A few weeks ago, I picked up a copy of “The Power” by Rhonda Byrne. (In case you’re not familiar, it’s the sequel to “The Secret” book and movie combo that swept millions off their feet a few years back.) It’s all about using the force of love to attract anything you wish into your life: money, health, relationships, etc. Not only is it a powerful and spellbinding read (which I recommend you check out as soon as possible), but it got me to thinking about my business.
You see, I used to create marketing materials that focused on the negative. Ie. How to Cope When You Hate Marketing/Writing. (I’m ashamed to admit that I’ve fallen into the trap relatively recently, although I’ve been making a conscious effort to stay far, far away from that line of thinking!)
But see, there was a disconnect there, because a) I don’t hate marketing OR writing (on the contrary, I find it fascinating when you can find just the right words to move folks into taking a specific action) and b) I don’t actually enjoy working with folks who see marketing as a chore. I’ve come to find, through the years, that I enjoy working with people who like to dive in and do their own writing but just need some guidance to help them get it done (and done well). Also, I’m an optimistic, glass-half-full type of person by nature, so being around folks who have a more pessimistic view of life isn’t a good fit for me.
But by focusing on the wrong things, I was attracting people who weren’t my ideal clients. Which made everyone involved completely miserable!
Another trap I found myself falling into was focusing on the “Why not me?” factor. As in, “Why are THEY so successful when I’m struggling just to put food on the table?”
I’ve found myself grumbling thoughts along those lines more often than I care to admit. Wasn’t always that way. When I first started my business, I was filled with hope and optimism. I would see the success stories of others in similar lines of work and think, “That’ll be me someday!” Or I’d imagine how it would feel to enjoy those levels of success. But I wasn’t ready for it, and the first few years brought with them a struggle just to get by. As the days went on, skepticism began to creep in, until eventually it completely overshadowed the hope of my early days. And with the skepticism came envy. Envy toward others who were more successful than I. And eventually, that envy turned into anger. “What makes her so special?!” Or “I’ve met so-and-so and/or seen his work; he’s not even that talented! He’s certainly no better than me; how does he have clients paying him $1000s when I can barely get by?”
Those weren’t my finer moments.
And I can now see that it was my attitude and beliefs that were holding me back from the get-go.
In the beginning, I didn’t have enough faith in myself to gain the momentum I needed.
Then, when I started to get clients and grow my business, I’d hit a slump and the self-doubt would kick in again. Thoughts like, “Who am I kidding?! I can’t do this!” or “I could NEVER charge that much money; no one would dare to pay it!” began to creep into my head. And the envy was born. Envy toward people who WERE running a successful business. Envy toward people who WERE charging high fees and earning good money for their gifts.
But then I reached a turning point. Before I even knew why I was doing it, I switched tactics and started focusing on more positive things. I started focusing also on MY strengths and not only what sets me apart but also what I most enjoy doing.
I stopped comparing myself to others and trying to model what others were doing and instead cut my own path. And you know what?
People started responding. I started attracting my ideal clients who were eager to work with me in the manner that I work best. (And on a side note, I started earning more money while working fewer hours AND getting rave reviews from ecstatic clients – can I get an AMEN? :))
Even better, I started enjoying my work again. The burnout that had been thisclose to destroying my business was gone, practically overnight. And I suddenly knew what I had to do to attract clients in a way that was true to me.
I’ve discovered that it’s all about focusing on the things you love most – the work you love to do, the people you love to work with, etc. – and in so doing, you’ll naturally draw more of what you love to you, as if by magic. More clients you love to serve. More money – and more free time – to do the things you love.
I encourage you to try it out today. Start by thinking of one thing you love to do that you can’t do now, either because you don’t have the time/money/energy/know-how to do it. Could be traveling to another country. Could be earning enough money to take a few days off. Could be spending more time with your friends/family. But think of ONE thing in particular and really feel yourself enjoying it. Ask yourself, how does this feel? How WILL this feel when it comes into my life?
And please share your thoughts and comments below; can’t wait to hear from you!