Today I watched a fellow entreprenuer send out a newsletter and post online a message to all of the people on her mailing list to FUC# ‘n buy something or get off her list. Can you imagine getting an email like that?
This is a beautiful, talented and seemingly confident woman. What made her snap at her potential clients? Well, she talked about giving things away for free but no one ever buying after that. People using her time and draining her knowledge bank by asking her to lunch but then never paying and getting free coaching. Spending 10’s of thousands on business solutions but not having them turn into profits. I can empathize with her frustration over not seeing the monetary success she’d hoped to at this point. But it got me thinking… how can somebody prevent getting to that level of frustration?
I’m sure it was no coincidence that I was finalizing the boundaries chapter of the upcoming Finding Myself in the Moonligh ebook last night, so boundaries are fresh on my mind. We have to remember we often teach people how to treat us. I have zero personal knowledge about what is going on behind the scenes of this woman’s business, but from what she shared and my perspective I see 5 boundary breakdowns. Let me share:
1. Overgiving – Give away a free promotion for signing up for a newsletter is common practice. But giving away knowledge and uplifing messages everyday for a year without a solid plan to monitize it and it may lead to burn out and people expecting free from you instead of gaining the clients that value and would pay money for your knowledge. Figure out the best path to share knowledge that works for you but won’t leave you completely burnt out.
2. Spending more than we have – when we take class after class, invest in companies and leverage everything we own for our business it leaves us in a place of desperation. In some businesses people have turned that desperation into money, but when people sense that desperation they go running. It’s not even conscious most of the time, somthing just smells off. Build slowly and at the pace you can handle. It doesn’t matter if people around you seem to do it faster and better, if it’s not what works for you then don’t do it. The limelight and praises that can come from everyone thinking things are great, making our business seem bigger than it is or more successfull are short sighted. It’s a delicate dance; you want to stay open to where you are headed, be positive and share the good but know that you can’t live off that praise. The joy, fuel and get’er done-ness needs to come from within.
3. Don’t let others spend your money – People sell amazing products and services all over the world. Often we can want so many of these. The immediate answer so often is to “charge it”. I’ve been guilty of this in my past as well. Then just tell myself that this course or product will help me make more money and I’ll pay it back right away. It may be true but it may not be true. I have also learned that other people may not think $10k is a big deal, it may not be in their world. But the reality is whether it’s $30 or $3000 or $30000 you have to be okay losing it if you spend (invest) it. It’s always a gamble. No matter how good the deal, the class, the coaching or the product sounds if it puts your family in financial ruin then you need to find a plan B. Don’t lose touch with your inner knowing. Think bigger then that immediate moment of temptation or pressure. Be okay with telling that person you need to think about it. We can’t always pay our way out of something. Sometimes the answers come from believing in ourselves, getting quiet and listening to the next steps, praying and meeting people face to face.
4. Invite all I see online into my own life as truth – I see other artists or business owners that seem to have it all together. The perfect studio, their art is unique and seems like it’s selling like crazy. Jealousy can creep in so easy. So can believing that whatever is working for that person is also what would work for me. There are times I’ve been a bit envious of the paths of my sisters. Both are nurses they’ve had to follow steps A-Z then they are a nurse. (and a ton of hard work) but the point is there is a path. A path that if stay on and keep plugging then you’ll get to the next step and the next step after that. Owning a business isn’t the same. Every single path is a bit different. Especially in a personal business like art or coaching, it’s the soul and personal connection that is being the computer, the art, the phone that can often differentiate one company from another.
This can translate into how we see other mom’s whose kids are always perfectly dressed, families who are always vacationing and seem like life is so perfect. Stick to your own path. Make it the best you can! Believe in yourself!
5. Don’t give it away unintentionally – it’s perfect fine to say no to someone who wants to pick your brain for free. The answer to that (if you’ve run into it) is to have a way to flow them into your business by offering what you already have. This could be a Frequently Asked Questions section on your website, a blog or an area where you have classes. Or set up a free consultation, the point is to have a plan. There is nothing wrong with giving knowledge away for free, the point is that you get to decide! Often times it comes down to time, there isn’t enough time in the day to have the same conversations over and over no matter how much we wish we could. Other times I’ve heard from coaches is that people want free coaching under the disguise of lunch or coffee. It gets tricky when it’s the bread and butter of your business and you need to charge to be able to have a sustainable business. Figure out what works for you and how you can solve this if it’s something you run into.
I wish this fellow business own the best. It’s my hope that we can learn from her experience and save ourselves from that level of frustration and anger. On the bright side whoever is left on her mailing list after today is most likely a hard core, paying client. Maybe she’ll get her wish after all.
Sending you all the best!