Is Your Business Stuck in a Rut?

Are you frustrated and struggling in business?

Many are.

If you are tired of getting the same less than stellar results in your endeavors I’m going to ask you to take an honest look at what you are doing and “how” you are going about building your business. Are you doing what everyone else is doing? Trying to accomplish your goals the way they’ve always been done by everyone else?

If so that’s probably why you are finding things are not working the way you’d like. Why you are not getting the results you desire.

Because times are not the same as they once were you have to do and act and “be” different than you have been in order to create results that are different. It’s your job to discover how to make money a new way – your way.

I recently read “The Zahir” by Paulo Coelho and I loved an analogy he had in the book. He compared this analogy to successful relationships; I am going to use this same analogy to demonstrate building your successful business.

Coelho gave an example of the distance of railroad ties, which are 4 feet 8 ½ inches apart. The character in the story was baffled by the absurd measurement and went on to investigate why.Paulo, Coelho, The Zahir, Book, Inspire, Empower Turns out the railroad tracks were laid in the ruts made by wagons, which had the same 4 feet by 8 ½ inch measurement. The initial ruts were first made by Imperial Roman army war chariots. In fact, the Imperial Roman chariots were made to be just wide enough for two horse’s butts to fit.

To take this story a step further, and to demonstrate how bureaucracy lasts and lasts, the space shuttle has two booster rockets by the fuel tank called solid rocket boosters or SRBs. The manufacturers of the SRBs wanted to make them a little wider, but the SRBs had to be shipped by train from the factory to the launch site. The trip involved the train going through a mountain tunnel and the SRBs had to fit through the tunnel, which is only slightly wider than the railroad track. And we now know the railroad track is only slightly wider than two horse’s butts. So, a major design in one of today’s most advanced transportation systems, the space shuttle, is still being heavily influenced by decisions in the Roman army and the width of two horse’s butts.

This is just one example of how we learn to do things a certain way and do it just because that’s how it’s always been done. We do things the way our parents did it and their parents did and their parents before them. Thoughts of money and lack, how to raise our children, our religious beliefs, how to create security, and how to make money have really not changed much over the generations. We never stop to question our beliefs; we have them because that is what we were taught. The rules apply and always have and that’s why we follow them.

What are some rules you have about owning your own business or making a lot of money?

  • It’s not easy
  • It’s hard to be a good mother/father and work
  • I must work hard and often
  • It’s difficult to make money
  • I have to do everything myself
  • I must do it the way the experts are telling me to do it

If you are not making the money you want, or you are not living your life the way you chose, you either have an unsupportive belief to change or there is something you don’t know.

I want you to take one thing away from this article…take a look at what you are doing and why. Really look at the actions you are taking. Are you following patterns that were placed there eons ago that can and should be changed? Look at the thoughts you are thinking and ask if they are supporting you, who put them there, and how are they moving your forward on your journey.

That is how you get your business and your life out of a rut.

Keep Your Dreams to Yourself – Protect Them with Your Life

Your dreams are something precious and unique only to you. You have your specific dreams for a reason – because you have it in you to achieve them. If you didn’t you wouldn’t have the dream in the first place. You may not be in a place to achieve them right this second, however, it is your obligation to yourself to begin taking the steps to bring your dreams to reality…no matter how far out they may seem at the moment.

I have a friend who has had a dream of owning a castle and renting it out as a resort destination. She has, in fact, had this crystal clear vision of owning a castle (in France to be exact) since she was a child. She recently embarked on a journey to accomplish her goal of owning a castle and found the one in her vision. It was a mere 22 million dollars. Not having 22 million dollars in her pocket my friend began taking steps to get closer to her goal. She researched recruiting investors, borrowing the money, spoke with business professionals and locals to learn more about how to purchase it.

While my friend still doesn’t own her castle she has taken serious steps towards her goal…she recently quit her J-O-B in an engineering firm and is moving to France. She just purchased a one way ticket. She is serious about making her dream a reality and rather than stopping every time Castle, orange, dreams, blue, Princess, Moneyshe runs into an obstacle (like not having 22 million dollars) she looks for alternative steps to get herself closer to her goal. Such as moving to France. I am quite sure her next step will be to get a job at a castle or that specific castle if possible.

I remember when I was first starting my copywriting business and I was doing research on the industry. I had read that copywriters could make $60 an hour. Certain people close to me actually mocked me and make fun of me in public. Who was I to make $60 an hour? AND work from home and be with my kids? I was ridiculed – and this was by the people that were closest to me, the ones that loved me. They weren’t doing this to harm me, the intent was to help me realize how unrealistic my dream was and to find something more logical.

Thankfully I didn’t listen to them and became a freelance copywriter anyway. As I write this I imagine what those same people would say if they knew how much I made an hour now J.

The take away from this is that most people around us are not dreamers. They can do something as subtle as a slight breath or a minor shift in their body such as squaring their shoulders that, whether intentionally or not, sends a message that you are crazy and irresponsible and need to get back to reality.

The truth is your dreams are actually meant just for you and there is a power in keeping them to yourself. There is an energy that builds when you keep your secret. Once you talk about your secret dream you release that pent-up energy. Your dreams, your deep down secret dreams, are between you and your higher power. It’s not for someone else to tell you what your dream are or should be, it’s not for someone else to tell you it’s impractical or impossible or ridiculous to follow your dreams. Again, it’s not that your friends and family don’t love you; it’s that it’s your dream, not theirs. They are genuinely trying to help you (I am giving them the benefit of the doubt). They have been raised and programmed and experienced specific things and those things may not empower you.

This weeks’ advice for you – keep your dreams private. Let the energy behind them build as YOU take one step at a time on YOUR path to achieving them.  Your dreams are not for others to judge.

Want to make your dreams a reality? Contact us today at Kelly@TheCopywritingInstitute.com to see if we can help.c

Happy Copywriting!

Kelly Robbins, MA

5 Tips to Get from Introduction to Sales Consultation….without making your prospect feel like prey

Unexpectedly running into a prospective client can make even the most experienced business person salivate. You work hard, market regularly and do everything you’ve been taught to do and low and behold you run into a prospective client at your kids’ soccer game – catching you completely off guard!

Yes, salivate is exactly what some of you do and it’s exactly what you don’t want the person you’re speaking with to notice. You’re chatting with one of the Dad’s while dropping your child off at soccer practice for the first time when he casually mentions he runs a business. You immediately come to attention and begin interrogating him with 100 questions about his marketing and copy needs.

I caution you to STOP! Don’t do this! Take a breath and continue on with the conversation in a relaxed and informal manner. It’s time to continue building a relationship here, not sell.

I recently had an experience where I met someone new in a personal situation and as soon as he found out I was a successful business owner, he switched gears. It was almost like he became a different person, and started interrogating me about my business. I felt extremely uncomfortable because I didn’t know this person and didn’t want to discuss business at the time. I wanted to talk about my kid’s soccer and snacks and carpooling, etc.

I do not look forward to seeing this person again (and I will) because I feel as if they have an agenda when we speak rather than are truly interested in me and my family.

Being the analyzer that I am, I looked back at what this parent did that was specifically such a turn-off to me. I honestly couldn’t get away from them fast enough and wanted to see what role I played in this and how I could turn the situation around. I feel uncomfortable around this person now – I feel like prey rather than a potential friend or acquaintance. I felt as if he were overly aggressive about working with me and not tuning in to me and my business or personal needs. Rather he was more concerned with making a sale for himself.

The lesson here is that there a time and place for everything and the energy you bring to a situation has everything to do with the energy you get back.

If you meet someone at a non-business function it is appropriate to ask about following-up with them and scheduling time to discuss business at a later date. It’s also appropriate to exchange business cards, and then go back to relationship building, not selling.

Here are five tips to remember when you meet prospective clients in non-business situations:

  1. There is a time and place for everything, including selling. It may not be right here right now. Ask if it’s ok to contact them later.
  2. Pay attention to the person you are talking to. Watch THEIR body language and tune-in to their needs.
  3. Don’t be a piranha! You are responsible for the energy you bring to the space.
  4. Be a giver and not a taker, your intention matters. Your tone, your body language, your eyes communicate just as much if not more than your words.
  5. Ask general questions about them and their business. If they don’t have a problem they don’t need your help. Find out first; don’t just start talking about yourself and how great your business is.

What you have to be aware of and be responsible for is the energy you bring to the situation, which is something the soccer dad didn’t do. Your intonation, your body language and your demeanor should always be that of giving, not of getting or taking.

I have recently seen two fascinating interviews with Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor, a Harvard-trained and published neuroanatomist who suffered a severe stroke. During her stroke the entire left hemisphere of her brain shut down and she was conscious enough to be aware of what was happening while it was happening. She also remembers several specific incidents during her many years of recovery.

Dr. Taylor explains how the left hemisphere of the brain holds our language skills, our self-talk, our mind. Without that she was able to understand people’s intentions by their body language, intonation and even eye contact. She could tell a lot about a person and if she wanted to spend time with them without understanding a word.

Bottom line message from Dr. Taylor, “there are people that bring you energy and people who take your energy away”, and everyone should “be responsible for the energy you bring into this space”.

Just like my soccer dad acquaintance that didn’t technically say or do anything wrong or offensive, I could tell he wanted something from me. He had “take energy”. It was repelling and not something I want to be around.

The lesson for you here is that yes, sales conversations are an important and necessary part of business and you need to engage in them. However, before you even have a sales conversation you need to create a relationship where there is a foundation of trust and liking.

You do this by approaching all of life, everything you do and everyone you meet, by giving – not taking from people or situations.

Struggling attracting clients and reaching your target market? Contact us today at Kelly@TheCopywritingInstitute.com to see if we can help.

Happy Copywriting!

Kelly Robbins, MA

Breaking Down Your Locked Doors

roadblocksHave you stopped moving because you’re frozen in fear? Do you feel like you hit a brick wall and don’t know what to do next?

This happens to many of us, particularly when we are walking down a new path or starting on a journey that leads us into unfamiliar territory. You are moving along, often at a fairly swift pace, and you suddenly stop frozen in your tracks. It’s as if there is a wall in front of you blocking your way. Upon closer examination you see a door. You slowly reach your hand out and turn the knob, timidly, because you aren’t sure what’s on the other side of the door.

However, almost to your relief, the door is locked. You drop your hand, perhaps stand there in thought for a moment, and then turn and walk back where you came from. The door’s locked, you can’t go any further.

The locked door represents an obstacle on the road to achieving your goals. For freelance copywriters this could be frustration that you don’t have any new clients this month, or that you didn’t achieve the financial goal you had set for yourself. That wall, in fact, has brought you to an absolute stand still. After all, you can’t walk through walls can you? Obviously wherever you were headed was not the right direction. Right? Wrong!

You may be stopped, standing in front of your own closed door right now. The thing is you don’t know what’s behind that door. It could be opportunity. More money. More clients. You won’t know until you get it open.

But the door is locked you whine… (I don’t have samples, no one is hiring, I don’t have time, I don’t know where to find leads…) So what? Break that fricken’ door down and see what’s there!

I’ve seen a pattern emerge over the years I’ve been coaching – people walk up to their door (a large, looming obstacle), find out it’s locked and not easy to open (overcoming obstacles are not usually easy because it makes them uncomfortable) and they quit.

You make a decision, say to start a freelance copywriting business or to earn 30K a year more, and you start moving in the direction to make that dream a reality.

Once you make that decision the Universe will bring things into alignment to make your vision a reality. In order for you to become a person that makes their vision a reality and you have to change as well. Things around you have to change – this can be incredibly uncomfortable and incredibly scary.

It’s often right when you give up that your vision is at the tipping point of becoming reality. I see people give up right when they are about to break through their door – their fear and panic takes over and they stop looking for opportunities to move through the obstacle rather than opportunities to move through it. Panic sets in and they stop, turn around, and walk the other way instead of stepping into their true self.

If you truly desire to see your dream come true you must have a dogged determination to accomplish your goal and see the change to completion.

You have to take that pent-up fear energy and use it to propel yourself in the direction you want to go. Because the energy is new it can feel extremely uncomfortable and your instinct may be to walk away from it rather than embrace it. Embracing the fear requires a change in behavior from what you’ve done in the past. It will require you to do something you have never done before.

I recently saw an interview with Lady Gaga talking about how she steps into growth and discovers the next path for herself. Gaga said she visually sees a door in front of her. It’s closed and bolted shut. She gets whatever she needs to break the door down – in the interview she described visually grabbing an axe and a sledgehammer – and she literally tears the door down. She beats at it and goes and gets more tools and comes back and attacks it some more until she finally demolishes that door. Once she breaks it down she knows the next thing she needs to step into. There is a fanaticism to her determination to break through that door; nothing is going to stop her.

You must also have that same fanaticism to break down the closed doors in your way. The key may be recognizing you’ve actually hit a locked door rather than a brick wall.

Your closed doors may resemble:

  • Low self-esteem
  • Choosing a niche
  • Lack of self-confidence
  • Hiring a coach or mentor
  • Not following through
  • Learning a new skill
  • Fear
  • Accepting you don’t have all the answers
  • Lack of energy or focus
  • Not working on your whole self – i.e. dealing with past issues/traumas
  • Not being open (thinking you know it all)
  • Picking up the phone

What door(s) do you need to demolish to break through to your goals today? If you are uncertain what to do next or don’t feel you have the tools you need to break down the doors, contact us to see how we can help. Kelly@TheCopywritingInstitute.com

Happy Copywriting!

Kelly Robbins, MA

Why You’re Not Getting Clients and What to do About it

Working hard and still not attracting the clients you KNOW you are capable of helping is incredibly frustrating.
Working hard and not making the money you KNOW you are capable of making is even worse!

You see other people making money and it appears almost effortless. You are marketing and seem to be doing everything you are “supposed” to be doing, but still aren’t getting strong Picking From The Money Tree, Marketing, Easepositive results.

Are you busy all the time and don’t see how you can possibly squeeze even one more thing in?

It’s enough to make anyone frustrated and even consider quitting.

I caution you – DON’T QUIT! What you need is some help – clearly there is something you don’t know. It can be that simple.

Register for our next free teleseminarWhy You’re Not Getting the Clients you Want and What to do About it — and learn how to dramatically change your results. Next Wednesday, April 4th at 1:00pm MT (3:00pm ET) Kelly Robbins, MA, will share some exciting insights with you about building and growing a profitable client base.

On the call you’ll discover

  • The three main reasons entrepreneurs don’t win business
  • How to recognize these behaviors in yourself
  • Discover steps you can take to change behaviors and beliefs that are preventing success

We are also going to take a look at the Universal law of cause and effect. The “effect” is your results… Income. Clients. Struggle. Lack. What “causes” are creating struggle and lack in your life? You can’t consciously change what you don’t see. During this one-time teleconference Kelly is going to help you see what may be causing your struggles and frustrations.

Ask yourself how long have you been stuck in a pattern you don’t like. Stuck at a specific dollar amount for example. Or had the same client base for years with no change. It’s like the air is stagnant, except it’s your business or your life.

How long have you been thinking about making a change or doing something new (months or years) but haven’t taken action on it?

Now is the time to take a good look at what’s going on and why you are still in the same place. You should be able to look at your life and/or business six months ago and see change. Can you?

If any of this rings true to you I encourage you to register for this free teleseminar today.

Held next Wednesday, April 4th at 1:00pm MT (12:00pm PT).

Don’t worry if you can’t make the live call – which I encourage you to do – it will be recorded. You must register for the call to have access to the recording.

Happy Copywriting!
Kelly Robbins, MA