Ever get some business advice from some biz “guru” that just didn’t sit right with you? Did you try some of the standard recommendations only to discover that it left you feeling disingenuous or sleazy?
If you’re a heart-centered entrepreneur, some of the so-called best business practices won’t align with the way you roll. That’s because your work is aligned with your soul and those gimmicks and corporate behaviors are coming from a completely different way of operating.
While there may be a kernel of wisdom in some advice that is floating out there, not all will apply to your work. (Much has NOT applied to mine.) Give yourself permission to pick and choose the guidance that feels right.
Here’s some of the advice I’ve heard or been given and my anti-guru advice:
Standard advice: Outsource everything. Your goal: work four hours a week while someone else does the actual work. (At rock bottom prices, of course.)
My advice: I like to keep a lean, mean machine running over here. Plus, I don’t like to micro-manage people. When I do hire, I hire local and I pay a living wage. It’s because I like keeping the money in my hood as much as possible and it feels good to pay someone a real salary vs. peanuts. Do as much as your own work as you can – and when you hire, pay well.
Standard advice: You must have a niche.
My advice: Don’t worry about a niche. Some of us have more than one interest or skill. That’s groovy! Here’s your niche: be you. Show your personality.
Standard advice: Fear sells. Push pain buttons.
My advice: While that advice may be true in some industries, it feels crappy to me. I don’t want to sell my wares while scaring the pants of someone. When you write your sales copy, put a spirit of devotion, love, fun, and friendliness into your words.
Standard advice: Stalk your competition. Go where they are.
My advice: After over two years of having a business stalker follow my every move, I can tell you that this is NOT the way to do your business. I can only imagine how exhausting it must be for her to keep on trying to chase my tail. Plus, it’s gross. Don’t be a creep. Keep your eyes on your own grind. PERIOD. Stop viewing your peers as competition. There is enough work for all so knock it off.
Standard advice: It’s all about the numbers.
My advice: It’s all about the people. Treat your clients well.
Standard advice: You must have a virtual assistant and a housekeeper. You don’t have time for that lowly work.
My advice: You don’t need that to be successful. If you like answering your own email or scrubbing your floor – or if these services are not in your budget – let that guide your decision. (PS VA work or housekeeping are not lowly.)
Standard advice: Be less reachable. Have everything go through your assistant.
My advice: Be approachable and friendly. Answer people directly. They are often delighted when you do.
Standard advice: You must guest blog. Reach out to popular blogs and see if you can post something there.
My advice: Guest blogging IS a good idea but, you don’t need to do it to gain traction. Instead, put great content on your own blog. Yeah…that.
Standard advice: Leave comments on every blog you can. This is a great business strategy.
My advice: I only leave a comment if I am moved to do so. Leaving a comment just to get people to come to your world? I’m sorry but that feels like a dog marking their territory. Only leave comments if your motive is right.
Standard advice: You need a “signature program.”
My advice: No you don’t.
Standard advice: Leverage your time by getting rid of one on one work.
My advice: Tell me how that can work for a massage therapist or an astrologer? It doesn’t. This idea of doing only “group programs” or making a living with only “passive income” is flawed and won’t jive for many of us. And, if you prefer one-on-one work (I do), it won’t feel right. Listen to your gut on that one.
Standard advice: Double your rates. Charge premium pricing.
My advice: Keep in mind that if you automatically double your rates, you will alienate clients that have been with you for a long time. Raise your rates but be mindful that you do it in a way that feels good for you and your clients.
Bottom line: question the authorities and be your own guru. Word.
© Theresa Reed | The Tarot Lady 2014