Clarity is a Pre-Requisite to Success in Business – Here’s How You Find It
For a number of years I didn’t have an “elevator pitch”. Whenever asked “what do you do?” or “what’s your thing?”, I would squirm, deflect or (mostly) let forth with a stream of incomprehensible babble. The response was knitted brows or glazed eyes. I left no opportunity for a follow up question, I always felt the kind person in front of me thought I was an idiot or a lightweight. More often than not I beat a hasty retreat.
It’s painful to admit how many years my wheels were spinning and how many wasted connections there have been. I know how hard it is to feel lost …. like I was on the in the marshalling area whilst others were running races and even standing on the podium.
In 2009 I travelled from Sydney, Australia to Las Vegas to attend Ali Brown’s Shine Event for female entrepreneurs. That simple statement comes nowhere close to saying how big a deal this was for me. I was so, so, so poor at the time, the whole trip went on credit cards. Looking back now from the smug safety of regained financial comfort, I cannot believe I did it.
On the first day I sat up the back of the room with some other Aussies, feeling emotional and overwhelmed. I was rubbing shoulders with real entrepreneurs, who were opposite to the try hard failure I perceived myself to be.
Ali Brown is gorgeous, lovely and smart. At the opening session she introduced her content with the following: “There are 3 elements that you must get working, your magic, your marketing, and your model. You all know what your magic is or you wouldn’t be here, so we are going to concentrate on” …. (I’m guessing the next bit because I felt like time stopped, all I could hear was the rush of blood in my ears and I struggled to breathe in) ….”your marketing and your model”. And on she went to talk about business models.
In the same instant I knew I was not alone, I felt at least one third of the (mostly women) entrepreneurs in the room panic, shrink and feel beaten. Those of us who didn’t know “our magic” were not even worthy of the starting line.
I honestly don’t know if it was right at that second or sometime later that I committed to a mission. Find this “magic” that Ali spoke of. Find what I could do that would make me happy, just happy. I knew instinctively it would have everything to do with living my values and something to do with helping others. If I found it I’d stop feeling lost and inferior. I would feel inspired, I would feel confident, I would feel strong and I would be clear.
And that is what happened.
But gosh damn, it took some time to figure out.
I believe this problem chose me. I’m committed to guiding others to bask in their Sweet Spot, to find the clarity that allows you to take flight on a trajectory that is your path alone.
It is not a fast or easy process for everyone. It can be deep and reflective. It should shift you. Things in your life will more than likely need to change and some things might fall away.
However, I’m not suggesting you need to stop all work and sit in a cave for a month either, that wouldn’t be smart.
So whilst the path to clarity will be iterative, and likely come in stops and starts, it is work that will give you SO MUCH MORE than it takes.
It means no more babbling or wishing the ground would open up under you whenever someone asks you about your “avatar”.
Just clear, vivid, enticing answers to the biggest entrepreneurial questions.
Just confidently looking prospects in the eye when talking about your business.
Just asking the ideal “connection” questions to amplify interest in your work. Enjoying the most comfortable and natural of “sales” conversations.
Just knowing you are in your own lane and what others do is irrelevant. Stopping the endless comparing.
Does that sound great? Well, roll up your sleeves and start digging for gold!
First: What is Clarity?
For some people, clarity hits them like a truck, it is a massive, one off, life changing epiphany about what you are here to contribute. For most people it’s a slower process of listening, deepening and shedding. Finding your way home isn’t always comfortable and there will be many recalibrations.
To find clarity you have to state what you want. Not what others want for you, not what you think you should want, but what you really, deep down want.
And once you know what you want, don’t waver. Do something every single day that takes you closer. Inch by inch by inch, it will add up.
This is not as easy as it sounds, and it can be scary because it will be apparent that some of what you have, who you are or what you do is not what you want, which means you’ll need to CHANGE.
Still, I challenge you, please commit to this, because it could be the most transformational work that you do. And you can do it. And you must do it if you want to build a life that you love, doing work that contributes.
Clarity is the pre-requisite to strategy. And strategy MUST come before tactics.
If you have been trying to execute tactics without clarity or strategy, I can predict exactly what is happening to you. What’s more, I understand the disillusionment, fear and disappointment you are feeling. I can help you.
Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory.
Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.
So what are these 7 Clarities of which I speak?
One: Your Sweet Spot – the foundational piece. I may not know you, but I do know this – if you skipped this step in building your business, it is struggling to find its way.
I describe your Sweet Spot as your place in the sun – where you operate from your zone of strength. You can excel and you don’t compete with anyone because you live in your power and truth. You can breathe out and feel relaxed because head and heart are aligned in your business.
Finding your Sweet Spot starts by defining your value to the world from inside out. (In this model heart and soul get equal billing with the rational stuff
Your Sweet Spot resides in the overlap of 3 investigations;
- What you already know or can do which others want to know or do, (your abilities, your advantages and your authority)
- Your whole hearted “why”. This involves identifying what will light you up and allow you to live your values in your work (your satisfaction, service and significance)
- Who wants what you have? Who they are, where they are and how can you serve them. We summarise this step as problems, pay and profile.
From your Sweet Spot comes your specialisation and your ideal client descriptions (your niche)
Ready to get clear on your ideal client? That is our free gift training and you can access it here.
Two: Client Insight – if there is a single common attribute I’ve observed about successful know how entrepreneurs, it’s insight. They deeply understand and truly care for their people. They feel your struggles and desires so intimately that their communication seems uncanny, as if they are reading your mind. Often they have been right where you are.
For early stage entrepreneurs this learning process rarely goes deep enough – and yet entrepreneurial confidence is born of insight. Insight is the power source for your content and sales copy, your brand and its voice, your product and service development, your giveaways, your speaking topics and all your growth opportunities.
Creating an Insight Bank is a simple discipline with a priceless number of flow on benefits.
Three: Transformational Content – an encapsulation of how working with you serves your clients. This is the system or process that gets results* that you guide (often called your “Signature System”)
It is difficult to move forward without this clarity as it touches every product or service. Understanding the nature of the transformation you provide means your content and offers are coherent.
* it is results that you sell, but you need a system that you know can get them there.
(The 7 Clarities is my Signature System)
Four: Magnetizing Brand – what you are known for in a crowded marketplace. Ideal clients will respond to your understanding. Brand sits in the centre of the 7 Clarities because is the central expression of the value you create.
To use an analogy, a brand it is to your business, what your body is to your life. It presents you and positions you, it shows your youth and vitality or your wisdom and maturity. It houses your integrity, your voice and your heart. Great Brands are built from the inside out, in total alignment with who you really are.
I want you to have what my clients have, a brand that makes them burst with pride.
A magnetising brand is the shortest distance between your ideal clients and you. You join the conversation they are already having in their head and use your insight to position you and your story to connect.
Five: Revenue Model – what are you going to sell and to whom? How will you deliver your products or services? How will you price them? Where will you offer them? How will you promote them? Will you work narrow and deep? Or would you rather reach a greater number of people with less intense relationships? Or some combination of the above?
You’ll also think deeply about what you want and need. Magical thinking stops here. There could be some “outside of comfort zone” stuff to face as growing a business will always involve a personal stretch and some inner work.
I make sure my clients understand the pros and cons of each of the main revenue models. We talk about what it really takes so you can make decisions and design your business from your strong zone.
Our clients also consider how their business will develop. Not all models are open to you in the early stages. You can set the foundations for a model that you’ll be able to leverage as you grow, scale into something big or “make money while you sleep”.
Six: Product Strategy – once you know the bigger picture of how you will approach the market, what specific product solutions will you design? Each product makes a promise, and will be driven by your insight.
- How do you identify opportunities?
- How do you prioritise your offers?
- How do you structure them for maximum results?
- How do you choose your model of least resistance?
- How will you take the products to market?
- What do you do so people refer your programs?
This and many more questions are answered in Clarity 6
Seven: Consistent Marketing Activity – Finally you are clear – the strategic work is done. Your goal, path and plan are laid out. Only now do you think about tactics – specifically how you are going to get known and start relationships.
From this point, your job description is relatively simple – it is to build know, like and trust amongst ideal clients. Find deliberate actions to take every day to connect on each level
– know actions – planting seeds
– like actions – caring for seedlings
– trust actions – raising crops
How will you shine? Most people follow the education based marketing strategy. From there are 101 tactics, so you must (initially at least) , choose channels where you can focus your effort or investment for the greatest result. I believe you should choose marketing activities which are as natural for you as conversation.
If you love to write, write. If you love to talk, talk. If you love to meet people, get out and meet people. If you love to reach out to others, do that. If you want to lead, lead or teach, teach. If you are visually intelligent, use the visual mediums to reach people. If you want to provoke and stretch others, there is a great strategy for that.
The key is to be visible in the places where ideal clients already are, so find out where they are, (online or in the “real” world), go there and shine! If you are generous, show your knowledge and play to your natural strengths your marketing activity should not become an enormous drain of energy.
If you have money to invest in reaching ideal clients – brilliant! This should really accelerate you. But first – understand how that activity fits into your strategy. Before you outsource something like facebook advertising, take the time to learn the basics of what you are paying someone to help with, so you can make valuable contributions and evaluate results from a strategic level.
Over coming weeks we are going to be covering each clarity in depth. Subscribe below to ensure you receive all 7. You can also download a pdf download of the seven clarities to pin up next to your desk and keep you on track.
The foundational clarity is your Sweet Spot, you can read on here to explore this clarity.