Update 2021: I wrote this post several years ago. By now, I have a much more nuanced view. Then, I was on a Thai island, surrounded with online entrepreneurs, ‘living the life’. I was into traditional online marketing then, and the whole post now sounds a bit grotesque and manipulative to me. Still, there is also a lot of truth to what I wrote: stories do inspire. Your story does matter. And ‘we’ who aim to have a positive, peaceful, wholesome impact, have important stories of transformation to share, especially in this time. So I decided to leave this post up. Take from it what is in line with your deepest intentions and highest aspirations.
Are you an entrepreneur, or are you thinking of becoming one? Do you want to put your talents to work and make the world a shinier place? Does the PROMISE of your business make you feel energized, light, fulfilled, happy and strong?
If you’re like many entrepreneurs i know, you may at times feel that the reality of your business is different. It may feel heavier. It is dragging you along, or you are dragging IT along. You’re putting IN more energy than you are getting out of it. You may feel like you’re only working to pay your bills, relieved with any client who says yes…
If you believe it shouldn’t have to be that way, you are right. Here’s what I have found:
There is a way to lead a life of inspiration and share it in such a way that people will be ASKING to do business with you. ASKING you to share your ideas on their issues. ASKING you to create a service for their needs that they are willing to pay for.
The way, put very simply, is this: be authentic, unapologetic and compassionate. Act from your deepest values, and share you story.
Imagine what your world will look like if you live your life and run your business like this!
You will be living consciously, following your purpose.
People will want to learn from you, because we naturally get drawn to those who live authentic lives.
Your sales conversations will be informal, effortless and fun.
You will be doing business touching lives,
and you will be doing so with ease and in flow.
In this blogpost, I will explain one way to make this happen.
It takes courage, but I know from experience that if you apply this, it will TRANSFORM your business, your life and the way you feel about yourself and your work. It will impact how you walk this Earth, what you bring into it and how others will benefit. It’s true, because it’s TRUE.
Let me tell you a personal story:
Six years ago, I was going through a really rough time. I was working as a consultant for a well-known training company and although there were many parts of the work that I loved, I remember crying every morning in the car on my way to work. Until one day, I cracked. I panicked at work and went in fright mode. Heart racing, cold sweat, nausea, mind in overdrive, unstoppable tears. Exhausted.
While I was at home, unable to go back to the work place, I slowly started doing things that I loved: cooking, writing, sharing recipes. I read many blogs and… started my own. I taught myself how to work with WordPress.
I was thrilled by how fun and easy it was to create WordPress websites and by the time I had regained the energy and confidence to get back to work, I knew I wanted to start a business to show people how easily they could make themselves heard and seen online.
My hardship had given me a tremendous present: a new skill I could use to help people shine.
I brought a new concept into the market, launching peoples’ website within one intense day of 1-on-1 coaching and instruction. It was unique in its approach and soon it got copied by fellow website creators.
In those five years I have worked with over 200 entrepreneurs.
I invited clients to ask their questions freely and I would answer them on my blog, for everybody to benefit. This hugely improved the conversion of my sales conversations: people who called were already enthusiastic. They already knew me and knew what to expect from me.
There are MANY website creators around, some working at ridiculously low rates, and in this very competitive market, I have built the business of my own dreams: a location independent business which enables me to work whenever, wherever.
I have traveled all over Europe and to Malaysia, India, Thailand enjoying this life of freedom. I have found inspiration everywhere and have shared all about it on my blogs.
Wherever I go, many people end up checking out my blog and magically… I get daily REQUESTS from people to work with THEM.
Why am I telling you all this? To show you a few things. I’m sure you have seen them in your life already:
1. Any life experience is an invitation for you to learn.
You may resolve old patterns and make space for the lighter, healthier, more open and powerful you.
2. Anything you have learned, any process you have lived through, can be of benefit to others.
You can draw countless advices from your own experiences!
And now here’s a big one which may really shift your mindset:
3. Anything which is of benefit to others, has a value which can be expressed in money.
You may share you life’s transformations and turn them into a mini-course, either in a video or a blog post or a worksheet or an ebook…
You could then share it for money or in exchange for people’s email address, for example, so you can build a personal relationship. But I am jumping ahead of myself.
Today I want to share with you one way of attracting the business and clients that are perfect for you, right now:
Inspire people into action by sharing your story
INSPIRE people into ACTION. Live by example and empower people to step into their own strength.
How to do that?
One thing that inspires people, is when you SHARE your STORY. People have been telling each other stories for ages. We all understand the concept of a journey. We are all the hero in our own story, or we want to be. We have all faced obstacles and overcome them. Stories are elegant ways of conveying a message.
This is one super strong way in which you can inspire people: by sharing your story of personal transformation and growth.
But don’t let it end there! Your next step is… to help people take the next step!
You want to inspire people INTO ACTION. You can help people see that this change can happen for them, too. Paint the picture of where they are now and where they will be when they take the action you propose.
How to inspire people into action
1. Share your story in a lively way
2. Distill your method
3. Tell people their action
4. Show them their transformation (use all of the senses)
1. Share your story
Old situation – something happened – new situation
In colorful details, using all of the senses, describe where you were at the beginning of your story. Then, shortly describe what happened that made the difference. And finally, describe your transformation. Try to answer these questions:
What were the results?
How did you feel?
What went differently from then on?
2. Distill your method
Take your “something happened” and distill it into actionable steps. Tell them that in a simplified way, this is what you did.
3. Tell people their action
Make it simple. Tell them: if you are in this situation, you need to take THESE STEPS.
4. Show them their transformation
Show exactly how happy, relieved, fulfilled, open, energized and/or grounded you felt having lived this transformation. Really bring it to life! And help them imagine how they would feel in your shoes.
Bring it to life in a way that people get to see the real you. Use informal language. Imagine you are talking to your best friend or your family. Use the words you would be using with them. This way, you connect with people on a personal level.
You will open people up to the possibility that they can have the same result as you… and they can! Have you ever seen the light that shines in people’s eyes when they feel inspired? This is the light that shines in each of us.
It can be anything
Now – you may feel you don’t have a lot to share. But remember that you can literally take the smallest successes in your life and draw from ANY life experience. There is always someone with the same problem.
Search for the smallest bits of experience that you can find. When i work with clients, we use a structured process to find how THEY can inspire people into action and trust me, the options are countless.
Over to you
Want to share your story in the comments? Please do! Don’t forget to mention the transformation you saw in your life and which your clients may see in theirs. I’m looking forward!