Before you reach out to anyone, have something specific about them to talk about. Don’t just talk about you. I don't know how many times I've had someone email me telling me how awesome they are.
I'm glad you're awesome. I’m clapping for you. But I’m probably not buying from you.
Instead before you reach out to someone have a topic that is worthy of connecting about.
Years ago I got this email that started with, “Hey, Diane, I love what you're doing.” She went into some specifics, then said, “If I can take the words from your own website, ‘I tell it, like I see it.’ I see that you're doing such great work in the world. But I feel like you could be reaching more people. I'd love to do that for you.”
And then she went on to explain a little bit more about what that looked like.
What was my response? I emailed back and said, “I like that you're ballsy enough to say that to me, and to say it with some humor and acknowledging me. You’ve showed you’re actually getting to know me, and you've taken some interest and some care and attention to connect.”
I ended up hiring her and worked with her for many years.
Tip #5: Acknowledge something you admire about them
One of the easiest ways to connect is to acknowledge the person in a genuine way for something that you admire about them. It’s like that radio station everybody's listening to: W.I.I.FM (aka “What's In It For Me?). That's what everybody is listening to. If you can tune into what’s in it for the person you’re connecting with, then they may listen and may reply to you.
For example, maybe you see Oprah and you say, “Hey, Oprah, feature me in your magazine.” Or, to Jennifer Lopez you say, “Michelle, can you connect me to a few people?” You wouldn't do that!
Instead, you could walk up to either woman and say some of the following,
In this case – you’ve got my attention and I’ll read more of your email.
Tip #6: Engage and follow before you reach out
If you want to be a guest on my show, the Dynamic Women Podcast, if you want to be an expert trainer for the Dynamic Women community, or if you want me to promote what you do, don't just say, “Here it is. Can you do this for me?”
Imagine you’re at an event and you see someone you don’t know flash a smile at you, then they come by and look at your table, then they say something nice and ask for your card. Then later, at the end of the event, they come back to you and say, “Hey, I'd love to have a conversation with you.”
Are you likely to have a conversation with them?
Yes, because they've been smiling. They've been saying nice things to you. You’re going to give them the time to chat. Right? You're going to do that because you felt a connection with them. You want to reciprocate their kindness.
Would you like people to do these actions before they jump into your inbox and before they come into your messages on Facebook, LinkedIn, or Instagram?
Tip #7: Small talk has its place
If it’s with genuine intent to learn a little more about someone, or to remind them where you met, or how you know them, then small talk is a great way to get started.
I often get emails like this, “Hey, Diane, I'm [name]. ‘So and so’ said I needed to get in contact with you.”
Ok, this is a good start, but I still need context so I’ll ask what they’re contacting me about.
This is an example reply I received…
“Well, you talk a lot about confidence and I do a lot of work around that. I just wanted to know what you're up to. And I wanted to get to know you.”
Okay, fair enough. So, we’ll have a conversation.
This works, because it’s small talk with the intent to get to know each other and establish if and how you should be connected. If they just said, “I want to talk to you about confidence because I work in that area too,” I wouldn’t be as receptive.
Where to get started
First of all, start getting on your prospects radar:
Later, when they reach out in a private message or email, I'll take notice. It’s like warming up a lead before getting down to business.
The second thing is to find out what’s important to them. Not what you think is important, but what is actually important to them. You’ll learn this by listening to some of their videos or podcasts and reading what they’ve written on their website, blog, and bio.
One thing that's important to me is helping women in shelters. I donate money, pajamas, underwear, and even my books to women in shelters. This is important to me.
If someone came to me and said, “Hey, Diane, I have a way that we can help more women in shelters, I would love to share that with you,” there's a good chance I'm going to listen. Because it's about something that I really think is important.
So, in a nutshell, when reaching out to a new prospect:
Now that you know these things, how are you going to show up differently? Are you going to change how you “pitch” to others?
Share your insights (or some of your stories) in the comments below.
Until next time, stay dynamic!
There are few things that make me cringe more than getting unsolicited pitches over direct message on social media. And it’s usually with people I don’t know at all. It’s annoying and yucky!
So, today, I’m going to share some of the “best” (read: “most cringe-worthy”) direct messages that I’m sure I’m not the only one to have received. And I’m going to share what you can learn from them so you avoid doing them.
Interestingly, I’ve had a couple of clients and women in my online community in the past few weeks ask this question:
“How do you approach social media contacts (Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram etc.) without appearing like a sleazy salesman… especially if they’re a new connection.”
We’ve all had it happen to us (and maybe we’ve inadvertently done it ourselves). You become friends or get a new follower on social media followed by a near-immediate direct message from them that you can just tell isn’t genuine. It’s too salesy or pitchy and you didn’t ask for their offer or even let them know what you’re needing.
Two questions come up:
Today, I’m going to share six of my all-time favourite ways I’ve been pitched over direct messages on social media. Tell me if you’ve gotten any of these:
Pitch #1: Hi, how are you?
We’ve all received those impersonal “conversation starters” over direct message. Often they are a spam bot, or someone who doesn’t know how to properly reach out to a new connection online. When I get these messages, I am not in a place at that moment, potentially, to have a conversation. I’m probably not going to engage in a full conversation with this person I don’t know and I’m not sure I even know why they’re trying to contact me. It’s just so open-ended. How do you even respond to that? “Great”, “Fine thanks”, or maybe “I’m good”?
Then they may follow up with “What do you do?”. Oh no! If you looked at my website, if you looked at any of my profile bio, you’d know what I do. Don’t make me work because you want to talk to me.
Don’t make connecting with you hard because you're the one that wants to connect with me. You need to say more. Woo and entice me! If you're going to reach out to someone, say more!
Pitch #2: Hey, have you thought about optimizing your website?
Let's get into those unsolicited offers. This is when someone messages, emails, or sends a Facebook, LinkedIn, or Instagram message and they say, “Hey, Do you want to optimize your website?” or “Do you want to get more leads on Facebook?”
Well, who doesn't? Who doesn't want these good things? But it doesn't mean that I'm ready to enter in a sales conversation with you about it. Because I don't know you. It was unsolicited and, again, impersonal.
What do you lead with?
The first few words should aim to get a connection. Ask yourself, “What is the most genuine thing I can lead with when I’m messaging this person?” “How can I bring them value?”
Because when people lead with things like, “You need to optimize your website for more clients” or “You can increase your Google page rank”, it’s unsolicited and kind of presumptive that I need these things. My favourite (insert eye roll here) is when people have no clue who I am or what I do and say, “I can teach you how to be a speaker.” Or “You can be trained to be a coach through our program.” When I am already both.
Look at it this way. You’re hanging out at a concert and a stranger walks up to you and says, “Do you want to buy this watch?” What do you say? “I’m not even in a watch store, I’m here to watch the concert. Don’t bother me!”
It’s the same as when people try to sell you things on social media private messages when you didn’t ask for them. Your first few words to me should not be a solicitation. I'm not in your store. If I am in your store, then please, by all means ask me if I need help finding my size dress or ask what I’m looking for. If I'm on your website, then a little chat box or bot can pop up offering to help me and that’s ok, because I’m on your website looking for what you offer.
Do not pitch in that first message.
What about informing someone of an event or something coming up that they have or would be interested in? I’m ok with this. For example, I will message someone (who I know or have met) and invite them to come to an event within the first comment. But with those I don't expect a reply. If I ever message you an invite to an event that looks like it was copied and pasted en masse, I’m totally cool with you not replying to me. Why? I see this like an email newsletter with info in it where you can choose to reply or not.
Pitch #3: Diane, can I speak to your community?
I get these messages all the time: “Diane, I have a really great topic that your community wants.” Well, how do you know what my community wants? Have you asked me about it? Have you attended my events?
Again this person is leading with their own offer. They’re not looking for a connection or leading with anything that I should care about.
At Dynamic Women, there are lots of live in-person and online events. Anyone who’s attended an event, or even read the event descriptions, can see that I don’t have guest speakers. I don't know how many times I’ve received unsolicited offers to speak to my group. I don't have speakers. I never have speakers.
The only time I’ve ever got close to having speakers is when I’ve done an event with a panel. But I get people from my community for those spots, or ask my community who they would like to see.
When someone offers to speak at my events, it’s clear that they haven’t looked at one piece of my content on my website. They didn’t look at my meetup event listings. They didn’t take the time or care to see what my business really does with Dynamic Women. Because, if they had, they would know that I never have guest speakers for the live events. That's not what Dynamic Women is about.
For a while, I was responding to these messages by saying that I don’t have speakers but it was so time-consuming, so now I just delete them. If you're not going to take the time to notice the structure of my events, I'm not going to take the time to write back to you.
Pitch #4: I love what you’re doing
To build connection and get the attention of the person you’re reaching out to it’s great to give a genuine compliment or share what you like about what they do.
However, I often see people sending generic compliments like this, “I love what you're doing to help others.” or “I love how passionate you are about what you do.”
While these are nice things to say, they could apply to nearly everyone. If you're going to say that you love what I’m doing, give specifics.
For example, if you wanted to be on the Dynamic Women Podcast you might send me an email that says, “Hey, I love what you're doing. I listened to Episode 34 and I really resonated with your comments about [insert specifics here].” Or perhaps, “I love when you brought on [insert name of a guest speaker]. They were so knowledgeable, and it showed that you take great pride in choosing your podcast guests.”
In just the last few days I received six of these emails and not one mentioned anything about my podcast only about how great they are or the person they’re representing is awesome so I MUST have them on my show.
I did have a stand out video message that was similar to the positive example above and I booked her on my show. (You can listen to Kris’ interview here.)
Pitch #5: …If you’re interested…
I get lots of messages that start with, “I love what you're doing to help others. I’d love to share how you can triple your leads for your business, if you're interested.” In this case I’m not super annoyed as there is no hard sell here, but it’s not specific enough to show that they truly know me or it isn’t just a bot.
I don't know how they're going to share that with me. Are they going to send me a report? Are they going to give me a mini course? Are they going to share a free webinar with me? Or are they going to sell to me? I don't know.
So again I have to do the work to engage.
Pitch #6: Hey, my name is…
Here's another good one, “Hey, my name is [NAME here].” Ok who is that sentence about? Them or me? It's about them.
It continues, “I help coaches scale up and generate more leads and conversions through their website traffic.” Ok, that’s great, so at least they're telling me what they do. I’m not sure why I should care yet.
They continue on with, “I know you're busy. I just have a quick question. What has been your biggest challenge in getting clients through your website? Your input will help me better serve my clients.”
So, this person I didn’t know wanted me to help her serve her clients. I’m confused. Posting this in a FB or Linkedin group would be ok as anyone can comment or scroll by. Should I have stepped into my coach role to support her? Nope, I just didn’t reply. Is that rude? No it’s about creating boundaries with my time.
So, now that you see what DOESN’T work, how can you approach new contacts without turning into the people above?
How can you contact someone without being salesy or pitchy?
What is the best way to connect with people so they know that you care about them and that you're not trying to sell to them?
Check back next week to learn the secrets. Until then, stay dynamic!
What are three things that make you unique?
On the blog last week, we talked about how being “vanilla” isn’t necessarily the best path for growth. I suggested that you find your unique combination of qualities and skills that will make you stand out. Today I’m going to share a way you can discover what these three things are so you can be as unique as your fingerprint.
What three words best describe you?
I recently went on my Facebook profile and asked people to share things they think I’m good at or passionate about.
I could have also phrased this as, “What three words best describe me,” or “What three adjectives would you use to explain me to someone else?”
It’s always good to get that third-party perspective. A 360-degree survey is a great way to get honest feedback. I help my clients do these surveys to be their filter, because sometimes it’s not always easy to take the feedback. I help them see the truth and the essence underneath their answers.
If you were to ask the same question to your network, what do you think they’ll say? How will they describe you? You might be surprised! A recent client of mine was surprised when people said she was “calm”. She said she doesn’t feel calm, but others got that vibe from her.
What three words do you want to be known for?
If the feedback you get shocks you, maybe your audience is describing your essence and not your brand. When it comes to business, your brand and essence need to be in alignment.
I did a 360-degree survey for myself and the top answers I got were things like:
I thought this was great feedback, but what could I do with this information? I looked for ways to use this in my business to help me stand apart.
I encourage you to ask yourself three questions:
What makes you stand out? How can you be unique? How can you actually step up and stop being vanilla and start being extraordinary? How can you be someone that people remember?
What makes you stand out? How can you be unique? How can you actually step up and stop being vanilla and start being extraordinary? How can you be someone that people remember?
When it comes to your business, you want people to remember you so when they need your product or service, you're going to come top of mind for them.
Also, how would it be if when you enter a room, you’re the one people want to approach. How would it be if you were the one seen as friendly and standing out in a way that people are like:
Once you step into and embrace who you are and you show up that way, that’s when you will stand out and see your business and life grow.
Don't ever compare yourself to others and feel that you need to change to be like them. That would be like being vanilla, because you're going to take away all the “flavours” that make you unique.
There are millions of flavour combinations in this world and you need to discover what your unique combination is. Spicy or salty? Sweet or savory? Bold or subtle?
Tell me in the comments what your three words are. If you don’t already know, ask your friends or on social media. Ask them what three words best describe you.
If getting feedback like this makes you nervous, let me know. I’d be happy to help create a 360-degree survey for you that’s anonymous so that you can get the understanding and the growth that you're looking for. Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll make that happen for you.
In the meantime, keep being you and loving yourself fully. Show up as you and not as your title. Be the unique version of you. Be the most flavourful version of you. Be extraordinary. Don't be ordinary. Don't be vanilla.
Show up as who you truly are, so that you can have the business and life success that you're looking for.
Until next time, stay dynamic!
Let me step back a bit before the vanilla lovers start to hate. Vanilla is good stuff, but in business you need to stand out and chances are “vanilla” isn’t going to stand out in a sea of hundreds of flavours.
Let’s continue the ice-cream metaphor for a moment…
Think of your favourite ice cream shop. They’re not necessarily famous for their vanilla ice cream. Everywhere has vanilla, but it’s the shops that have unique flavours that stand out. Maybe it’s jalapeno, pistachio, or an earl grey ice cream. Flavours that are a little bit different.
Today I’m going to share why you need to stop being vanilla in your business, and why it’s important to add your unique flavours. You could be a plain Jane but that won’t help you boost your business and your life.
It is important to be extraordinary. You might be thinking, “Oh my goodness that’s hard!” Let me rephrase: you don’t have to be extraordinary in every single thing you do. I'm not saying that you have to come from a place of perfection every minute of the day.
Instead, think how can you stand out by being you. Where are you unique? What makes you different?
The only way that you can be different is by actually knowing what makes you different. Just like our fingerprints are all different, so are you.
Focus on what makes you stand out, not what makes you better than others. This helps you come from a more authentic and genuine place. Try saying to yourself, “I am unique and my uniqueness is what makes me different. It's the piece that people are willing to pay for”.
When you are in alignment with being extraordinary (AKA being yourself), you’ll find life much easier because it’s far less work to be yourself than to follow along blindly on the same train tracks as everyone else.
The train tracks of life
I often relate living life to riding on a set of train tracks. You can ride the train in one of two ways.
The way society often thinks of being on a specific set of train tracks is based on your career. Your track is named for your type of business, your job title, or the title society would give you like stay-at-home-mom, wife or other role or title you hold.
There are hundreds of thousands of other people on that same track and that can confine you to staying stuck on where that track goes and how you should be on it. The trouble with this and focusing on what you do rather than who you are is that “vanilla” people follow others on the track and are not noticed by the onlookers.
The issue is that when you ride your train, it’s not a straight track:
Through it all ONLY YOU REMAIN THE CONSTANT; your title does not.
This is the other way you can ride the tracks of life.
Being on that track is important and being on that track as who you are is what will make you stand out. How you respond to the tunnels, mountain edges, and ups/downs will distinguish who you are.
Can you relate to that? Can you see a time in your life when you were on the track that was based on titles and you were just chugging along with the crowd? We’ve all been there. Me too!
Now if you’re trying to constantly jump tracks, trying to hop on new trains, that’s hard. You have to rebuild that momentum every time. Instead, what if you stayed on your own tracks, but traveled along them in your own way? Hmmmmm…
Which of the two options do you choose?
YOU need to be the constant.
Who you are is more important than what you do. What makes you unique is key. If you’re an introvert, don’t panic because I’m not telling you to become an extrovert. That’s not who you are. I am encouraging you to push outside your comfort zone to find what makes you different.
What makes someone impactful?
Think of famous people who have made an impact in the world. For me, Mother Teresa comes to mind first. Think of this person and think of a couple of words you’d use to describe this person.
Even though you may have never met these people, you can describe their essence. Here are some examples for me:
I encourage you to think about what makes you uniquely you. It could be something in your appearance, your personality, or something you do. This combination will be unique to you.
Think again about what makes you unique. What makes you stand out.
I recognize this kind of deep introspection can be difficult for some of us so next week I’m going to share how you can get some help to find your unique persona.
Until then, stay dynamic!
Last week I shared how coaches can become better coaches by hiring their own coach! But that’s not always the case. Sometimes it’s not the right time for coaches to hire a coach.
The main reason being maybe you have too many “cooks in the kitchen” and are working with enough other counselors or business advisors already. If you do, that’s awesome! I have many clients who have advisors or counselors, as well as me. As long as they are helping you get ahead in all the areas of your business and your life. Otherwise get the support of a coach.
I’ve had clients come to me and after hearing their story and goals, I sometimes suggest seeing a career consultant. For example, I had a woman come to me and say, “I know you work with business owners, and I want to move my business forward. I want to bring someone in to have a partnership on this business. And perhaps start a direct sales company.” In this case I suggested that what she actually needed right now was a business advisor.
To best help this client, I referred an advisor that I personally knew, liked, and trusted so she was able to get the legal strategy and the agreements that she needed.
In another example: I sadly knew five women who lost their husbands to cancer this past year. It’s heartbreaking and I simply can’t imagine what that’s like.
I was able to refer some of these women to a client of mine who was a grief counselor. In this case these women didn’t need my services as a life coach because they really needed processing time and space to mourn the loss of their spouse..
As a coach myself, I help others find their own answers, but I know that sometimes you just need to be told what to do, right? Sometimes you just need a coach, and other times you need to be taught or told what to do.
For example, right now I’ve got different people teaching me:
Maybe, coaches need coaches
Click here to And the final argument for whether coaches need coaches is for the “Maybe” crowd.
First, ask yourself these questions:
I know many coaches who are committed to their craft. They achieved the right ICF (International Coaching Federation) approved certification and still they’re not ready to learn more. They think they are where they need to be. That is their choice, but it’s the fixed mindset and it can catch up to them. Plus for all of the reasons I mentioned for “yes” gets lost when they’re unwilling to keep growing.
What do you think Diane?
I believe that I think no matter what industry you're in, there's always room for improvement. There's always a way to adapt. I like to say, “When you stop learning, you stop earning”.
What do I ultimately think? Well, there are way more reasons and benefits to the YES crowd. Ultimately, it comes down to why someone needs a coach. I’ve had fantastic personal and business success working with my coaches and I believe everyone in the world could benefit from having coaches, consultants, mentors, and teachers in their lives.
I also don’t believe that once you’ve had one coach, you’re done. Try different coaches with different levels and types of expertise and methods for coaching. Some coach heavily on mindset, others on dealing with loss, others on life-balance, process coaching, and so many more niches.
Many coaches can coach you through any situation, but they often have a niche specialty, and you need to jive with the coach and coaching style to see the best results.
Do YOU need a coach now?
If you’re curious whether you need a coach or advisor, I offer a no-obligation conversation to help you determine this.
If I’m your best fit for a coaching relationship, then we can work together. If not, I’m happy to refer you to others who may be a better fit. Book a 15-minute chat at dianerolston.youcanbook.me
Until next time, stay dynamic!
Clients ask me all the time if coaches hire their own coaches. I’ll give you the answer now: it’s Yes, No, and Maybe! Yes, all three! As a coach I can’t tell you what the answer is for you because you need to discover the answer inside yourself.
In Part 1 of this discussion, I’ll talk through the reasons for YES!
Before I explain these three points of view, let’s briefly clarify the difference between different “coaching” relationships you may have experienced before.
Coaches vs. Consultants/Advisors vs. Mentors
Many people get confused between these relationships so I’m going to start by clarifying the differences:
We invest in coaches to help us discover the answers inside ourselves. Coaches don't lead you on a predetermined path but instead will help you to discover the path to the answer you want.
For example, when I show up to work with a client, I come from an unbiased place to help my client come up with their own answers to really explore and process their emotions. However, occasionally a topic will come up that is very tender to me. For example:
In both these situations, the coach may have personal opinions and emotions about the topic and needs to work extra hard to ensure they don’t impose their own views and beliefs on their client. That’s a prime example of why a coach needs a coach: So they can work through their own crap so they can better help others!
Here’s why coaches need coaches
When you hire a coach, you want a coach who is stepping into their own greatness too! If they spend all day focusing on helping other people, who’s there to support them? Their coach!
Coaches need coaches so they can:
Coaches can better help their clients when they too are growing. As their clients grow, their level of coaching needs to up-level with them. That’s why coaches are more than just “trained”. Many are Certified Coaches, PPC-level coaches, or MCC-level coaches. Their clients’ ability to change and grow depends on the coach’s ability to coach.
As a coach, if you’re not growing with your clients, your clients may surpass you and seek someone else to work with who has the right abilities to help them thrive.
Getting a new perspective
When I get coached by other coaches, I'm put into that client perspective, and I get to receive, but I'm also hearing the way they coach. I'm noticing some really cool things about the art and skill of coaching by watching how others do it. I’m adding to my tool belt.
For me, I like to learn by the experience of being coached by different people. No matter your profession, it's important to play the student or client role once in a while to stay grounded. When I work with my own coaches, I'm reminded what it's like to do the work. It’s my chance to be vulnerable, to be pushed, and have these experiences.
It's so much cooler to say to a client, “Hey, we're going to work on your life purpose statement. And this is mine,” because I was actually coached through that process. Or I can say, “As your coach, I'm going to help you to meet your future self. I've also gone through that experience, because another coach has taken me through it.”
If you’re a personal trainer it makes sense for you to create your own exercise programs. But because of the nature of coaching, it's really hard to create your own coaching session for yourself. Coaches dance in the moment, deciding our next question based on the last answer.
What happens in coaching is we go up and around, and then we have to go back and then we come in, then we go in a straight line forward, and then we jump back and then we go really deep, and then we come up so it's all over the place! It’s difficult to truly coach yourself because you can’t be in two places at once. You can’t give the questions and then answer them.
You can liken it to one of these scenarios:
I love this quote from Les Brown. I don't know how many times I have been in the frame and couldn’t see the bigger picture because I was in it. And the crazy thing is, the answer was right in front of me. But I kept going around. And then sometimes the answer became even more clear, but I still felt lost.
It wasn’t until one of my coaches said, “Well, isn't it this?” that I realized it was right in front of me. We are often blinded by our own beliefs, thinking that things need to be bigger or more difficult. Yes, I’m speaking to the perfectionists who think that if it’s not hard, it’s not worth doing. If this is you, take a step back, outside of the frame, and look at the bigger picture.
Getting the accountability
Coaches feel compelled to serve others, and often other people's agendas take precedence or other people's needs take priority. And we all, regardless of our profession, get reactive to what's coming in our emails. We get reactive when seeing new opportunities, and let go of our own goals, dreams, and wishes.
As coaches, we need to have someone hold us accountable and just say, “Hey, you need to get this done!” After all, if you don’t believe in yourself, hire someone who does. Hire a coach who actually believes in you and can help you push forward.
But this isn’t the whole answer to the “Do coaches need coaches?” question because there are times when coaches do NOT need a coach themselves. Check back next week for that answer.
Until then, stay dynamic!
“Pull up your big girl panties,” she told me. Early on in my business, one of my advisors told me, “Diane, pull up your big girl panties and make some big girl decisions in your business.” Why did she say this? Because it could get me more clients, more success, and more money.
When we start our careers, we are really good at what we do. Based on the book The E-Myth by Michael Gerber, we go through three stages in our business:
The 3 stages of my business
When I got into my career, I wasn’t standing in the CEO role. I wasn't stepping into the Manager role. I was the Technician: I was good at my craft and I showed up, but I was making emotional decisions rather than business decisions.
How did that show up? Well, I felt the emotional urge to help everyone. I often got close to my coaching clients and, when they ran into trouble, I gave them extra support, even if they couldn’t pay.
If I was living the CEO role, I would have had business-focused rules around that. So, the phrase “put on your big girl panties” really applied to me. It pushed me to step into that bigger power role (the Manager or CEO), step into that business space and make those tough decisions.
In the early stages of my business, my actions and decision-making were not reflecting the CEO role. They were reflecting the Technician, the one who is passionate about what they do, is close to the work, the one whose heart bleeds for the client.
Have you ever done this? Have you ever thought like you're doing something truly amazing in your business that’s helping people, but you’re not really considering if it’s a good business decision?
Using Key Performance Indicators
To help you move from Technician to CEO, look at measurable Key Performance Indicators. What are your profits and losses on this product or service? Get ruthless and cut out things that just don't fit. Ask yourself three questions:
Are you working on the weekends when you don't want to? Are you working with clients that you don't want to? Are you doing different tasks or agreeing to different projects that you don't want to do?
Make decisions that serve your goals
Make decisions that serve you and your clients. Be sure that you’re making decisions as a person who is pulling up their big girl panties: making choices that serve your goals.
We can easily get distracted by shiny objects and new opportunities. When you look at each shiny object through that CEO lens, and not as the Technician, you can better determine which opportunities to take. And then at that point, you can say, “You know what? Nah, I'm not going to do that. Because that's not serving my goals.”
Does this shiny object or opportunity meet your immediate goals? If not, pull up your big girl panties and say no. Sit in that CEO role.
I get that you have a big heart and want to work with everybody, so make a business decision that satisfies that need. Maybe you create a scholarship program or create some boundaries on giving. Perhaps you give away programs to a set number of deserving students, or you donate 10% of your profits to a foundation or charity. That is a strategic business decision, not an emotional decision. You’re setting boundaries.
I’ve set boundaries like these in my business. I have two sponsored spots in my business where, at any given time, I invite up to two people to work with me at a reduced rate that they can afford because, otherwise, they would never be able to work with me. It’s for people I have a desire to work with and who desire to work with me. Because this is a CEO decision. I am better able to coach them to a point where they can grow enough to move out of these sponsored spots and afford my full rate.
And if someone comes to me and asks if those two spots are filled, I won’t be tempted to offer more sponsored spots because I have made a business decision that there are only two places. This rule applies whether you are a solopreneur, a sole proprietor, or even if you're incorporated and you are the only one in your business.
Stop making emotional decisions now!
How many times do you need to pull up your big girl panties? Do you need to make these hard decisions? Where do you need to make them? Are they serving you? Are they not serving you?
To hear my business advisor tell me to pull up my big girl panties was like a slap in the face because I wasn't doing it! I was totally making emotional decisions. And it wasn't just hurting me and my business, it was also hurting my clients.
Next time you need to make a decision in any aspect of your life, I hope that you make ones that serve you, serve your goals, and serve your business or life decisions.
Until next time, stay dynamic!
If you’re feeling that life’s a bit crazy right now, you’re not alone. Today I’m going to share seven different ways to keep your business and your life moving forward during the recent Coronavirus restrictions.
I’m going to provide you with some tools and strategies to get the most out of this time that we’re in. There has been so much panic around Covid-19 and it’s starting to negatively impact all areas of our personal lives and our businesses.
I get it though. It’s hard not to panic when major newspapers like the New York Times quote things like, “This week, it’s all gone to hell!” Granted it’s been a very tough week, but this negativity is not what we should be feeding our minds. Every time more cases are announced, our doom and gloom feelings also increase. And even on social media, we’re inundated with virus stats, presumptions, and unsubstantiated claims. People are panic buying and hoarding unnecessarily, and it’s taking food and supplies away from our most vulnerable. Yes, it’s all overwhelming.
To help balance the chaos and misinformation, today I’m going to share the seven ways to keep your business and your life going during this time:
1. Don’t panic. Change perspective
We have to change our perspective and really tap into how we’re feeling right now. Even if you’re not panicking, you need to tap into how you’re feeling. If it’s not a perspective that is supporting you, helping you, or keeping you in the right frame of mind, you need to pivot. Change it to a new perspective.
Instead of thinking to yourself, “I’m being restricted! I have to stay in my home. I have to isolate and I don’t like this.” How could you change your perspective? You could say “I’m going to the cottage with my family and we’re going to play games, have fun, chill out, relax, and sleep in!” Doesn’t that already sound much nicer?
Try on a bunch of perspectives and you get to choose which one you want to move forward with. Ask yourself what is your current perspective of the situation? What’s your new perspective? What are you going to choose going forward?
2. Don’t go out. Go inward
Don’t look to outward things to bring you calm and to make you feel good. Going out to concerts, bars, restaurants, and parks are not going to serve you right now. Instead, go inward into yourself and really reflect on what you need right now.
Do you need meditation? Prayer? Sleep? Reading? What about a course you’ve been meaning to do? Maybe you want to spend time with yourself. Look inward to see what you really need because that’s where a place of alignment is going to come from; where your inner strength is going to come from. This is what’s going to really support you when you move forward in life.
3. Don’t grumble, Show gratitude
Grumbling doesn’t serve anyone. We all know those people who complain about the weather today, and something else tomorrow. All this attitude does is welcome more grumbling, more negativity, and more stress into your life. You are doing yourself a disservice by focusing on the negatives.
Instead, show gratitude:
4. Don’t focus on symptoms. Focus on systems
You might be listening to the news and then notice you have a little sniffle. Maybe you feel a bit tired or warm. You’re focusing too much on the possibility of those symptoms, when in fact you should be focusing on your systems.
By systems, I mean positive habits. What habits in your life do you want to change? What things in your business aren’t going well? Focus on creating systems to change your habits and routines?
Do you need a system for your taxes? A system for your health? A system for eating better? A system for getting more clients? A system for your social media?
Now’s the time to create those new practices and lock them in. Systems make the world and life business rules so much better. Focus on these systems and stop focusing on the symptoms.
Yes, you need to self-monitor. Yes, you need to check-in on yourself and your family. But once you’ve checked in, move on, move on to something else, something that’s going to help you when we come out of this time.
5. Don’t lose your cool. Love on your family
Don’t freak out people. Don’t be rude online. Don’t be the horder at the grocery store. Don’t be snippy with people. Instead, focus on the love for your friends, family, and even strangers. Now is the time to show kindness. Now is the time to love on people and do things to show you care. Write some cards, call a friend, have a zoom date, or just do something that shows your love for others. One thing that I’m doing with my clients is I’m reaching out to them. And I’m checking in with them.
6. Don’t suffer. Ask how you can serve
Don’t sit there and put yourself into this place of suffering. Don’t just sit at home and not use this time wisely. Instead, turn it around and ask, “How can I serve?” Put that negative energy of suffering into action.
How can you serve others right now? Do your neighbours need you to grab groceries for them? Are there people online who need your services?
I really like live holding events, masterminds, and training and so many of them were live in-person because there’s so much community and connection that is built when we meet face to face. Now I’m looking to move those in-person events online with video conferencing systems like Zoom.
7. Don’t be concerned. Get creative
Stop being concerned about every single thing that’s happening. Watch the news, get your information and move on. Put your energy into being creative. Are you going to get creative in how you cook, in quilting, or in photography? Could you turn something you do normally in-person into an online course?
For example, I got creative when I had to cancel a live event in Ontario recently. I moved it to an online platform and opened it up to the world so more people could be a part of it. I gifted it to everyone! Why not? Why not bring the community together because when we feel part of a community, the stress and pain can go away.
Looking back, how many of these seven things have you already implemented in your life or business? Which one(s) will you move forward with? Even if you can only pick one right now, how much better would your life be?
If you have more ideas of what you can do to stay positive and productive during this time in our lives, let me know in the comments or send me an email. We can share the love and share the ideas more freely with everyone else.
If you need a little help right now, I’m gifting strategy and coaching sessions right now if you email me at email@example.com.
So until next time, make sure you’re staying safe, and stay dynamic!
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