I was just hanging out at one of my favourite thinking spots (on the can), and had a great insight.
It’s about WHY we do what we do. You’ll probably know that WHY is one of my favourite words at the moment.
Because you’re reading this blog, it’s practically certain that you’ve spent a fair amount of time and money chasing the latest “thing that you’re supposed to do.”
Over the years, we’ve all been told that this or that activity is absolutely crucial, and that we’re idiots if we’re not already doing it.
Now, most of the experts who tell us this are the same experts who sell expensive courses that show you how to do the latest “thing you’re supposed to do,” but I’m sure that’s purely coincidental 😉
Let’s see how many “things you’re supposed to do” there have been recently in online publishing and marketing…
- YouTube Videos
- Publishing Ebooks
- Ethical bribes for list building
- Set up a Facebook page and a Twitter feed
- Conversion optimization
- “Do” Pinterest
And so on, and so on, and so on. I could probably fill pages, which would be very boring, but you get the idea.
Don’t Listen to the Experts
Let’s review the facts, shall we?
Fact One: There’s always a new “thing you’re supposed to do”.
Fact Two: You don’t have to do it (unless it’s right for your business).
Clearly, not every tactic is right for every business or marketer. They can’t be, logically, because if you really are supposed to do them all, you would never sleep, you’d lose all your money buying courses, and you’d probably lose your mind.
OK, now we’ve cleared that up, let’s deal with the real question, the elephant in the room:
How are you supposed to know whether the latest “thing you’re supposed to do” is right for your business?
I’d like to offer you my answer to that question, and how it can really help you unlock success, profits, and happiness.
It all has to do with that word, WHY. And it has to do with two of my other favourite words: Integrity and Identity.
Let me run you through it step by step.
Step One: Know Your Why
It starts with uncovering why you do what you do (and this can apply to a brand or business). What really motivates you? What’s your mission, your passion? What do you stand for? What do you stand against? What can the world rely on your for? (For some hints on this, check out my post “How to Find Your Why” and also my “Pure Gold Positioning Questionnaire”.)
Step Two: Be Your True Identity
Your WHY becomes the basis of your identity (your brand if you like).
e.g. Instead of being “the coach who does (some types of services) for these types of clients”, you might then be, “the coach who is a champion for every self-employed mother’s true passion and potential”.
In my case, a few months ago, I was “the web designer who’s interested in conversion, SEO, Facebook, and stuff”.
Now, I’m “the guy who believes every small business owner in the world should get access to the very best guidance – at a price they can afford.”
See the difference? When you know why you do whatever it is you do, when it fits you like a tailored coat, and when you BE it 100%, you’ve already made a significant transformation into something that other people can believe in.
But bear with me, because it gets better…
Step Three: “I Do Because I Am”
As soon as you know why you do whatever it is you do, you have the basis for a reason for any communication you put out, any proposition you make, and – crucially – for someone to follow you.
Now, you shouldn’t publish on Pinterest, or set up a Facebook group, or answer people’s questions on LinkedIn, or write an ebook… because it’s a “thing you’re supposed to do”…
Now, you do it because you ARE, “the guy who believes every small business owner in the world should get access to the very best guidance at a price they can afford” (or whatever YOU ARE). You do the things that that kind of person does. Easy!
There’s no more thinking involved. There’s no more, “Should I or shouldn’t I?”
This year, I wrote a book about how to “downshift” your life, called “How To Be Rich Today”, and I gave it away for free.
Did I do it because it would build my list, or make me money? Nope. I did it because that’s who I AM. I downshifted my life (starting to be happier with less money and more time), it changed my life, and I just wanted everyone else to have access to the benefit of that experience, so they could make their own choice.
Right now, I’m working on a system that could help any small business to slash the marketing costs by automating a large part of the process of crafting a marketing campaign. And I’m even trying to find a way to give that to the world for free!
Why? Because that’s what I AM. I am not my job, I am not the products and services I sell. I AM that guy who stands for making things better for every aspiring entrepreneur.
That’s the same reason I’m writing this blog post now. I really don’t care if you like it, if you choose to join my email list, or if you ever pay me any money for anything. I’m doing it because it’s a natural expression of what I AM.
Step Four: The World Knows You
What all this means is, when your life and work are seen from the outside, everything you DO is an expression of the fact that you ARE your true identity.
Take it a step further, to when the world observes what you sell: your propositions.
“Ye shall know them by their fruits” (Matthew 7:16)
Now consider the world knows who you ARE, not what you claim or profess.
So, let’s say you are “the coach who is a champion for every self-employed mother’s true passion and potential”. Now, when you publish a book, or a course, or you announce a seminar, and you say, for example, “This is the single most important event of the year for working moms who want to build a great business around their family life”, nobody needs to question your claim, because what you’re saying has complete integrity with you they know you ARE.
There’s no friction there. It has to be the most important event, because it comes from the person who IS the champion for every self-employed mother’s true passion and potential. Nothing exists to contradict that simple, plain truth.
So, my advice is, stop chasing the next dollar, and certainly stop chasing the next “thing you’re supposed to do”.
First “know thyself”, then let every communication be a pure and truthful and integral expression of that. And maybe you’ll discover a business and a revenue stream that’s more amazing and rewarding than you ever dared to imagine.