This week’s guest on SUCCESS Line has already been on one of the biggest stages: Broadway. But with the theater shut down because of the COVID-19 pandemic, our guest Bret, a Broadway actor, has spent the past year expanding his coaching business for creatives. Now what was once a side-hustle has become a full-time business he is ready to scale.
He came on this week’s SUCCESS Line with a two-part problem. The first was tactical: how does he scale his business in a way that is fair to his audience and fair to himself? The second was more emotional: how does he let go of that nagging voice in his head that fills him with self-doubt and leaves him comparing himself to others?
The secret is that we all face doubts and insecurities while growing a business, no matter how big or small of a stage. So how do we put those fears aside and focus on the work that matters? Read on for my top three tips.
1. Lean in to your passion.
It is not enough to be good at something. In order to succeed, you must put yourself through the passion test. What fires you up? If it doesn’t fire you up, you won’t be able to sustain it; you’ll burn out in mere months.
When speaking with Bret, it quickly became clear that he is passionate about his business; he just needed help to articulate it. Give yourself permission to sit down and identify what you are truly passionate about doing, solving and curing. And remember that passion is not just sunshine and rainbows: What upsets off? What feels unfair? What breaks your heart? Your answers to these questions are clues to your uniqueness, and your uniqueness is the key to your success.
2. Know your numbers.
Entrepreneurs have a tendency to panic when they find their business stagnating. But the reason most businesses stall is not because of the caliber of their product or service; it is almost always because they don’t have enough reach. Luckily for us, that is something we can now control (to a degree) through online advertising. With paid media you can purchase clicks and impressions, which leads to more eyeballs on your business and, eventually, more money in your pocket. It is the same concept as buying a Super Bowl ad, only much cheaper and easier.
However, in order to invest in a strategic online marketing plan you need to know your numbers. Calculate how much that first click is worth to you; this will tell you how much you can afford to spend on paid media. To identify this number, you need to know the percentages of conversion at each stage of your business’ funnel, aka the process you lead prospective clients through when asking them to take out their credit cards. Then, you can reverse engineer what each of those points of contact is worth, tracking each step all the way back to that first click.
The next time you find yourself in a panic that your business isn’t working, slow down and look at the data. Knowing your numbers can turn that panic into a simple pragmatic question: how much can I afford to buy clicks for and from where can I buy them? This is the fastest way to get more reach for your business.
3. Let go of imposter syndrome.
Imposter syndrome eats at us. So many of us run a constant tape in our mind that says, “I’m not good enough,” or, “I’m not smart enough.” When this happens, know that it is simply your brain functioning in a normal and healthy way to keep you safe. Your brain is designed for safety; it wants you to do what you have always done. But success is not about safety. It is about getting outside of your comfort zone and doing new things that are risky and scary.
Recognize that imposter syndrome is your brain trying to keep you safe and then work to reprogram it. Once you do, you’ll realize that nobody has the same uniqueness you do; nobody has the same experience, the same heartaches or the same passion.
We are lucky enough to live in a world where we all have the opportunity to build a platform and share our stories. Although this means there is a lot of noise in the digital world, it doesn’t matter. The more you step into being who you are and allow that to come through, the more you are going to stand out and win.
Finally, you will feel fear only when you are thinking about yourself. There is no fear when your mission to serve is clear. Step outside of yourself and your personal hang-ups, and focus on the people you are uniquely positioned to serve.