About three months ago following a client session, I was completely depressed. It was disheartening. I was always so energized with helping and the excitement my clients had, but this guy was different. So that I wouldn't carry this feeling around all day I put on my gym shoes and took my dog for a walk while I worked with the feelings.
This client wanted to reach his goals but continually found ways not to do the work he needed to get there. He had a mental block to success. That's not something a marketing consultant can fix. He kept rescheduling sessions, then another to "get the work done" but it never did. I knew that if he was ever to reach his goals he had two choices: get through his success block that was stopping him from doing the work or outsource those tasks so someone else would get it done. Beyond that, I couldn't help him much more.
It was the beginning of my realization that one of my favorite quotes (seen on my status updates fairly often) "You cannot push someone up the ladder when he himself doesn't want to climb." Author Unknown, was invading my firm! As I stopped to admire a neighbor's flowers while Karma (my dog) "watered" them in his own unique way, yet another client came to mind.
He wanted revenue growth. He calculated how many new appointments his website needed to provide his salesman in order to grow. To have a solid lead generating website you need to generate exponential traffic with the help of SEO professionals and a working cross media strategy. Unfortunately, he loved doing the web work himself. I tried to convince him that he was more valuable to his business elsewhere, but he insisted. His website looks nice, but I doubt the conversion ratios are very high. I parted ways with this client.
As I walked up my driveway the correlations between these two clients and others who were similarly success averse came to mind: they all had visions of how their business should be that were not embraced by their market or business model. Many small businesses today are falling prey to seminars, CD programs and wild promises made by "coaches". I've realized that many of my clients that I would describe as Success Procrastinators have been wooed by gurus and really do think they can work 4 hours/week doing only the "fun stuff" and make millions.
I'm sure there are plenty of great seminars and educators out there, but if you truly wish to work 4 hours/week and make millions the formula is quite simple actually:
- Work your butt off for 3-5 years carving out your niche;
- Make enough money to fund growth;
- Start delegating anything you hate or are not excellent at doing (this includes graphics or website because it's fun!) and treat these people well so they stay with you for a long time - don't micro-manage;
- Ruthlessly track conversions and strive to increase them with your marketing; and
- Don't rest on your laurels - always be looking for the next big thing.
Paula Pollock is CEO of the Pollock Marketing Group, further assisting good companies in becoming great through outsourced marketing services with her team of professionals. PMG supports business marketing at all levels from DIY, short-term projects and Virtual CMO/Marketing Department. You can sign up to receive her Marketing Tips newsletter at www.paulapollock.com.