THE DAILY BLOG
A thought-provoking post each day
for the heart-centered entrepreneur.
A 9-5 job comes with security.
Well it’s supposed to. Once you have the job, you’re supposed to be set.
But having a job doesn’t give you security. Businesses have layoffs and economies periodically fall.
Security is illusory. Stability, however isn’t.
But the only true way to have stability in the midst of uncertain times is to be able to make it at a job or on your own.
To have the skills to make a living on your own is the best way to build up a solid foundation of security.
Entrepreneurship is not the path for all, but it’s one of the best paths to genuine self trust and stability.
The first rule of business is this:
Know Thy Customer
That’s all genuine marketing is. Without that, marketing is nothing but an attempted manipulation.
Know thy customer and now you’re just having a conversation.
As a customer I long for a genuine conversation. I long for connection.
Time to get to know thy customer.
When you’re putting in long hours of work building your business, it’s easy to forget that a simple lunch can be the most important thing you’ve done all day.
It could be a lunch meeting with a potential client or collaborator, and the relationship you’re deepening will lead to further business.
Or it could be a much needed time-off lunch with a friend, partner or in your own sweet self-company.
On those days, more important than accomplishing menial tasks is the connection you made or the care you gave your body and mind.
A few years back I went to a physical therapist who specialized in leg injuries. My knee had seized up after a long run.
After watching me walk around the room, he casually told me I’d probably never run again.
I was devastated.
I love nothing more than the wind in my…well I don’t have much hair, but the wind feels amazing on my body when running.
The PT gave me some knee and hip exercises so that walking wouldn’t be painful, so I did them for a couple weeks as recommended, but lamented my new inability to run.
I didn’t run for 2 years after that.
One day, while on a meditation retreat, after many hours of sitting I felt the urge to go for a run. I felt nervous because I hadn’t run in years, but I’d recently seen a video on barefoot running and thought I might as well give a try to this new style. If my knee seized up I’d just stop and do some stretching. I badly needed some movement after all that sitting!
So I started running on the balls of my feet rather than heel-toe like the video instructed.
I ran and I ran and…
…nothing happened to my knees.
I came back after about 30 minutes and felt appropriately out of breath. That’s it. No knee pain!
But how could this be? I was never supposed to be able to run again!
I realized that the new style of running was dramatically less impactful on my knees. I’ve been running and reuniting with my incredibly intelligent feet and legs ever since.
There are two points to this story:
1. There are very few solutions inside the box. Don’t trust anyone who lives inside the box to give you direction or show you what’s really possible.
2. Get creative! Try out new solutions. Follow your intuition. You’ll discover things you didn’t believe were possible if you do.
When was the last time you had fun while working on your business?
If you have to think for more than a few seconds, it’s time to make a change.
It’s time to add some play, delight or goof to your business or the way you work on your business.
I recommend finding a group of like-minded entrepreneurs who strictly, firmly and absolutely believe that business is fun.
Offering your clients or customers something free is a generous business decision. Because humans want to be around generosity and abundance, it’s a great way to bring clients in.
It could be free articles in blog form, free kickboxing gloves when clients sign up at your dojo, a free intro session or free week of yoga classes.
I encourage you to experiment with what you give away for free until you find the thing(s) that work really well for you and your business.
An issue you might run into is giving away something that doesn’t match your business structure.
For example if you run a small yoga studio and you have only three classes / week on the schedule, giving away a week of free yoga classes wouldn’t be a great benefit for someone because odds are with most people’s busy schedules they’d only be able to make it to one class.
Even though it’s generous to give a free week of yoga away, the generosity is undercut by the lack of ease in being able to use that generosity!
So offer one or two free classes rather than a week free yoga. That will feel way more generous, and less like a sketchy ploy to get new people in.
The big secret here is that if you’re coming from scarcity internally, your generosity will appear salesy and untrustworthy.
If you come instead from internal abundance, your generosity will seem wonderfully inviting.
So what of genuine benefit can you give away for free?