When negativity helps you reach your dreams
Hermione (naturally, that's not her real name) was getting
increasingly frustrated with her new business.
She had put together an expensive website. She diligently
completed a series of exercises like, "My Ideal Client,"
and, "Why I Am Wonderful."
She sent around a series of articles and some were published
in the web's most popular free ezines. Her mailing list grew
to over a thousand subscribers. She earned a little money
from affiliate programs but only a few clients appeared --
and they asked for discounts.
Hermione asked several "experts"
She learned to distinguish benefits from features. She created
a brand and paid for a logo. She spent hundreds of dollars
for marketing classes that promised to power up her business.
She attended networking meetings, where she found herself
seated at tables with six of her fiercest competitors.
Finally, Hermione turned inward. She asked her intuition,
"What's going on here?"
And her intuition shouted, "I've been trying to tell
you. There's no market for your services! There are four hundred
competitors who offer the same benefits to the same market.
And your potential clients have all heard the story before."
Hermione sat with the information awhile.
Her advisors all warned her, "You're being negative!
There's enough out there for everyone."
Hermione refocused her dream. What had motivated her to start
this business? What talents could be redirected in more profitable
-- and less competitive -- directions?
In reality, most of us have more than one dream. Or we have
one dream that can be reached by a number of different paths.
Hermione wanted to work from home. She began to subscribe
to ezines designed specifically for home businesses.
Some sites were designed for stay-at-home moms. Hermione
wasn't a mom but nobody cared. These sites had good business
advice that worked for her as well.
Hermione ended up with a part-time job as an events planner
for a local branch of a mega-bookstore. Most of the work was
completed from her home phone and computer. And she began
to create her own niche as a virtual assistant, one client
at a time, helping people make their websites more profitable.
To her surprise, Hermione felt more fulfilled and happy.
Clients needed her services! She helped new authors fulfill
their dreams of giving talks to promote their books. And she
realized she could develop a new coaching niche: helping new
authors who wanted more bookstore exposure.
Bottom Line: The first question to ask of your business is,
"Can I find customers who are able and willing to pay
for my services?"
And the second question is, "How else can I fulfill
Don't get me wrong: Sometimes you can beat the odds. You
can enter a crowded field and succeed brilliantly. In my small
town, a young man decided to become a real estate agent, despite
a limited number of newcomers and houses. Within two years,
he had become Number 2 in the whole city, passing many established
But if you find yourself blocked for a long time, you may
be pursuing the wrong dream.
Time to be negative! Why beat your head against a wall? Jump
over the wall or carve out a new doorway. And your dream --
in a revised version -- will be waiting on the other side.
|Cathy Goodwin, Ph.D. is an author, career coach, and
speaker. She works with mid-career professionals who want to make a fast
move to career freedom. Visit her site http://www.movinglady.com
or call 505-534-4294.