The lies we are being told about business are ridiculous, crazy, and keeping us confused and overwhelmed and feeling like we are failing, and I hate it.
It’s one of the reasons why I reestablished my social media boundaries last month – and I’ve been a LOT more creative, focused, and happier as a result.
Here are some of the main culprits I’ve found that are being spread online as ‘truth’ that I wanted to talk about, because I think the danger of the current guru culture where everybody else seems to know more about life than we do is a pretty dangerous thing on occasion –
and yes I’m well aware that I’m included in that, but one of my biggest aims and achievements as a coach and creative is helping you to establish a business that works for you.
These are some of the myths I keep seeing online right now that make me want to scream a bit because if you’ve begun to believe them they are probably going to keep you right where you are at, instead of moving into more joy and fulfillment from your work.
1. You have to have a six figure business to be successful.
OMG. No, no you do not.
Although yes, I have talked frequently about the fact I earned six figures in my first year as a coach and running a membership program, six figures was never the goal.
Six figures was simply a number for me that felt fun and challenging and a little bit ridiculous, something that had zero pressure around it, and I certainly wouldn’t have felt like it was something I had to do or have in order to be successful, happy or even live comfortably.
While I think every business owner should have targets in their head they want to aim for, when somebody says ‘six figures’ to me it leaves me a bit cold – it implies a number that has been flouted around as the marker of success, when really, that’s bullshit. Sorry, it just is – and I rarely, if ever, resort to swearing to make my point.
Your success is not a number, and you can be just as happy earning 2k per month as you can 10k – what matters is that you are building something you LOVE and is FUN and challenges you mentally and probably also feels like it has a purpose – because if that’s not the point, what is?!
Get clear on what your goals are really for – because if it’s just to be in some arbitrary club made up and passed down through internet marketers, it’s nonsense and it won’t make you happy when you get there unless you’re particularly money-driven, which the majority of my clients aren’t, and you most likely aren’t either.
You are not failing if your business does not hit ‘six figures’ and you can still make a pretty decent living on less, and if you DO want to hit ‘six figures’ then make sure you are crystal clear on why and what that money represents to you beyond just being a number.
2. You cannot earn money sharing your personal story.
This was shared with me recently by one of my clients and I couldn’t actually believe they had been told that!! Seeing as Liz Gilbert did pretty well sharing her story in Eat Pray Love, and Glennon Doyle Melton did pretty well with Love Warrior and Wild is one of my favourite books, which is also a personal story in case you think I’m just talking about authors, Kris Carr did pretty well with Crazy Sexy Cancer and so do about ten million ‘mommy bloggers’ and I could go on, but you get the point.
There is HUGE money to be made in sharing a story that helps people!! Yes of course you have to be smart and know how to market and build a platform which reaches people, even established ‘names’ still need to do that, but the main point is if you have a message that you want to get out there, that you feel is calling and you are passionate about it!?
It’s not actually your job to consider whether or not it will make money. It’s your job to make sure it gets into the hands of the people that need it, and the money will come as a result, but if it doesn’t then you do it anyway because you feel called to do it.
In her book Big Magic Liz (can I call her Liz? I’m sure in my head we are on nickname terms LOL) talks about how she held down a full time job right up until Eat Pray Love became a global bestseller, because she didn’t do it for the money. She did it because she loved it and believed in it and because she felt called to do it.
You don’t have to stop thinking about the money entirely, but you do have to prioritise getting the message out there, and not stifling it under fears that it won’t or it is impossible to earn money from it.
And my personal opinion?
Showing up and sharing your story right now is the ONLY way you’re going to get the level of success you want.
There is just too much competition across all industries now to create something that’s only based on or around a product or service. People want to buy from people, and if you’re not sharing who you are or your stories to some degree, you’re blending in, not standing out. Because to stand out means to be unique, and the most unique creation there is, is you.
3. The only way to make money now is by becoming a coach and / or mentor.
This one makes me deeply, deeply sigh. I only became a coach and mentor because I knew I was GOOD at it, and I knew I could help people, and even then I still very reluctantly call myself a coach.
And do you know what I would advise a client who came to me wondering if they should become a coach or mentor?
I would advise the exact same thing as if they had come to me asking whether they should write a book, or take up speaking, or create some other secondary income stream.
‘Coaching’ as a business is as hard / or easy depending on your mindset 😉 to make money from as any other business. But if you already HAVE an established business, you don’t need to scrap it all and go become a coach or mentor, which feels a bit like the Gold Rush era only fools rush in…
where everyone is actually struggling to make any real money yet can’t talk about it because the only thing that sells is the illusion of success so every coach out there is talking about how much they earn or how they have the laptop lifestyle (which actually, some of us do… but it isn’t the ONLY way and definitely shouldn’t be the only marker or measure of success)!
When actually, the gold rush era of internet marketing and coaching has WAY passed – I’d say hit peak about three years ago where thankfully I had the foresight to build my business as a coach back then which is how I’ve sustained and built a successful business – and now if you want to coach and mentor you’re entering into a super saturated marketplace.
So if you want to coach and mentor?! Do it because you love it. Do it because it lights you up.
Because that’s what will get you through in an industry which is as competitive as the next industry – and for all its talk of mindset and positivity – actually tears down anyone who fails to live up to its standards pretty savagely in full public view – so be prepared to take some pretty tough knocks along the way.
This is a business like any other – it has highs and lows and you’d better be prepared to be in it for the long haul, not because you think it’s the ‘easiest way to make money’.
And as a side note, the reason I’m successful as a coach is because I’ve toughed out the ride when it hit big lows, and because I blog frequently – I’ve figured out my own way of doing things. Which brings me on to my next point >>
4. To be Successful, You Should Follow Whatever X, Y , Z Guru is teaching (and if that doesn’t work, find the next guru until you hit six figures, insert snark here).
I have followed my current coaches for FOUR YEARS, if not more. Yep, way before the wave of current mega coaches and aspiring mega coaches sprang up, these two were here, sharing their message, believing what they believe and doing it with consistency.
And yes they hit blocks and took wrong turns and have screwed it up along the way. And here they are today, four years on, more successful and happy than ever because they kept going.
And guess what they teach? They do NOT teach ‘strategies that work’ or ‘here’s what to do to make X, Y, Z, in your business’. They teach how to grow a business that makes you happy. They teach how to build relationships and community. And what they REALLY teach, beyond that? is how to be real, relatable, and human.
And that’s why they are still around, and still successful.
They don’t brag about mega launches, or how much they earn (well, ok they do, but their results speak for themselves, it’s not their core selling point)! It’s their WORK that speaks for them. One of them has published over 40 books in the last few years. Another runs an incredibly successful membership program and gives great, timeless, business advice. And they talk about how success can be made in a ton of different ways, and interestingly here’s what they never say –
You need to become a coach, to earn great money.
Because it’s not what they believe. Any great business coach will tell you how to find the money in your business – as I did today with one of my clients where we looked at how to earn money from sharing her story – anything from writing books to blog ads to network advertising to sponsored posts to funding! – and help you find ways and strategies that work for you.
Ways that feel good to you, even though they feel like ‘hard work’ sometimes.
Because there is no guarantee a strategy that works for someone else will work for you, or whether you even want their result in the first place,
and the reason why many people who invest in certain programs or courses won’t get the results they want is because they’re trying to either follow a strategy which doesn’t really compliment them or their business;
or that they’re not truly invested in learning about but purchased anyway because it had X amount of fans or followers or reviews or whatever.
Trust me, I bought an INCREDIBLE course once about Facebook groups, and I loved the leader of the group, and it had a ton of amazing reviews, so I couldn’t NOT buy… except I have barely opened the thing simply because my baby is not running a Facebook group or running my business from a Facebook group.
Not that I’m against them, I love them to some degree, but it’s not what I base my business on -for many reasons both business (Facebook controls the group, low interaction, you now have to pay for people to see your posts etc) and personal.
Basically – it wasn’t aligned and even though it works for some people – I knew it wouldn’t work for me but I got sucked into the hype.
Listen to your gut instinct. Buy things you are genuinely interested in, the things you are already doing but you want to know how to get better at, and the things that sound genuinely like what you want to spend time on learning about.
Otherwise, it’s just an ego-driven purchase that almost definitely will result in SOME learnings, but your purchase and time will be better spent invested elsewhere.
5. Business failing? You must have a mindset problem!
Oh. Help. Me.
Now. Before I elaborate – let me explain. I get mindset. I seriously do, and if you are one of my 1:1 coaching clients you’ll know we spend an absolute TON of time on finding out what is holding you back from a belief / mindset perspective.
BUT there is also a lot of ‘mindset is the cure’ type posts floating about online from people who very obviously haven’t addressed their mindset.
And here’s how you can tell, generally.
Those people who have addressed their mindset? will be living their lives radically differently in some way. They are the ones who seem a little … different.
They’ll either be pretty wild in terms of lifestyle, opinion, appearance, business and/ or they’ll have created thing/s that are revelatory / unique / pretty special, and; they’ll also most likely have been around for a while and for the most part, come across as pretty kind, warm people!
Basically – they’re the ones going their own way, not with arrogance or ego or aggression but just simply because they’ve either worked at their mindset OR have inherited incredible rock solid mindset beliefs that have enabled them to do so.
They’re the trailblazers, not the ones churning out the same old lines about ‘kick ass mentoring’ and ‘six figure business’ and f bombs like they’re candy.
Why? Because it takes a great deal of mindset work – self belief, resilience, confidence, to take risks, to build something great, and to overcome setbacks, to be able to do any of these things.
To move to an island where you know nobody with two toddlers, to live a true laptop lifestyle, to have a ton of followers, to live a luxury lifestyle, to live a different / alternative lifestyle; basically –
to step outside the system and go against the grain and against what everybody says and believes is possible.
And generally, they’ll be kind because they know what it takes to live this kind of life. What it really takes.
I’ve recorded client trainings in planes, at airports, on holiday. I’ve moved to an entirely new country and my whole family across Europe to follow our business and lifestyle aspirations. We’ve rejected conventional education systems despite opinions of our family and friends. I’ve risen in business and fallen and risen again. This year alone I’ve had 30k profit months and zero profit months. I’ve invested tens of thousands into my business training and education, probably well over the 100k+ mark by now – at times when we had practically zero coming in.
That takes a LOT of ‘mindset work’ – and that’s why we are generally pretty kind people, because when we see someone who has also addressed and is addressing their mindset, and you can see that in the way that they live their life – we recognise it.
We know how much work it takes to live this kinda life.
How much mindset work – and what it takes, IS WORK. Mindset work isn’t some internet strategy that can be peddled online – hey just fix your mindset with my $15k program and you’ll be fixed. Mindset work is a lifestyle, something that needs working on FOREVER if you want to see the real results.
And so yes, absolutely, most people can change their lives once they embark on the ongoing work of mindset transformation.
But it takes so much more than JUST starting a program. It takes the work of self-belief, confidence, risk, the ability to rise above what others say or think or do and follow your work regardless, it takes passion and desire and the willingness to do what others wont.
Sell ebooks for a measly 0.99? not worth my time.
Send 7 emails instead of 3? People will get sick of me.
Carry on showing up when you get haters? Maybe I should just quit.
Work while I’m on holiday?? no thanks, I’m on holiday, I need a break, I have the kids etc etc.
Follow blogging when everyone else is doing webinars? Webinars will make me money faster.
Ask for the sale again? People will get fed up of me.
And so on.
Mindset alone is not a quick fix to your business woes. It takes a combination of doing the mindset work AND to do the actual practical scary -would-rather-not-because-I’m-on-holiday-type work, to be able to succeed in the way that you want, like nobody else can.
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Well, that’s about all I’ve got for you for now!
Go your own way, beautiful. Surround yourself with the people and things that lift you up, that help you think OUTSIDE of the box not within it, and protect yourself from the myths that you start to believe as truth.