Your Business is Unique. So Why Keep Taking the Same Advice Everyone Else Does?
Being blindly sold the latest trend in business is not good for our businesses.
Generic advice will not help you grow the business that you want.
It will only leave you burnt out, broke and frustrated that nothing is working.
But don't worry the next course creator, consultant or coach is around the corner. To sell you what you really needed!
This is why my mission is to help you better understand your business and what it needs. BEFORE, you go down another path that will lead you to frustrationville.
What Does This Look Like?
I focus on three things to help you get the right help that you need.
Understand Your Business
When I look back on all the bad decisions I have made in 18 years, most of them had to do with me not understanding exactly what I needed. When you understand your business, you stop wasting time on classes you don't need.
Make Better Decisions
The better we get at making decisions the easier it is to do the right thing. I hear you saying "duh", but one thing I have learned is that we don't always do that. Even when we know better.
Take ActionYou can be the smartest, most talented person in the world. But if you don't take action - nothing happens. This is where the real waste of money comes in. How many classes have you bought that you never finished? Action can be hard when you are stuck in learning mode and paralyzed by making decisions.
My Aha Moment
Before I get into the details of the three principles I teach, I want to share with you the class that opened my eyes. The one that made me re-think every course and coach I hired again.
I started my first business in 2002. I was done with the corporate world. Ready to start my own business.
I thought I was good to go. I had my undergraduate in finance. I had my MBA with an emphasis on finance. I had worked in Corporate America in multiple areas including, banking, investments, financial budgeting, and more.
I did know that I needed some work on my marketing. I was not completely oblivious to the fact I did not know everything. And in general, I love to learn, so I immediately started my cycle of taking every class possible. Plus hiring help anytime I needed help.
Fast forward 13 years and I'm on my second business. But I'm still struggling with my marketing and my business is not brining in the revenue I want it to. I am a finance person after all, so my brain thinks in numbers not in marketing language!
I had taken just about every course you could think of at that time. I have taken courses on everything from webinars to Facebook and even body language for sales. I mean you name it I have probably taken a course on it. Or at least paid for a class on it!
I was burnt out. I was frustrated. And honestly, I was letting personal stuff in my life affect the business.
I was looking for a knight in shining armor to come save me.
Along comes these two guys. Who have this “amazing” program for me that will turn everything around. It is one-part class and part individualized help, plus a group component for hot seats and other Q&A’s.
So, I sign up for this course after a sales call. It was the most I had ever spent on a class or a business coach. To say it ended up as a disaster is being nice about it.
So, the short version is they did not deliver what they said they would. I ended the program with a half-finished marketing plan. That did not even match my service to begin with!
Let us get into exactly why it woke me up to the bad class/coaching cycle too many solopreneurs get themselves into.
Did Not Understand What I Did
They 100% did not understand my services. To the point that one of the other participants who had been on one of the group calls with me and heard my hot seat reached out to me in private. She said I know you are frustrated and these two do not understand your business at all. Turns out she had been in a similar business to mine before and she was the one that gave me a couple of pointers to get headed in the right direction. Up until her reaching out, I thought it was me missing the point. That the consultants had to know what they were talking about. Right?
Bad Customer Service/Disorganized
They were just a disaster in this area. I am a very organized person and worked in hospitality for over ten years. So, it bothers me when this is a problem. And this was not just a minor annoyance, it was a train wreck.
They had a team that worked with them. So, when you scheduled a one on one review of what you were working on, you did not always get the same person. The problem was, every time I got someone new, they would tell me the exact opposite thing of what the last person had told me. So, I would have to go back, and spend more hours working on it!
Plus getting one of those appointments was not easy because they took on too many clients. On top of that there was missing and incomplete modules. So even if you wanted to try and do it on your own, you could not!
My Own Decision Making
While they were a mess, I have some blame to take also. I completely disregarded my typical decision-making process.
I have a rule that I sleep on all major purchases and I did not.
I was so desperate. I was in such a place of needing to get this marketing thing figured out that I fed off the sales guys enthusiasm. Here is the sad part, the sales guy was one of the head consultants. So, I really thought he knew what he was talking about when we spoke. That he got my business and knew exactly what I needed.
But even more importantly, I did not understand what I needed. After spending the years after this experience studying marketing in depth, I realize that before I decided what to do I should have spent more time talking to my clients.
I ignored my intuition that said my clients would not be found in what they were teaching. Turns out I was right, they were not there. But because marketing is not my expertise, and I thought it was theirs I believed him.
Too Much Too Quickly
The program was too fast paced. You were a member for four weeks and at the end you would have a fully running lead magnet program. Plus, a sales program that would close deals. Targeted to the right clients.
They were promising all of this in four weeks. Now four weeks might sound like a lot but when you are running a business on your own or with little help, you do not have a full four weeks to dedicate to this. My clients still wanted attention, I still had to do bookkeeping and return emails! Not to mention live my regular life.
Four weeks to completely transform your marketing is aggressive. Especially when you add in the bad customer service.
I even complained enough that they said they would extend my time and would make sure I got everything they had promised. But I bet you can guess what happened.
When the four weeks were up, everything was gone but access to the videos.
Also, it was missing steps you need to fully execute the plan. I find this in a lot of classes that I take. Even the ones that have some great content. I am very often left feeling like I do not quite know what to do next. Or there is one critical piece of information left out.
I ended up feeling defeated. I was exhausted from trying to do the work. I was frustrated with the bad customer service. And not getting everything, I need. It made me stop and reassess classes and coaches.
I know this is not just my experience. I have talked with too many other small business owners with the same problems. I would love to say I figured it out right away. But it took me a couple of years to go through the process of hiring people and taking more courses for me to better understand it all. I am a problem solver, so I looked at everything I did trying to dissect how to not do it again.
What came out of this introspection and problem solving is the principles that I base Aspirify On.
Understanding your business. It is critical to finding the right help you need. Not what someone wants to sell you. But what you actually need.
Decision making. The more you know about making good decisions, the easier it is to get exactly what you need. And not waste time and money in the process!
Taking Action. While this was not one of the problems in this course, I have personally experienced over the years many situations where I simply did not implement what I learned. Or even completed a course I paid for. Had I taken more consistent action all the money I spent may have paid off.
Aspirify is a combination of everything that I have learned about business as a small business owner over the past 18 years. I paired that with my business training, and created a company that will help you make sure that you're getting the right education and advice to further your own small business.
The best place to get started is with the Growth Pyramid to help you narrow in on where you need help.