Creating a successful practice requires that we learn new skill sets and mind sets. Developing new skills requires taking in new information and applying it over time. New mindsets, however, are more challenging because we’re often not aware of the ones we already have! They’re below the surface. They are tacit assumptions and beliefs that are operating, but without our conscious awareness. We may not see them, but we do experience them through our tangible results.
Disempowering mindsets can be dangerous because they’ve been so deeply ingrained for so long that you believe them to be “true”. It’s not a matter of being true or not. It’s a matter of whether they serve you. If they don’t, it’s time to think about creating new ones.
This requires taking an inside out approach. When I am coach mentoring I help coaches, first look at how they think about marketing themselves to get to the root cause of behaviors and disappointing results. They could have a first-class marketing plan that they paid a bunch of money to a marketing expert to create, but if you don’t deal with your inside first—what’s driving you—it won’t matter.
Once they look inside and identify stoppers or stallers, they can get cracking on the outside, crafting key marketing messages and writing an impactful marketing plan. Then, and only then, do start seeing the results they want and deserve.
When I started my consulting and coaching practice I struggled with how to speak naturally about what I did for people. I hated the idea of “selling” myself. I felt shy about it and feared rejection. I wanted my dialogue to feel confident, easy, and authentic—like talking about a food preference. I knew had to think of marketing in a new way if I wanted a shift in how I was feeling. I had to create new mental mindsets that would open the door for me to speak in a natural way about the results people or organizations get from me.
My first step in going inside out was to literally question the definitions I held for selling and marketing. What meaning did I assign to these words and how were those meanings affecting me?
Prior to venturing out as an entrepreneur, I spent three decades as a sales and marketing leader in a corporate environment. It was about killing competition, getting last look for an unfair advantage, fire in the belly, and bringing home bear. I reflected on the language and concepts that were “hardwired” in my brain. And through my coach training, I learned how simple it is to create new wiring – all it takes is mindful attention.
It became glaringly obvious that the fear and mental mindsets that led me to “success” as others defined it in the previous career were negatively impacting my ability to show up authentically as the conscious entrepreneur I am today. I had to re-connect with my, as yet, unspoken mindsets that would support a vision of myself as someone who stands for commerce with conscience.
At first, thinking in a new way about marketing myself had me feeling stuck. I couldn’t find my essential kernels truth under all the muck. The way I wanted to show up and speak about my gifts felt murky. Simply noticing this, time and again allowed for the crack in the foundation of my previous thinking.
Eventually the crack became a chasm and, in that space, my true belief system lived. At first, uttering the new mindsets aloud felt like rote affirmations, but over time, I grew into them.
I believe that marketing is revealing who you are and what you offer, authentically and naturally, in order to attract and engage the people you most want to work with. It’s about falling in love with what you’re offering every time you talk about it and, then, inviting others to experience that.
And selling is no more than facilitating a process whereby you enable someone with a problem to make a decision they already know they want. It’s delivering a solution to a person seeking it, creating an exchange of value. Analogous to our role as a coach in that we hold a process that creates a space for someone to find their solution.
I invite you to explore your current mindsets around marketing and selling. What meanings have you assigned to these concepts? Journal whatever comes to mind and see for yourself where you stand. Once you can identify your current “inside” reality, look around “outside” to see what support you can garner to transform your mindsets to support your vision for yourself as a profitable, conscious entrepreneur.