A question to ask yourself before seeking advice

A question to ask yourself before seeking advice

What do you really want when you ask for advice or feedback?

As is the nature of my business, I am constantly asked for my feedback and opinions. But sometimes I wonder as to the motives of those asking.

Just this week, I was asked to review someone’s website. I gave them my critique which they promptly chose to ignore. Now of course, that is their prerogative but what pains me is when I give up my valuable time to someone who has no intention of listening to any advice or taking any feedback.

So what really are your intentions when asking for feedback or advice? Do you really want to hear the truth or are you fishing for compliments? If you ask for feedback are you really thick-skinned enough to take it? In business, we need to have a skin as thick as a rhinoceros at times!

It can be tough to accept critique on something that we have sweat blood and tears over. It hurts when we have put endless hours into creating something that another person suggests would be better if done in a different way.

It is so hard to accept honest criticism about our business, but is matters and it is vital to not put our fingers in our ears and not block it out. If all you are looking for is approval. It won’t work out well for anyone.

I know it is hard. I have been there. I spent months putting together a new website myself and when I asked for critique, the response I got wasn’t what I wanted to hear. I thought it was wonderful because I knew the effort that had gone into creating it. I knew what I wanted it to say and what I wanted it to achieve. And I thought everyone else would love it as much as I did. So when someone told me it was less than perfect, I put my head in my hands and cried. Yes, I am not ashamed to admit that.

Once I had got over my upset, and then the inevitable ‘how dare they criticise me!!!’ moment of anger, I realised that this was their perception and I had to take note. If I didn’t, I was only fooling myself.

I could have ignored them and remained with my delusion that my site was wonderful, but I knew that I wouldn’t have lasted long without opening my ears and being prepared to listen to the feedback and take the comments on board.

Feedback, particularly from our ideal clients and from the experts who have been there and done it before us, is essential.
So please, if you really want to know the truth what people think, and to get valuable advice on how to improve your success, take a deep breath, pull up your big girl knickers and open your ears my darlings.

How much do you need to earn to be successful

How much do you need to earn to be successful

Are you sick of being told you should be earning a six figure income to be successful?

Does your heart sink when you people on social media telling everyone they are earning six figures whilst you are earning just four figure sums each month if you are lucky?

Do you wonder what on earth they are doing that you are not?

Do you sometimes think that you can never reach those giddy heights of success so you might as well give up now?

Well stop!!

I am saddened and fed up of women I speak to who think they are failing because they aren’t reaching these dizzying heights and being told by others that this is the figure they need to achieve to be successful.

Some of these six figure earners might be truly successful, but I can guarantee you quite a few are pulling the wool over your eyes.  Whilst they may not be lying to you, they are being somewhat economical and misleading with the truth.

Whilst these people constantly talk about their 5 figure income months, what they don’t tell you about is their gross profit.  Basically, what they have to spend in order to achieve these 5 figure months. (if you want to know how to work this out have a read of Turnover is vanity, profit is sanity).  They also fail to tell you their personal situation and how happy they are.

I spoke to a coach a few months ago who claimed in all her marketing to be a six figure earner.  And she was.  But she was also spending over £20,000 each month on Facebook ads!  So whilst she was earning six figures she was also spending six figures to obtain this.

I have met a business owner whose sales were just shy of £180,000 yet the costs to her of getting these sales were a staggering £171,000!!!!!  Yes, I kid you not.  So she only had a gross profit of £8,000.

The same day I met another businesswoman who felt she was failing.  She was getting sales of £19,000 each year but once her expenses were taken out she was left with £12,500.  Her business was more financially successful than the first six figure income business.

 

The magic income figure for happiness

Did you know that past research from Gallup found that the optimum income for Americans was $75,000?  The research showed that up to the magic figure of $75,000 a year, people’s day to day happiness rose.  After that, people just bought more material possessions with no real gain in happiness.

In 2015 in the UK, research by Anchor Cheddar revealed a salary of £37,000 is the ‘tipping point’ at which any more money isn’t worth the sacrifice, additional responsibilities and stress, therefore making earning extra money worthless.

 

What do you want in your life?

You need to stop and consider what you want in life, not what someone else tells you should have.  Who has the right to tell you that you should be aiming for a six figure income.  It all depends upon your personal circumstances and what you want in life and what you need to live the life you want.

I have been truly successful in life.  I have earnt the levels of money that have set me up for life.  I have paid outright for my beautiful home.  I have absolutely zero debts.  I live the lifestyle I want without having to worry where the next penny is coming from.  I deem that to be having achieved success.  I really don’t need someone telling me that I need to be earning six figures to be successful.

I don’t feel the need to chase the big numbers anymore because I have everything I want.  I am happy and content with my life.  I don’t feel the need to be the next Karen Brady or Oprah Winfrey.

I also know of a few ‘highly successful’ six figure earners who are living in rented two bedroom apartments (nothing wrong with that by the way) with mountains of debt to pay off.  Good on them for going out there and earning the money to sort their lives out but stop misleading others by giving the impression they are living in castles and working from the beach all day.

Recently, I saw a self-proclaimed seven figure earner telling everyone how much money she was making on Facebook.  As my wonderful friend and colleague (who is one of the most successful business women I know) pointed out, if that were truly the case would this person not want to just turn over, tan her back, pop another bottle of Cristal, dip her toes in the cool ocean off the back of her mega yacht and stop worrying about spreading the word.  Good point huh?

 

Now, don’t get me wrong.  There are some super successful and super happy genuine six figure earners out there.  And for them I am happy.  It is the tribe who are trying to fool others with smoke screens and telling others what to do that I have a problem with.

So stop being told what to do by others, take some of these six figure claims with a pinch of salt and you decide what you want your income level to be and what your definition of success is.

Three key things to build a successful business

Three key things to build a successful business

There are three key things you need to build a successful business:

 

  • Time

  • Energy

  • Money

If any one of these is lacking, it is going to need to be made up for in one of the other areas.

Let’s take a look at them one at a time.

Time

Building a successful takes time.  And it is likely to take a lot longer than you think.  All too often we set up our small business thinking we are going to be drawing a full time wage within a month or so.  All too often the reality is different.  We end up working for nothing for the first 12 months or just drawing a paltry sum that barely covers a pair of tights each month.

And on the subject of time, everything we do seems to take longer than expected.  I will just write a quick blog I hear you say.  And three hours later you are still staring at a blank screen.  I will just make a quick update to my website I hear you say.  And two weeks later you are still playing around with the design and the layout.  I will quickly set up a mailing system I hear you say.  And days later you are still tearing your hair out and wondering what the hell everyone else is on it about when they say it is all so easy.

If you don’t have time, you are going to have invest money to make up for it.  You are going to have to spend money on marketing rather than trying to do everything for free on social media.  You are going to have to spend money outsourcing all those tasks that area eating up the precious hours in your day.

Energy

You are going to need massive amounts of energy to build your own business.  The time it takes will easily leave you feeling drained and exhausted and it will be all too easy to feel like throwing in the towel.

One of the dangers of building a business, particularly when working from home, is that we let healthy habits slip.  We stop taking exercise as we just want to get one more task squeezed into the day.  We stop eating healthily and grab chocolate bars and coffee whilst chained to our computer screens.

This soon leaves us feeling sluggish and out of kilter.

To build a successful business, you need to take of yourself first and foremost and keep your energy levels up.  You need to take regular exercise, you need to keep healthy and you need to get enough sleep.  If you energy levels drain, you will end up either ill or having to take time out to recharge the batteries.

If you don’t have energy, it is going to cost you more in time and money.  It will take more time to build your business or you will have to invest more money to get someone to take over your work for you.

Money

Yes, you are going to have to invest some money!  I’m sorry to break the bad news to you but those get rich quick schemes where you only have to put in a few pounds or dollars up front just don’t work.  I have had numerous people send me their schemes but when I ask to see their bank details or profit and loss statement to validate their claims, they disappear into the mist never to be heard of again.

You need to invest in the tools to do the job.  You can get many free versions of systems and software, but if you really want to build your business, it is the paid versions that you need.  You need to invest in yourself and the businesses that really move forward faster than the others invest in a coach.  I invested in thousands for a coach for myself.  Even though I am a business coach, I still need someone to help me with new ideas and to hold me accountable for achieving results.  Without this, my business would have taken vastly longer to be successful.

If you don’t invest money it is going to cost you more time and energy.  You can try to build a business on a shoestring but you are likely to end up just running a very expensive hobby for many years to come.  And more time is going to take more energy. You really need to look at the potential return on investment and savings in time and energy rather than holding on those purse strings.

 

Do you have these three key areas covered or is the lack of one of these hampering your success?  Let me know in the comments below.