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Showing posts from August, 2022

Getting a Job Isn't Failing at Business

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  Sometimes solopreneurs find job opportunities appealing enough to take some of their time and energy away from their businesses in favor of the job. Recently, I had a person ask if taking a job meant that they weren't committed enough to their business and should close it down. My answer has more questions than resolutions. I want to know more. Are they ready to be done with their business? Do they need the steady income and regular structure the job provides? Have they been considering closing their business? Do they need to hire help or add partners? Unless you want one, there isn't a straightforward yes or no answer to this. Then my answer is yes. I also want to highlight that every business has a lifecycle; sometimes you reach the end and have decisions to make. Does the business model need to change? Is there another value that can be developed for the market you serve? Again, no direct or easy answers. I have more to say in the Coffee Break, but I also want to add that

How Not to Work With a Creative

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After getting ghosted on a copywriting job I was hired for by a colleague, I have some things to say about the professional treatment and attitudes you need when you work with creative contractors. It shouldn't amaze me anymore to see just how little creative talents and professions are valued in the marketplace. Anyone who has ever mastered a craft seen as artistic or creative is not treated with the same level of professional respect as a janitor. We're routinely asked to undervalue our work and accept prices that don't cover basic costs. We're asked to deliver perfection on the first try. We're asked to work under ridiculously short timelines. And then when the client doesn't apparently like what we're doing, they don't even give us the courtesy of a phone call? Sorry to say that this doesn't speak well of their business practices, and it makes me wonder how they treat their clients. I'll be slow to refer anyone to these people; before this, I

Pay No Attention to the Man Behind the Curtain

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Or rather, don't pay attention to my ten-year-old blog site, last-minute copy on my sales page, and disdainful approach to social media.  For my clients, the work is easier. I can see it objectively, find the gaps, fill them in, and we're golden. They get great results, and we're all happy. Behind the curtain, a guy throws spaghetti on the wall, lets it all fall to the floor, and doesn't clean up after himself. It's all too much! Yet another shoemaker whose family has no shoes, here I am, and my marketing is a pile of steamy. But my clients are rocking! I'm lucky to have customers who are so happy with what we've accomplished that they send people to me directly. Otherwise, I'd have no business based on my own marketing. Part of it is that I'm too close to it to be objective. Second of all, I'm not depending on the website or social media activity for business right now. And finally, there are so many other ways I'd rather spend my time than

Emotional Storms, Cluelessness, and Longing

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I've had a couple of hard days. Feeling emotions that are bigger than their trigger. Feeling clueless and unfocused as I try to show up for my work. And aware of a sense of loss that has been affirmed by a few recent dreams of loved ones who've passed in the last few years. I don't fight these days, feelings or movements. They're just as important as the positive feeling days. The reflections and insights that come through on days like this couldn't come through on days when my energy is high, my clarity and focus allow me to get things done, so there is a silver lining. I'm not worried about days like this because they always pass. Sometimes they happen ahead of important breakthroughs, or they are a way to prepare me for opportunities I otherwise would not be willing or able to consider. My encouragement to you is to just find your way through them with as much grace as you can muster. These times are not avoidable, nor are they shameful. They are just a part

Why I Won't Pay to Play

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Creators are frequently asked to contribute their talents to events, promotions, and venues, and instead of being paid for their time, talent, and craft, they are asked to pay to participate. This has been going on in the music world for years.  At some point, venue owners realized there were enough musicians who were desperate for exposure out there that instead of paying for musical performances, they would ask the musicians to pay to play. In this video, I share my point of view on what is wrong with that picture. I am begging at this point for people who host venues, events, and promotions to stop this practice. You need to work out compensation for creators into your business model. Your short-term gains are leading to the demise of your cash cow industry, and you won't be able to sustain your business with this practice in the long term either. And if you are a creator, please stop offering your time, talent, and craft to people at a cost to you that will never be compensated

Quiet Marketing with Danielle Gardner

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▼Watch and Listen Below!▼ Back in February, I made a book recommendation video for a book I had just read called Quiet Marketing: A Calm, Minimal Approach to Business and Online Visibility for Highly Sensitive Solopreneurs (Amazon Associate link: https://amzn.to/3oMCxES ) This short book is packed with essential insights, principles, and practices for highly sensitive and intuitive people who have found their way into business ownership. I'm delighted today to introduce you to the author of Quiet Marketing, Danielle Gardner. In addition to being an author, Danielle is a business mentor and tiny course creator. Her work with clients is centered around taking a calm, minimal approach to business and online visibility that is especially suited to Highly Sensitive solopreneurs.   In today's conversation, we hear about: Dani's career evolution from leaving the perks and paychecks of the corporate world to pursuing work more aligned with her gifts. Creating your own definition of

Recommended: Bittersweet, by Susan Cain

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A few years ago, I was introduced to Susan Cain's first book, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking , and was deeply affected by what she had written. She was describing my repeated experience in such accurate detail that I wondered if she'd been able to do a Google search of my thought banks. Turns out I'm just not as unique as I thought I was. My book group of two that I have enjoyed participating in for the past year has been reading Susan Cain's latest book, Bittersweet: How Sorrow and Longing Make Us Whole, and I'm having a stark sense of deja vu. She is putting my internal world on paper for the whole world to see. I've had a streak of melancholy as a feature of my existence since I was very young. I don't remember a time in my life when it wasn't nearby. It was never based on my circumstances; it was almost as if it was central to my worldview. And longing too has been a companion. I think this book will be an affir

Selling the Experience

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You may have heard the old sales trope about people don't buy the drill; they buy the hole. I take that even further and suggest that people buy the enhancement to their life from the painting hung on the hook held by the screw in the wall that was put into the hole drilled by the drill. For the creators I work with who struggle with their pricing, I like to say that your price isn't for the object; it's for the desired experience. People buy things because of the experience of life they desire. And often, they're inspired to buy when certain experiences are suggested. When I learned this for myself, playing gigs became less an exchange of attention for money, and they became a more holistic offer - the music was a part of the enhanced experience of being together and enjoying an evening out. As I started to approach gigs that way, I started to make more money both in the pay for the gig and in tips. Tips skyrocketed. This doesn't just apply in artistic circumstance

Where to Find People to Help

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I was referred to a coach early in my music career who had helped another musician friend of mine get her business started. When I hired her I found that most of the business things she was teaching were already things I knew, but the area where I really needed help was marketing. The marketing advice she gave me was great for coaches but not so much for musicians. I ended up finding some people who were ahead of me in their musical success and learning from them how to do marketing. And as I learned, I became a resource for those who were getting started after me. When my music career was disrupted and coaching became my main stream, the first people who sought my help were these musicians, the ones who were just getting started and had no clue.  If you're trying to find people to help, look for those who are a step or two behind you in the path you're on and see if there is an opportunity there for you. You are uniquely qualified in both knowledge and experience to help them.

If You're Worried About Money

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Don't make making money harder than it has to be. There are opportunities all around you. If your fancy automated marketing funnel isn't working yet and you need cash, find someone to help and charge them for it. Know how to design a logo? Visit some websites until you find someone who needs a logo, and then be bold about telling them they need to hire you. Do you know how to make an animated intro for a video? Find someone on YouTube who doesn't have one yet, and tell them you'll make one for them today for $250. Know someone on your block whose yard needs to be raked? Knock on the door, remind them about the HOA rules, and tell them you'll have it done by lunchtime. If you need money, stop waiting for it to find you, and go out and help someone, then charge them for it. Don't make it any more difficult than that.  You have time to tweak your funnel until it's humming like an Indy car, but don't allow desperation to screw everything up for you. #funnel