All entrepreneurs have been there… when nothing is working. No matter what it means for you, whether no one is buying, no one is reading, nothing is getting momentum, or anything of the sort. It happens to everyone and in fact, it happens more often the more business growth you experience.
If you’re experiencing this, or have before. This episode is for you.
Tune in and hear:
- The four questions to ask yourself when nothing is working.
- How to expect these moments of “not working” as your business grows
- When to turn away from something vs. when to keep pushing.
Facebook Live Replay
Transcript of Episode
Welcome to the Your Biggest Vision show. We are going to talk about the four questions to ask yourself when things aren’t working. So whether that means no one is buying from you, no one is reading your emails, nothing’s happening, when things just aren’t clicking. We’ve all been there. So I want to just tell you exactly what I do and I want to start by saying that as my business has grown, as I’ve made more money and as my business has become more successful, more than it used to… things don’t work. Things don’t work all the time. It’s okay because the things that do work are the things that matter enough to get things moving forward and to progress. But there is still plenty of times when things absolutely don’t work. So, I just want to go into this by saying that if anyone is building a business or a side hustle or anything like that and they are thinking that you’re going to eventually get to a place where you don’t have to deal with things not working anymore or people not buying anymore, it’s just not the reality.
It is always going to be part of entrepreneurship, of building your business and really my intention here with you today is by sharing the things, I asked myself when things aren’t working, is that you can start to see how it’s really not a bad thing when things don’t work and actually if you can see it through a lens of exploration, even sort of playing a game of just exploring, creating, seeing what works, seeing what doesn’t, you know, not taking everything so seriously, you’re going to have a much better time running your business. You’re going to be happier and honestly, you’re going to move quicker because you’re not going to get hung up when things don’t work or when people don’t buy or when something is a flop because you can really think, okay, this is just part of the deal. How can I be resourceful? How can I ask myself these questions and how can I move on and figure out what does work?
A big part of that also means that you don’t take things personally when they don’t work and this was a very, very hard point for me to really understand when I was starting out because my business is very personal brand oriented. So if you are building something that really represents who you are and you’re really involved in it, then it’s hard not to take it personally all the time. It can feel like if people aren’t listening to what your business is putting out there or responding to it, then it might have something to do with you, and it’s just not true and it’s not healthy to think like that.
So I want to just go into this with those two mindset pieces really in place for all of us. Recapping that first of all, this never ends. In fact, the better you get at entrepreneurship and the more you grow and the more money you make, the more often times things will not work. And two, if you can see it that way and see it as something that’s actually fun, exploratory, even kind of playful and really nothing that you should be taking personally, but something that you should actually enjoy playing with and you’re going to have a much easier time moving forward, moving quicker and, and really keeping your eye on the prize and continuing to move on. So with that, I’m going to go ahead and go into the four types of questions I ask myself and I’d love to hear from you guys. Have you ever had something not work? Maybe something not working now? Whatever you’re willing to share about what kind of thing that is. Is it that you created something that isn’t working or selling? Is it that you’re sending emails and no one’s clicking them? Is it that you came up with some sort of program and no one seems to be interested? Whatever might be resonating with you around this, if you’re willing to share or if it’s happened in the past and hasn’t happened right now. It’s always really helpful for me and for other people to hear real life examples of how this has happened so that they can relate and understand that they’re not alone. You’re never alone if any of this is resonating with you. So the first thing that I ask myself when things aren’t working is something that took me awhile to really get used to because it’s a little bit counterintuitive. I used to look at everything else and think, what’s wrong with my marketing? What’s wrong with my product? What are other people doing better than I am? In fact, the first place you need to look is not externally, but internally. This might sound a little bit abstract or a little bit unrelatable, but just hear me out for a second.
You need to ask yourself how much you are attached to whatever your selling and how important you think it is. The reason this really matters, this part about checking in with what you think is very important and how passionate you are, is because if you don’t believe in what you’re selling, then you probably shouldn’t be selling it because you don’t believe in it. And that’s okay. That’s okay. You know, sometimes we come up with things because we think they’re good ideas and we think that people will like it, people will buy it. That’s okay. You’re only human and you’re trying to make a business work. It’s not about judging yourself or thinking that you did anything out of greed, but it is about taking the moment to really think, okay, is this something that I really know will help people? Is this something that I really think could change someone’s life? Is this something that I know my ideal customer or client would benefit greatly from? And if the answer is no, that’s okay. You can kind of step back right here and go to the drawing board again and really think about what would be the most helpful thing for them that you could create right now. Don’t put this pressure on yourself to come up with these huge solutions or these huge products and services that are like a brand new software or something like that. You can offer a small, relatively small transformations, things that are easy, things that are concise. It’s actually a good thing. People aren’t necessarily looking for a complete overhaul of their life. They’re looking for a shortcut to something that they’re not able to get on their own. So that is where you can focus this.
So you want to ask yourself if you’re really passionate about it, and again, if the answer’s no, that’s okay. Maybe go find a micro transformation or a micro solution or micro problem to solve and just focus on that. No problem is too small to solve. You can always help people. If on the other hand you’re like, yes, like I know that this is what I want to be offering. I’m so passionate about this. I know it could change people’s lives. Why doesn’t anyone see how life changing it is? Because I really see how life changing it is then. That’s great. Keep going. We’re going to keep going assuming that you are really passionate about whatever this product or service or offering of any kind is, you know you’re very confident about it because then it’s not actually a problem of that product or service. Then it’s going to be a bit something, something a bit more external which we’re going to talk about. However, before we move on to the external part, if you are feeling internally very confident that this is what you want to do, this is what you want to sell, this is what you want to offer, this is the thing that you can help people with. Then you’ve got to buckle up and I say that with a little bit of tough love, but when you are feeling like things aren’t working, something’s wrong, you’re unlucky. Any of these stories we can tell ourselves when things don’t seem to be getting the results we want. Yet, we feel really passionately about a product or service we have to help. You have to be a little more fierce than that.
You have to understand that a lot of things don’t work the first time, but if you really know that this is something helpful and that this could change someone’s life and that you really are going to benefit other people by offering this, you’ve got to take a stand for what you’re offering and you’ve got to realize that you know what, I need to be more patient or I need to be more creative or I need to be more thoughtful and need to go through some of the questions we’re going to answer here. I’m going to walk you through what you can look at, but we also need to have this reality check about the fact that you don’t get a pity yourself because something that you’re putting out there hasn’t resulted in the way that you wanted it to quite yet. Things take time, especially if you’re newer to this and especially if you haven’t done this before. There’s a lot of moving factors to why people might or might not by you. It’s your job to explore those factors and not to pity yourself because you think, okay, you have this cure to something, but no one’s seeing it. It’s your job to make them see that and we’re gonna talk about that.
But I just wanted to add that little bit of tough love because I often hear people tell me that they think things aren’t working, they’re not really selling something. Then a lot of times I feel like we all need to remember that if you really, really care about what you’re selling, then you have to stand by it and you have to be in this for the long haul and you have to be open to exploring whatever could make this work. So those are most of the internal questions that I would ask myself. But you know, you can really connect with yourself in whatever way makes sense for you. I think that all entrepreneurs have a different way of thinking about their internal interpretation of their work. So whether that’s connecting with your big why, whether that means journaling about this, whether that means you meditate on it, maybe you go back to a business plan, maybe you look at your bigger picture goals, you know whatever it takes for you to really zoom out and make sure that this is resonating with you and this is part of why you started to begin with and this is in service to your bigger picture, your bigger vision or your bigger goals, then do that and it’ll be different for everyone.
For me in that situation, what I would do is probably really go back to why I started my business, why I started this product or service. I would probably journal about it quite a bit and then because I really believe in taking action from a positive place, not a negative place or a fear based place, I would really start to write down all the reasons why this has to work, why this will work, why this is going to change people’s lives. Instead of letting myself go to a place where I’m thinking that maybe this is a flop, maybe it’s not working, maybe no one wants it. You have to completely act from a different place. So rewinding my head to thinking, you know what? This is just a little blip in a much bigger win and here’s what the wins going to look like and here’s the people I’m going to serve and this is how much money I’m gonna make. You know, go big with it. But get back to that place of excitement and belief in yourself because we don’t want to move forward from this where we’re going to start with action steps until you’ve gotten to a positive place who don’t want to take action from fear. I hope that makes sense.
Okay. Question category number two. So first was asked myself, what’s going on? Number two, ask the successful. So hopefully if you are selling something, you have either studied a bit of marketing or you have learned from someone that’s a marketer or you even just watched people sell things successfully and the more you do that, you’re going to pick up on a couple of things that without a doubt, all of these successful people that are selling something have in common. The number one thing is consistency. So ask yourself how consistently you’ve been selling this, how consistently you have been advertising, how consistently you’ve been marketing, how consistently you talk to people that are part of your clientele, of your customers, of your audience. Are you consistent with your message? Do you actually believe in this and our new proving it? You know, you don’t get to send a couple of sales emails, feel like you don’t get any response and then go hide in a corner for about two weeks because you’re busy or you’re stressed or whatever else. That’s not consistency and you need consistency to sell. So I’d love it if we all could just come up with something and the world knew about it randomly. But that’s not the world we live in and actually I think it’s a good thing that it’s not the world we live in because it really weeds out the people that care about what they’re selling and that will not stop until it reaches the right people. And until the people that they know they can service are helped by it. So consistency is number one.
If you’re not being consistent, then you need to go back to square one and come up with a plan for how to present this consistently because I don’t even think you’ve given it a fair shot unless you’ve given it a consistent shot. The next thing is, is there an urgency behind what you’re selling? Is there actually a reason for people to buy this or for whatever your doing to go into action or is it sort of ongoing or lingering or vague, you know, that’s not going to work. You always have to get people a reason to sell. And we see this all the time in, in any marketplace, people put on sales. People try to do sales or specials in association with different seasons or different holidays or wedding season or whatever, so that you feel like you need to buy this now because you need to have it for a certain thing or a certain time.
The same goes for entrepreneurship. If you’re selling anything, you have to think about why people should care about this now and how you can show them that they need to care about it right now. Ask yourself if your sales page is good, does it look professional? Do you need to hire someone to do it for you? Is there too much text? Is there not enough text? Is there no clarity? Have you even taken a class on what it means to sell something? You know, most people don’t know how to do this randomly and that’s okay, but until you have actually taken the time to think, is my selling good? Is it on point? Is it actually effective? Then you probably don’t even really know if people are looking at your sales page or if they’re getting anything out of it. So how would you know if this sales process is going to work?
Ask yourself if this is the absolute best it can be. Is the sales process the best it can be? Now, important distinction here. I do not mean that you should ask yourself, is this sales process the most it can be, because a lot of times people will come and they’ll say, you know, this isn’t selling enough or I’m not selling enough of this. I think I should add 15 new emails and a bunch of Facebook ads and do 15 webinars and like send 30 more emails. That’s not, I’m telling you about here. Just look at the things you already have done. The bare bone basics. So let’s take for example, if you are launching an ecourse and you feel like no one’s buying this e-course, look at the sales page, look at the emails you’re sending out on behalf of this course and look at the program itself and any other advertising you’ve already done. So maybe you’ve done Facebook ads or maybe not. But at minimum, all we need to look at really here as a sales page and the emails, are they the best they could be? Do you need to go on to upwork and hire someone to proofread them? That’s an expert in sales. Do you need to proofread that yourself? Do you need to have someone help you design your, your page? We don’t need to add all the bells and whistles. Plenty of things can sell in a pretty lean way. But if it’s not selling, then just look at what you’ve already done and really have an honest conversation with yourself. Is this the best it could be? So if you’ve gotten this far in the question, you know, line, right? Like, I keep asking, ask yourself first this and then if he this and then if has to this.
So if you’ve said yes to everything, yes, your passionate about this, yes, you care about it. Yes, you know it can help people. Yes, you’ve been consistent. Yes, you’ve been marketing it. Then here where you are at this point about looking at what you’ve already done. You know, you owe it to yourself to make sure that everything you’re putting out there about this is really clear, really exciting and just the best it could be. You obviously believe in this a lot. You’ve obviously done a lot of work to put it out there. So you’re doing no one a favor by half hearting the materials around it. So that round of questions number two, is ask the successful and ask those that are selling, look at what they’re doing. Consistency, urgency, quality, and you know, preciseness and ask if you’re doing the same thing.
Okay. Round number three of questions of who to ask. Just to recap for everyone that’s tuning in now. Number one when things aren’t working is ask yourself, do you really want to do this? Number two, ask the successful and the marketers, are you doing it the same way they are? Three, ask your audience. So if you’ve been sending out email after email after Instagram post, after Facebook post, after advertisement, the whole bells and whistles and you’re still feeling like no one is watching, no one is buying, no one is caring, whatever it is and that you have done a good job with the sales process and that you really care about this, you know you’re up to step number three, then ask our audience. So what I do in situations like this is I just go to Google drive. I love Google drive and I use that for almost all of my business and I create a Google form and in it I will just ask no more than five questions about where they’re at, what they would find helpful, what their biggest objection toward moving forward is. And sometimes I’ll even explicitly say, why haven’t you moved forward yet? Or why haven’t you purchased this program yet? Or something like that. You can be really clear and upfront about what you’re asking. You don’t need to hide anything. The only thing I will say about this is that it should be relatively anonymous. You don’t want to send out individual emails because you don’t want to make people feel like they’re being targeted or put on the spot if they don’t really know how to answer. So try to keep it somewhat vague for them. This is very opposite, like when you’re marketing, you want to keep it very personal. But for something like this, I would, I would keep it a little bit more vague so you can create a Google form and just ask them a couple of questions and let them know this won’t take you more than three minutes to fill out and it will very much help me help you. It will also help me, you know, moving forward and ideally this will help your reader as well.
Another thing you could do to keep it really simple is send an email and within the email have maybe three different options about why people didn’t buy something. So for instance, after you’ve launched an ecourse and maybe the launch period is over and it’s no longer for sale or the price has gone up or something like that, then what you can do after, is send out an email and in the emails saying, I saw that you didn’t move forward with this e-course, could you please select the link below indicating most closely what prevented you from moving forward? And it can say, I don’t have the money, I don’t have the time, this isn’t relevant. You know, really clear, vague, something like that. Then all people have to do is push one, they just pushed one link and if you have a CRM where you’re sending your emails, friends, then you can track who clicks, what link, whatever one of the most people click. Then you have that information. So that’s another really simple way to do this. You can also do surveys on Instagram. You know, there’s the polls now. So if you have a lot of Instagram followers or even if you don’t have that many, you can do a poll on there. Why didn’t you move forward? Time, money, not relevant, you know, whatever it is, but ask people. At the end of the day, we’re all just humans. And the best way that you’re going to get information about the people following you is if you ask them and if this doesn’t work, then try it again. Again, we have to be consistent and persistent so it will work if you try enough times.
Then the fourth ask that you should ask yourself when things aren’t working with no one’s buying, when things aren’t showing up, et Cetera, is ask for help. You aren’t supposed to do this alone. You aren’t supposed to know how to do this all naturally. I did not know how to do any of this naturally, but I had a bigger vision in store for my business and my life and that has always what has led my decision making. I decide who I hire based on the life I want to live. I decide what I want to bring into my business based on the life I want to live. I decide what to put out there based on the life I want to live. And let me tell you, no part about the life I want to live includes me giving up because something didn’t happen easily. It includes me selling things. So I will do whatever it takes to make sure that I am selling and creating the best things I can possibly think of. And if at first they don’t work, then I ask, should I be doing this differently or should I be figuring out how to sell this better?
And if I feel like I should be figuring out how to sell it better and I don’t know how, clearly I didn’t know how or I would have done it, then you go and ask someone for help. So do not do this alone. Don’t throw in the towel. And if you know that this is a good product, then keep moving. I mean, you can look up over and over. This is kind of a pro tip. If you’re feeling like nothing’s working, probably one of the reasons you’re feeling like that is because you are in the trap of social media where you’re seeing everyone’s overnight successes. Everyone’s, you know, seven figure businesses, everyone making all this money every single month or day or whatever the heck people are advertising and you feel inferior to that. You feel like you’re not selling as much as that, so therefore this isn’t working.
I challenge you to instead, start go searching the entrepreneurs that did have a lot of failures, that did mess up over and over and over again that did get a ton of rejections, that did go into debt. Like whatever is feeling like that’s what’s happening for you right now and therefore it’s not working. Find entrepreneurs that were in your situation and then made it work. That’s what you need to fill your brain with. The classic example of this, one of the many, actually all entrepreneurs have undergone a ton of failure. I don’t care what Instagram makes it look like, is JK Rowling. You know, she was told, no. I don’t know the story. You Harry Potter fans would probably know better than I, but she was told no multiple times and she’s the first billionaire from books alone. So, so look up stories like that. Look up the people that failed. Look up the people that had to keep going even when there were so many no’s and so many things, telling them that this wasn’t working. Saturate your mind with that and put yourself in that company. Because if you’re putting yourself mentally in the company of those that were overnight successes and you feel like you’re not, which by the way, they weren’t overnight successes, there’s no such thing. But you’re not, you’re not going to feel successful. You’re not going to feel like things are working and it’s just not true a lot of the time. So those are the four questions. Ask yourself for help. Ask the successful and those that are working if yours is done in the same way, ask your audience and then ask coaches, mentors, whatever you need for help if you can’t figure this out on your own.
A couple bonus tips were one, saturate your mind with entrepreneurs who have the similar failures as you but ended up successful. Two, remember that you never know what’s really working and what’s not. Your idea of what’s working might be very narrow and not a real indication of your business growth. So for those of you that are entrepreneurs and you do things online, you never know who is watching you. I have had, you know, multiple people end up buying something from me because of a Webinar I did a year ago or a couple of months ago or they ended up loving an email that I sent out that I got no responses to. You never know when people are watching. I remember last year I had a really low income month, really low income, like one of the lowest I ever had and it was, you know, kind of right in the middle of when things were really taking off for me. I had several months where I was making quite a bit of money. I was making a lot more than I was at my nine to five job. I was feeling really great. And then one month, I don’t remember exactly what month it was, but I decided to try something new. I decided to try to sell something different, and I was feeling really confident and feeling really on top of the world and I sold none of them, not one thing that whole month. So I think really my only income came from a little bit of affiliate stuff that I had on my website and just some of the evergreen things that I have selling. But I didn’t not make more than I was at my nine to five job for that one month.
However, then the next month, because the previous month I had, you know, I had done a lot of webinars. I had done a lot of trainings. I spent a lot of emails. I was trying to sell this thing that didn’t sell. The next month my sales were like double the highest they ever had been. And that’s because so many people have watched during that month and for whatever reason they just weren’t ready to buy yet. Maybe they needed a little more time. I think it was also probably one of the more expensive things I had offered ever because I had gotten really, you know, confident when I had gotten my income up so much, so I think I raised the price. That’s probably why no one bought. But in the end it ended up really paying off because people actually were watching people actually did read my emails. People actually did take what I said to heart and they saw that I knew what I was talking about. And so when either different offering came around or maybe they needed a little more time or whatever, whatever it was, again, like it’s not our job to really identify all of this, but that marketing works.
So just remember that your, your definition of success is whatever you make it to be. But it’s only that, it’s your definition. It is not a defined line. And oftentimes when we feel things aren’t working, they totally are. They’re just working in different ways. Then the final bonus tip and this is very important thing to reiterate, which is that everyone you look up to, everyone you see doing really well or making a lot of money or that seems like they’re ahead of you in some way. I guarantee they are experiencing more no’s and more failures in their business than they are successes. I’m included in that. I, you know, my business is doing very well. I’m very blessed for how things have gone. But still, every month I do things, I try things, I sell things, I talk about things, whatever, that no one listens to or that no one buys me. I mean, not every single month. It’s not that it happens all the time, but it actually kind of does happen all the time.
But this is why my business grows because I learned from those things. And then I adapt from those things and then I go to what has worked. And I tried to combine that and I think, well what worked about that? That’s not working about this. I know this is good.What can I take from this? And from what also did work and combine it so that it does sell. Know what I mean? So the more you do this, you will have more failures. You will have more no’s, but you’ll get better. And then the yes’s you do have, that’s all you need. You don’t need everything to be a yes. All you need are enough yeses to move your business forward and to get data about what’s actually working. And that’s, that’s enough. So that’s my final piece of advice.
All right, question. How do you respond to friends who ask how things are going when they’re not? Great question. So this echoes back a little bit similarly to what I just said, but you get to decide how things are going. Your friends, especially your friends that don’t know the ins and outs of entrepreneurship that aren’t entrepreneurs themselves and that really have no clue what this field is about, they don’t even know what you’re talking about half the time. So you get to decide how things are going. If you feel like your business is growing, like you’re proud of the work you’re putting out there, like you really could be helping people, like you’re very confident that things are going to work out and that you’re really committed to your vision and your goals, then in my mind, you’re doing well. Maybe you’re not making as much money as you want to or maybe you’re not having as many clients as you want to. But those sorts of kind of blocks along the way are going to be there all along the way. You could be at a point where you’re making a lot of money but it’s still not as much as you want. Or you could have quite a few clients but you still want more. So you can’t allow those sort of roadblocks or like what ifs or I wish X, Y and Z, one little part of this was going better because those never go away. So, you know, it’s just so true that the more money you make, the more problems, different problems. So you get a focus on the successes that are going on. You get to be proud of yourself and that is what you get to talk to people about.
Okay. More specifically, the question is always, did you get any clients yet?
So if you feel like you’re not getting clients and people are asking you, if you get clients, then you know, you get to decide how to handle that. You don’t owe anyone an explanation for where you’re at in your business. You can tell them that you don’t feel quite ready for clients or that you’re perfecting your website or your business or your offering before you take on clients. You also can, you know, be really honest and say, no, I don’t have any clients right now and that’s because I’m still learning or I’m hoping for them. I know that it’s not fun to have these conversations when you want things to be going a certain way and they’re not. I remember being there like the first year, I remember spending all my extra time on my website and my business and feeling like my friends would have been more understanding about how I didn’t go out and do things if I had anything to show for it and I just felt like I didn’t. I think the way that I handled it then was I just stopped talking about it so much because I still knew in my heart that I was on the right track and that I was going to make this work. And a lot of times your friends, they are just asking because they want to be supportive. They’re not trying to stress you out or anything. They don’t even necessarily really understand the ins and outs of what it means to get a client or how to get a client.
So if you don’t really bring it up so much and you’re kind of in a phase where you’re just putting your head down and focusing, I find that they won’t so much either. But at the end of the day, it’s all personal, personal preference on how you want to handle it and have you want to discuss it with your friends, the best thing you can do to feel confident in how you speak with your friends is really feel confident within yourself because then their knocks or their questions or their even criticism sometimes, won’t really get to you if you are so solid internally about what you know is going to happen for you. That’s why asking yourself first is always the most important. If you really believe in this, you know, you can whip out those stories like those other entrepreneurs that it took months, sometimes years for them to really get momentum. That’s not going to be the case for you. We don’t need to believe that. But you also don’t need to feel like your business is at any inferiority because you’re not where they think you should be when they have no idea what it means to run a business. I hope that makes sense.
All right everyone, thank you guys for tuning into this. I know that this was a lot of information, but I hope it’s helpful and I hope you can refer back to it as you might feel at any point that things aren’t working or no one’s buying or you’re not making enough money. Again, no matter how much you end up scaling or growing or anything like that, these types of things will always happen. So getting really quick at getting out of that zone of feeling like things aren’t working or things aren’t happening is going to be in your benefit and that’s what my intention was, was sharing this with you today. When I do regularly, when things don’t work for me because it happens and you’re going to get stronger and smarter because of it, and then you’re going to keep going, and then you’re going to build a better business after all. So this is to your biggest vision. I hope you guys found this helpful. If you have any questions, you can always email us and if you have any types of questions that you want covered on this show, let me know. I am here live every Monday and I’d love to support you. So I will talk to you guys soon and I’m so rooting for you all and your visions. This is going to be a great week. Let’s go and get em’.
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