Updated: Oct 12, 2021
I just jumped off a call with an entrepreneur in the music education industry today and one in the marketing industry some weeks ago, and the struggles they share are the same. In fact, all entrepreneurs who reach out to me practically share the same struggles.
Hence, I have decided to list some of the advice I gave them with you here:
i) Ask yourself what is stopping you from achieving your goal
The answer they give me is always a lack of time. But every time, we find out that it's because these entrepreneurs are doing the wrong thing with their time.
For example, if an entrepreneur is struggling to acquire better leads, it's often because they've spent too much time nurturing the wrong leads. On the other hand, if an entrepreneur is struggling to spend more time on marketing, it's pretty much guaranteed that it's because their current marketing efforts do not garner results.
ii) Cut things out
Cutting things out is a scary thing to do, but this is the thing that allows any entrepreneur to grow. If you're struggling with low income, chances are you're doing tasks that should be done by someone else with a lower rate. Furthermore, you might be looking for business in the wrong place.
A lot of the entrepreneurs who reach out to me acquire their clients through word-of-mouth. Surely, these clients are relatively easy to close. However, entrepreneurs then find it hard to increase their rate. They start wondering if the reason is that they haven't pushed out enough ads or if they haven't been doing marketing right. My answer? It has nothing to do with that. It just shows that your current clients aren't the right clients for you. An easy-close shouldn't justify you taking them on. Instead, spend your time growing your reach and attract the right audience. That's how you start taking control of your rate.
iii) Be more selective
That brings me back to my old but timeless analogy - I know how to mop a floor, but that doesn't mean I should start mopping floors for my clients. That is the same when entrepreneurs start offering services just because they can, not because they should.
One of the main reasons for many entrepreneurs to uptake random tasks and change the course of their already weak branding is the lack of stability. The lack of stability becomes a motivator for them to take on what's available first. Instead, I see the lack of stability as an opportunity to be more selective. I would recommend entrepreneurs abandon one-off tasks and projects that only fuel their wallet short term and grow their brand awareness with things like content marketing long term. Focus on the services that have a good profit margin and invest in relationships that will grow!
iv) What do you like to do, really?
Entrepreneurs get lost in their daily grind. The thing is, they end up further and further away from their passion and ultimately lose sight of what made them an entrepreneur in the first place. If you want a stable income, go back to your 9-5. But if you want exponential growth that reflects your value, be an entrepreneur!
Entrepreneurship requires sacrifices, but that does not include doing what you like. Take a break, write down all the services you provide and identify anything that you hate doing. You'd be more than surprise there isn't much of a reason for them to remain on your list anyways.
Though I am a content marketer by expertise, I find myself helping these high-quality leads deal with their entrepreneurship problems way before mentioning anything that has to do with marketing. What I find particularly interesting is that those who have jumped on a call with me describe me as a housekeeper. They realize their business and ideas are in a big mess but have no clue what to do. But after speaking to me, they know how to organize everything better as an entrepreneur, with marketing frameworks such as the content funnel. That is one of the reasons why I provide consultation services. A simple 30-minute call can change someone's perspective, and that gives me a rewarding feeling.