The post in which I break you open and poke at your tender bits with the business-end of a pointy stick

The post in which I break you open and poke at your tender bits with the business-end of a pointy stick

Settle in.

Take a deep breath.

This will only hurt for a second.

Ready?

Good.

I am calling bullshit on half-assery.

On half-way-ness.

On excuses made to cover a lack of care and effort.

Because half-way is useless.

And prevalent.

And toxic.

And I’m done with it.

There is no half-way.

Doing something is not always better than doing nothing.

Good enough is never truly going to be good enough, unless your version of success can be defined as a life that’s just “good enough” too.

no halfway

People come to me all the time and ask, “What am I doing wrong? Why is no one buying my thing? Why am I not making ends meet? I’m trying SO hard. Fix it. Pleeeeease.

But what they are really asking is, “I don’t want to do X, Y, or Z. Because they seem hard, or I don’t want to spend the money. Or I don’t have time for that. Or I think people who do those things are [insert judgmental adjective here]. I would like for you to tell me how to keep doing what I’m doing NOW, but get more clients in the process. And I would like for that to not cost very much. Because I’m going on vacation and need to save for that. And I don’t have time to learn something new.”

My response is usually not what they want to hear, because it’s most often:

Are you active on social media?

Have you invested hours and hours and hours into forging relationships with the people who can help you in your industry?

Have you spent a significant amount of time and money NAILING an amazing brand?

Have you taken classes to learn the stuff you don’t understand?

Have you hired people to do the stuff you just can’t deal with?

Have you offered your thing for free to as many people as possible to make sure it’s viable in the first place?

Have you fully and completely evaluated your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats?

Do you know who and what you’re competing with?

Do your business cards look like you made them at home [because you did]?

Have you asked your past buyers what they thought about working with you?

Are you attending events that can help you connect and collaborate with complimentary businesses?

What have you done lately to engage with the audience you DO have?

And most importantly:

How many things did you do TODAY that scare the ever-loving crap out of you? [click to tweet]

Because that’s what it takes to get from where you are to where you want to be.

I don’t want to hear that you hate blogging. Blogging works when you do it right. Posting twice and forgetting all about it is not cause for saying, “I tried, it just didn’t work for me.” What works for millions will just not work for YOU? Oh. Ok. You’re the great white whale of marketing. My mistake.

And I should know.

In my first year as a “blogger” I wrote nine posts and whined the whole time about my lack of traffic and how I couldn’t think of anything to say.

I STILL forget about Twitter about 60% of the time.

Perfection is not the goal here.

But putting every ounce of your guts into fixing what’s broken, practicing what scares you, and giving new things a chance IS. [click to tweet]

Because hmmmm, let me think on some OTHER magical way to reach millions of potential customers for FREE.

Because you are NOT the white whale of marketing. 

And I am not Captain Ahab. But all the whining DOES make me want to acquire a harpoon.

You need to be blogging. And Tweeting, and Facebooking, and Instagraming, and PRing, and Advertising, and Events-ing, and Networking.

Now before you throw, “I don’t have time for all that!!!” rocks at me…

You don’t have to do ALL of these things. Let’s say you have to pick two or three.

But here’s the kicker, you have to go All. The. Way. In.

I can GUARANTEE you that if you picked three of these items, and did them with regularity and intention for one year, your business would look like a completely different animal when you come out the other side.

Because there’s power in regularity.

And there’s growth in practice.

And consistency = telling the people you interact with that you are here for the long haul. You’re reliable. You offer value always.

When people ask me for ‘tricks’ or ‘trade secrets’, my response is always the same:

Just don’t fucking quit.

Start something and keep doing it.

Invest where you have to.

Find a way.

Because occasional blogging/tweeting/posting will get you occasional engagement.

Occasional PR will get you occasional attention.

A half-assed website will get you half-assed clients who want to pay half-assed prices.

Full time income from your business is not something you will ever achieve from half-way efforts.

It’s about intention and commitment.

You have to commit yourself deeply to finding either the time or the money [you don’t actually need both, but you DO need one or the other] to get from where you are to where you want to be.

And it’s not supposed to be easy.

And it’s not supposed to feel good.

No one starts a solo business going, “Golly, I can’t WAIT to spend $5k on a website.”

No one starts out thinking, “I sure hope I get to be that asshole who has their phone in their hand every single second so I never miss an Instagram opportunity.”

No one ever quits their job while pumping their fist in the air and chanting, “I’m gonna get to tweet ALL THE TIME now!”

This shit is hard. And expensive. And sometimes boring. And often confusing. And it takes a boat-load of teeny-tiny seconds adding up to days and weeks and months and years before any of it will matter to anyone but you.

But here’s the good news. There IS a magic formula for exactly what you need to not fail. Because businesses that flop have exactly one thing in common: Lack of capitol.

Full stop.

So, make sure you have enough of that, and you’ll be fine.

I bet you feel better already.

When you are just beginning, capitol comes in one of two forms: Time or Money.

If you have half of the money you need, you’ll fail.

If you have half of the time you need, you’ll fail.

You need enough of both to actually make it.

If you have more time than money:

You can get really, really good at social media and grow your reach. You can invest those precious minutes in reading, learning, testing. There’s PLENTY of free info out there. All you need is google. But you still need some cash for things like branding and product creation and business management. There’s just no way around it.

When you lack a lot of money, but have a lot of time, your biggest asset is patience. You are on the slow road. Getting to success will take longer because you won’t have the funds for a lot of front-facing spiffyness. So get comfortable. Your business will happen if you stick to it, but you have a lonelier, quieter, more resourceful road ahead. Know that you are building an unshakable foundation brick by brick. When the world discovers you, you will KNOW you’ve earned every inch of your success.

If you have less time and more moola:

You can hire a really, really good designer and copywriter and look polished and professional right out of the gate. You can pay a VA to manage your social media. You can join masterminds attend conferences and events. And you will get to what feels like success a whole lot faster.

But you have to be careful. When money is your primary asset, it can get really easy to skip over the hard stuff. To pay others for everything. To lose authenticity. To forget about the basics like really learning who you serve and why. Having financial capitol is a luxury, for sure, but plenty of well-funded endeavors fail too. Because people can smell it when you do too much too fast. When slick design is covering for lack of substance. You still have to carve out enough time to discover the core values and assets in what you do.

But if you don’t have either, you might be pointing your ship in the wrong direction altogether.

You might not be ready for this.

You might not be cut out for entrepreneurship.

You might want to think about getting a job until you can build up one of the two.

And that’s ok.

100% a-ok.

Because the alternative is the half-way business.

The alternative is years of limping. And scraping by. And begging people to help. To fix. To waive our magic wands and make it better.

It’s a life filled with scarcity. And scarcity attracts only more scarcity. [click to tweet]

Desperation attracts… uh… not one damn thing.

If you want to be in business for yourself sustainably and profitably for the foreseeable future, you need to be ready for a marriage.

You need to be ready for compromise and conflict.

Cost and reward.

Challenge and grace.

No excuses.

Nowhere to hide.

You need to know what your assets are and how to use them.

You have to be ready to spend your capitol – both time and money – on this and only this, until it’s running under it’s own power.

Half-way will not get you to working from a laptop on a beach.

Half-way will not get you to a six-figure income.

Half-way will not wrap you in the warm embrace of abundance.

You have to go all in.

Every chip. Every favor. Every penny. Every minute.

You have to be willing to not sleep until you get it right. To stay up and fight it out.

To not buy those boots you are lusting after because your business needs a logo more.

Starting something, growing something, nurturing something – anything really – from a houseplant to a child, to a new company – takes every inch of you. [click to tweet]

Abundance requires sacrifice.

Abundance requires risk.

Abundance requires love.

And love requires that you break yourself open and give all you have.

There is no half-way.

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Braveblogging2

This post is part of The Bravery Blogging Project we are hosting here at Makeness.

To learn more about the project, participate in it, or read some of the remarkable posts by others, check out all the details here.

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