11 Do-or-Die Success Tips for the Modern Entrepreneur
by Lauren Saunders
I don’t believe there is a single path to success, a secret ingredient or “fool-proof” marketing strategy that works for everyone. In fact, what works for one entrepreneur might return zero results for another.
In a time when we have a world of information at our fingertips, it can be extremely overwhelming trying to figure out where to put our time and efforts in order to reach our income goals. While one industry “expert” wants you to believe that strategically-written sales copy is the key to success, another is telling you that it has everything to do with your targeting.
If you’re at all like me, you’ve tried a little bit of everything in order to bring about your desired success and the lifestyle and financial freedom that comes with it. The good news is that the success you desire, whether it’s making your first $1,000 in business or your first $1,000,000, is available to you when you start paying attention not to what you’re doing, but rather, who you’re BEING. BE someone who already believes in what they have to offer and who is committed to not only their own success, but the satisfaction of their clients and customers, and allow the specific action-steps to reveal themselves to you along the way.
Follow these 11 do-or-die business tips for success and trust that everything you need to be hugely successful is already here, already available, and already within you.
1. The ONE thing all successful people have in common is not their strategy, but rather their mindset.
This is a topic that deserves it’s own blog post, but the way you THINK is truly the thing that determines how successful you’ll be and how quickly you’ll get to enjoy that success. Empowered, confident thoughts lead to taking empowered, confident actions towards your goals. Confidence is an energy that people are drawn to, and feeling confident in yourself and what you’re doing will put you into alignment with abundance, success and your entrepreneurial goals realized.
If you don’t feel confident in yourself or what you’re doing, go to work there first. Why are you lacking confidence? What can you do NOW to start feeling more confident that your products/services are worth every penny you’re charging? Perhaps it’s making a list of all the awesome benefits someone who buys from you will experience. Maybe it’s reminding yourself of everything that YOU bring to the table as a service provider. Maybe you need to offer a smaller service that you feel super good about offering. Maybe you need to (temporarily) discount your services to get the practice and feedback you need to start believing that you’re a badass at what you do and people will be stoked to invest their money with you. If you’re trying to “fake it til you make it” but you don’t actually believe the emotions you’re faking, no one else will either. Instead, spend some time pumping yourself up and being your own biggest cheerleader for once, because girl, ain’t nobody going to believe in you if YOU don’t believe in you!
2. Connect people with your purpose and mission/share your authentic self:
There’s a great video by a man named Simon Sinek, explaining the psychology behind how people choose where they want to spend their money and why.
Yes, people will choose to purchase from you when they value what you have to offer (more on that in tip #3) but what really drives people to become committed customers who keep coming back is about much more than that.
People don’t buy WHAT you do, they buy WHY you do it. Why are you in business for yourself? What drives you to continue working towards your dreams even when things don’t seem to be going your way? What mission have you set out to accomplish? Pro tip– SHARE the answers of those questions with people in whatever way you can. Share your truth with those who will benefit from it and watch how people rally behind you because they’re connecting to why you’re doing what you’re doing.
For example, my mission as a business coach is to help as many people as possible align with and manifest the business, income and life they desire. I believe we all are infinitely capable and life is too darn short to spend your time doing anything other than what lights you the F up. When I started my business, I set forth to prove that we CAN ask more of life and have our dreams become a reality. I wanted to show people that anything is possible, and I wanted to help inspire people to chase and achieve their dreams rather than pounding it out at a 9-5 desk job they hate for the next 40 years.
People WANT to feel inspired and feel like they’re a part of something bigger than themselves. They WANT to support those who are living their truth and expressing themselves authentically. It’s 100% okay to be driven by making money in your business. Earning money is a beautiful thing. BUT if it’s the only reason behind why you’ve chosen to do what you do, then your motivation likely won’t last.
Know your truth, your vision, your mission, and share it authentically with whoever will listen.
3. Get clear on WHO you’re helping and WHAT you’re helping them do.
In my business, effective marketing is not about the specifics of the words I use or the platforms where I host my ads, but rather my ability to effectively educate people about what I have to offer.
A big mistake a lot of entrepreneurs make in the early stages of their business is that they’re not 100% clear on WHO they’re helping and the transformation their product/service/program provides to that person. If you’re trying to speak to everyone in a broad market, you end up speaking to no one, because no one feels that your offer is specifically for them. The more niche you get, the more people in your target market will resonate with your offer and think “her product/service is for ME” as she nods her head along while reading your posts, sales pages or ads. Get super clear on who you’re helping and the problem they’re dealing with that you are able to help them solve. This is what will have people decide to invest their money in your services. People don’t buy a coaching package for the number of hours they get with you or the bonus “extras” you’ve thrown in. They’ll buy a coaching package, product or service because they believe that it’s the solution to the problem they’re currently facing that they’d like to resolve.
4. Choose the strategies and action-steps that feel fun, easy and aligned for YOU.
People often talk about not wanting to feel “salesy” when promoting their paid offerings. As a result, they rarely do, and then they get discouraged when they regularly check their inbox and witness the huge lack of inquiries and sales notifications rolling through it.
Trust me, I get it.
But the thing about marketing is that if you’re approaching it from a place of trying to convince people to invest in what you have to offer, you’re doing it all wrong, and you’re not going to get very far. When you truly believe in what you have to offer and are super clear on the impact it can have in someone’s life, you don’t need to convince anyone to buy it. You simply need to find people in your target market and educate them on the awesomeness that is your product or service. Your passion and energy will do the rest of the work for you.
People know, either consciously or unconsciously when you’re trying to sell something for the sole purpose of trying to make money. They also know when you have something to offer that you truly love and can’t wait to share with the world because you know it’s more than worth what you’re charging for it.
When it comes to marketing, choose a method that feels good to you and come from a genuine place in sharing what only you have to offer, and you won’t need to try and “convince” anyone or become an expert at human psychology or proven sales tactics in order to get people to spend their money with you. And even if you could be successful this way, why would you want to? It doesn’t feel good to receive money for something you wouldn’t spend it on yourself. Sharing your business offerings should feel fun and exciting. If it doesn’t, ask yourself what your dominant thought process is behind your current strategy and why you feel resistance, and then ask yourself how you can change either it or your product/service to feel like something that people are waiting to find out about.
5. Marketing rule of thumb: talk BENEFITS.
As much as your business is an extension of YOU, your business SUCCESS isn’t about you at all. If you’re a modern business owner, it’s more likely than not that you’re on social media. Platforms like Instagram can be invaluable when it comes to connecting with potential clients & customers. However being that social media is about being SOCIAL, it can be easy to blur the lines between personal and professional, and fall into the trap of thinking that your business’s success hangs on your ability to grow an audience, increase engagement and build a personal brand that people recognize. These things can certainly help your business grow, but when you’re getting started, make no mistake– your success isn’t about you at all. It’s about what YOU can do for people in your target market.
It’s important to share your story on your social media, but try as often as possible to share it in a way that helps other people. The more you demonstrate that you know how to help people achieve their desired outcome(s), the more people will be excited to exchange their money for your offerings.
6. Own your value.
I’m not just a believer in the Law of Attraction, I live my life and run my business by it. Meaning, the more I do the mindset work to feel super confidence in my time and the value I have to offer, the more that energy draws potential clients to me who feel the same way. If you’re trying to build your success on top of a lack of confidence or feelings of inadequacy, you’re fighting an uphill battle and will continue to do so until you decide to change your own self-perception.
This is why everyone talks about “hustling” or “grinding” their way to success. Taking actions that are aligned with your success while your thoughts are not, is like walking up and downwards escalator. You’ll need to do twice the work for half the results.
Write down a list of why you’re actually a total bada$$ at what you do and remind yourself of it every day. Until you make this shift, no amount of money gained, weight lost or followers subscribed will change the point of view that where you are isn’t enough.
It’s a mindset shift that you can make right this second that will change the way you run your business and the results you experience in a very short period of time. Own your value girl, you’re worth every penny and more.
7. Cut out the fluff
I don’t know about you, but I have spent A LOT of time, money and energy investing in activities that didn’t return any results. Spending months building the perfect website or thinking you need an audience of 100,000 people before you can actually start making money is approaching your success backwards, and you’ll likely burn out or lose your motivation long before you see your first dollar in income.
Cut out the energy-sucking activities and replace them with income-producing ones by asking yourself “does this action-item get me closer to my goals quickly? If yes, how?” before making your move. If the answer is no, get clear on why you feel you need things to be perfect before you ask for money from your business. Often times we avoid the income-producing activities out of fear or doubt. Time to face those fears head on and do what you’re afraid to do, otherwise you risk spending your life “getting ready to be ready” and never seeing the results you know you’re capable of creating in your business.
8. Lead with your intuition
I believe that we have an inner guidance system that knows exactly how to get us from where we are, to where we want to be in as little time as possible. That system, is called our “intuition” or our “gut”, and few people use this invaluable tool to its full potential. Get clear on the results you desire to create and then take the next action that feels good to you. You do not need to see the whole staircase in order to take the first step.
This tip comes with a disclaimer though- don’t confuse fear with not being meant to do something. If you feel pulled in a particular direction but are afraid to dive in, step into the CEO-version of you, feel the fear and do it anyways.
9. Build your confidence
Confidence comes from competence. Competence comes from taking action. Actions comes with failing. A lot- over and over again. That’s how we learn. Embrace it.
Bonus pro-tip: focus on the areas in your life where you already DO feel confidence and lead with that energy in all that you do. Pump yourself up instead of tearing yourself down, and growing your confidence will be a byproduct of making this shift in thinking.
10. Pay attention to how you feel
When you feel discouraged/anxious/lackful, you attract those things into your life and business.
When you consciously make the decision to feel abundant/grateful/successful NOW, you attract the outcomes that are aligned with that. Success is an inside game, and one that requires you to become “the watcher” of your own thoughts. Get into the habit of noticing your own feelings without attaching any guilt or blame, and then practice shifting your focus in a way that allows you to feel better so you can attract more outcomes/experiences on that wavelength.
11. Be playful- business should be FUN!
This is one I have to remind myself of ALL. THE. TIME. It’s hard not to take things too seriously when your dreams are wrapped up in your business’s desired success. However, taking things too seriously will make everything you’re trying to accomplish 100X harder.
Let yourself off the hook. Be playful. Have fun. And remember, no one gets out alive so it’s best to remember to laugh as often as possible and let go of the significance we bring to everything we do inside our business ventures.
Perspective is everything. Choose a perspective of growth, opportunity and connection when growing your business and you cannot lose.
More About Lauren
Lauren Saunders is a business coach who lives and works in Toronto, Ontario. She works with the modern entrepreneur to guide them in implementing both the mindset and marketing strategies required to grow their business and hit their income goals. Formerly a high school art teacher, Lauren isn’t your typical entrepreneur; she believes that no matter where you’ve come from or what your background is, you can create any outcome you desire to by consciously aligning your thoughts, actions and energy with the results you wish to see manifest.