As side hustle entrepreneurs, you're on a mission to make money. If you're on a mission to drop the hustle and just be an entrepreneur then your hustle needs to have purpose. If you're an entrepreneur like me then you sometimes operate without fully knowing the purpose until it hits you. That'a what happened to me yesterday.
Let me say this before I move on. No one can tell you what your purpose. I can tell you, if it's JUST to make money you will be forever hustlin' no matter how little or how much money you make.
My broad stroke purpose has always been to help people. It comes from my core value of empathy. So much so that I'm working on a plan to coach future entrepreneurs coming out of the foster system for free. The thing is, however, I never stop to think about the underlying factors of my broad stroke. Again, until yesterday morning.
Bare with me while I give you a little back story. I've been working on self-discipline the last five weeks because I'm in recovery. See, I'm a workaholic. I have a hard time walking away from projects once I get started. That's because I'm in my happy place of creating content for others to use.
Here's a prime example. This weekend out of the blue I decided to create a marketing and audit planner to go with my market research guidebook I finished a couple of weeks ago. I finished my branding guidebook five weeks before that. They're easy for me to write and create because they coincide with my coaching modules. They also allow me to be creative without having to be artistic.
Nevertheless, while being in creation mode I'm tied to my desk all day. That constant sitting on my fat ass allowed me to be undisciplined in other areas of my life. That had to change. I decided the best place to start my self-discipline journey was to make healthier choices (get off my fat ass). One of those healthier choices meant I had to move something on purpose, not just because it jiggled.
So as not to get discouraged at not losing 10 pounds in one day, I went for the micro win. I set a goal of five exercises, five reps each, in five minutes for six days. At the end of my first week I didn't lose 10 pounds. I didn't feel any lighter. I did, however, accomplish my goal. With that micro win under my belt I set another. Every week I would increase everything by one until I get to 10.
Yesterday I started my 7th week with a new goal. I had accomplished my goal of 10 exercises, 10 reps, and it takes more than 10 minutes. I still don't SEE any change. I still don't WANT to exercise on purpose. But, I still GET UP every day and make it happen. What I do notice is that I can get up from the floor a lot easier than when I started. I can now jog in place for a whole minute instead of 15 seconds, which is saying something for a 55 year old big girl with bad knees and asthma issues.
I know you're wondering why is this crazy woman telling me all her business. I'm telling you because it was at the end of my new morning routine that a thought kept nagging at me - meet them where the are.
When I meditated on it a little longer I began to think of young, as in new to business, entrepreneurs who chase folks down. All this exertion spent because they want people to pay them for their goods and services. They push products and/or service with no consideration for targeting the right people. No thought is given to the value of what they're pushing. I could go on but the bottom line is they don't know how to meet people where they are.
It's no different than me on my self-discipline journey. I knew I wasn't ready to go full on beast mode. That didn't stop people from thrust products and whatnot at me. They could care less where I was in my journey. I on the other hand, had to meet myself at a point that was comfortable but challenging.
I know in my last blog post I talked about going after the clients you want. Now I'm adding don't run them down trying to offer them something they're not ready for. Also, don't go after a target you're not ready for. By that I mean piecing something together and calling it a premium offer.
THE SWITCH UP
I believe the thought for 'meeting them where they are' began to form when I was researching sales funnels for a client. I needed something to anchor his understanding of being a great salesman to being great at marketing. During our session we talked about how he get's someone to buy. Since his sales focus deals with C-Suite types, he gave me a demo of his different approaches between Button-down Bob versus Chillin' Chelsey.
Everything about how he approached them changed. His various personas were so convincing I was ready to buy from him and I didn't need anything. His entire demeanor changed from tonal speech to his physical presence (zoom session). It was a thing of beauty and it's great for selling someone else goods.
THE ANCHOR WHAT YOU KNOW
His skills as a salesman keeps him in demand. Knowing that he's a killer salesman and not a marketing guru, I had to meet him where he was. At his heart he could sell snow to an eskimo without much effort and that's great. Now we had to harness those same kills and use them to become great at marketing. As we continued to talk about the process of his sales strategy we found it. That thing he could anchor too.
Taking that piece from his sales strategy and anchoring it to developing a marketing strategy will make the the difference in his transition to full-time entrepreneur. Since his upcoming business venture has nothing to do with sells but everything to do with kids and churches his approach will feel unfamiliar for a while but because of his determination for his next move it will be easy peasy.
On the flip side I have experienced clients who refuse to accept what I was trying to tell them about marketing. They want to do it their way. It's my fault because I when I see someone who has the potential to build a great business I latch on. Now I know I wasn't meeting them where they were.
I venture in and out of various facebook entrepreneur groups. Trying to find people to help. Time and time again I see people making offers with no regard for making any real type of connection. They expect you to cash app them after telling you to DM them for pricing. Some attempt to pull at heart strings by telling you their sob story of 10 kids, no car and somebody shot my dog. Save it for your country music debut, sweetheart.
These are the same people who will solicit and expect to build a business off of free advice that doesn't align with their non-existent business model. They ask you to follow their insta and facebook pages with no regard of whether you fit their target market persona or not. That's if they even have one. This is what keeps them at the low end of the hustle pole where they make little to no money.
It's in me to snatch up all my entrepreneurial babies and shake 'em til their teeth rattle. Since these are grown folk, however, I can't do that. That's why that resonating message put a mirror to my face today. I'm on a mission to consistently meet people where they are in their journey to full-time entrepreneurs.
My family often hits me with the heavy sigh when I become that content creation beast because it comes with its workaholic girlfriend. The two of them make me late for dinner, keep me up all night, and I already told you about getting fatter. All because I want to see a finished product that may help someone. Yeah, patience is another discipline I need to work on. Anyway, before I even begin to market my newest thing, I'm off creating something else. That's how I ended up making the planner. I was supposed to be working on the social media guidebook.
My content creation helps me stay true to my sub-purpose, especially during this time of pandemic. At some point I'll create an online course for the introverts but right now I prefer to actually connect with people. I know that everyone who needs or wants a business coach can afford it so I will continue to create guidebooks based on my coaching content that are affordable. I also know that everyone can't afford sessions or relate to Tony Robbins, so that's why God created me.
I know there are coaches out there who want to sell you the six-figure dream, help you create your magic unicorn course so you can work from anywhere or tell you to create a premium product so you can sell one $1,000 item instead of one hundred $10 items. I don't consider it my job to blow smoke up your ass like that. As a coach it's my job to make you the best version of your entrepreneurial self as possible.
I want to meet you where you are and see how I can help. I continuously educate myself so I'm ready when you get here. I don't want to see anyone give up on their entrepreneurial dream. Instead I want you to prop that bitch up with a drink in her hand and sit her on the front porch. Wait, isn't that what you do with crazy? Well, don't people accuse you of being crazy for chasing a dream to start a business? Well there you go. Tell me when and where you want to meet so we can have the drink.
Phyllis Williams-Strawder is a Certified Business Coach, published author, and 20+ year veteran entrepreneur. In addition to CKO Creator, she is the hybrid publisher for Espresso Mischief, the creator of Spresso Mischief Designs, and co-host of the Chasing Dollars Making Sensepodcast.
Phyllis' published works outside her coaching business include That Damn Girl Stuff: A Mother's Truth and Far From the Tree. Some of the books she published for others are, SPICE: The Variety of Life, written by her husband, Morgan Mischief, written by her daughter, Song of Solo, written by Cybill Aros-Pearson, and Book of John, written by John Pye.
Phyllis has a degree in business with an emphasis in personal finance. She is an alum of Goldman Sachs 10K Small Business Executive Program as well as the Leadership Long Beach Institute. She is a former member of the Long Beach City College Culinary Advisory Board and a certified bbq judge.