One of the things that I love about having my own business is that I really get to make it a representation of who I am.
The idea of being Uncaged is all about never being tied down to an office or a cubicle, getting to work from anywhere, getting to choose when you work and how you work and how much time off you have.
I get to include my dogs in my branding and fuck you if you don’t like it, and I get to show up for my calls with a messy bun and a sweatshirt, because that’s just who I am.
Most of us start businesses because there’s something we believe in – something we are passionate about, or a topic we really care about.
Most of us start these kinds of coaching businesses for ourselves, for selfish reasons.
But are you making it TOO much about you?
In my experience having worked with thousands of new coaches, most of the time they are too wrapped up in themselves, and it gets in the way of their business.
Here are some examples of what I mean by being “too wrapped up in yourself” in your business:
- Obsessing over your website. Needing the perfect colours and the perfect logo and the perfect photos. Needing it to feel professional so that you seem like you know what you’re doing. This is all about YOU.
- Focusing too much on your creative ideas, trying to make your business encompass every piece of who you are and what you love. Trying to smash too many interests and passions into one business to make it feel whole, to the point that it feels too complicated for even you to understand. This is all about YOU.
- Worrying about what people will think of what you put out there, agonizing over what you are going to say on your consult calls, stressing about putting your packages out there before they are perfect because, because what will people think of you if they aren’t? This is all about YOU.
NO ONE CARES THAT MUCH ABOUT YOU.
- They don’t care about your logo (when was the last time you hired someone because you liked their logo?).
- They don’t care about whether you have the perfect script for the call when you talk to them.
- They don’t care about all your life interests and hobbies, and they certainly don’t care if all of those things are in your business (because that is not what they are hiring you for)
People only really care about themselves and you are a blip on their radar, another scroll on their feed.
And this is a good thing! It means half the shit we do doesn’t matter as much as we think it does.
The most important thing you can understand
The thing that most new business owners don’t realize at first, is that your business is actually not about you at all.
If you are starting a service-based business like coaching, your business is about your clients. Your business is about offering a service or a skill that you have to help them solve THEIR problems.
By putting too much of the focus on what YOU like, and how YOU feel, and whether everything you are doing accurately represents all of who YOU are, you are missing out on what actually makes a business successful… which is really zooming in on exactly how your clients are feeling, what they need, and what you can create that will represent their needs.
It can also be a total mindfuck spending so much time making it about yourself. Perfectionism, self-worth issues, and other mindset crap tends to get in the way when it’s all about you.
What if you took yourself out of it and simply focussed on the people out there who need your help?
The Band-Aid Example
My co-coach in Uncage Your Business, Erin, always uses the Band-Aid example, and I think it’s a great one.
Imagine you’re sitting in a coffee shop chatting with a friend. They cut their hand on something and they are bleeding.
You know you have Band-Aids in your purse, but you don’t want to seem pushy, or salesy, so you keep them to yourself. Besides, the band-aids aren’t quite perfect, they’re not quite the right size, or shape, and you haven’t really tried them yet so you don’t even know if they work well enough to stop the bleeding.
So you’re sitting there watching your friend bleed, as she’s searching around desperately for help, and you’re keeping the thing that could help her to yourself because you’re making it all about you.
Just give her the damn Band-Aid!
New business owners do this all the time with their services. They don’t want to seem pushy, they don’t want to put anything out there until they know it’s perfect, and they hold themselves back from simply offering help to the people who need it because they are so wrapped up in making it about them instead of about their clients.
A good exercise to try
We do this exercise a lot with students in our Uncage Your Business program. It happens often that students obsess over their coaching process. They want to figure it all out and make a perfect plan before they dive in and start working with people. They want to know what they are going to say, what they are going to do with their clients, and exactly how it should all look. They think this is going to help them feel ready to start actually coaching real paying clients.
So on our coaching calls with them we often ask them to close their eyes and imagine they are sitting in front of their client, and their client shares what is going on for them and what they are struggling with. We then ask the student what the next thing they would say to their client is. And they always have a clear answer, usually some kind of coaching question that comes very naturally to them.
We respond as their client, and have them respond again as the coach. And again, they know exactly what to say.
This exercise is super helpful to show their brains that they do know exactly what to do when they have a client in front of them. A real human. Not an avatar, not an idea of a niche that they have massaged til their eyes bleed… a real person.
When they make the work about their client, and they drop into helping the person in front of them, all of the stress of having everything perfected melts away. It’s no longer about them having to seem perfect, it’s about helping the human in front of them who is struggling.
How this applies to your marketing
This idea of focussing on your client is also super important when it comes to marketing. Just because YOU want to describe something a certain way, doesn’t mean your clients will resonate with that.
You as the coach have all kinds of insight and expertise about your clients’ problems that they don’t have yet. So it’s important to put your language aside and get out there and find out how your clients are actually describing what’s going on for them, what language they’re using, what feelings they are having, and what they want instead.
Even though you have some creative, complex way of articulating what you do for people, it becomes irrelevant if it doesn’t land with the people you are trying to reach.
Make sure you’re staying focussed on them and not you when it comes to any content you are creating for your marketing.
So good for mindset
And finally, isn’t it a huge fucking relief when you really embrace that it’s not about you? I find it tends to loosen the grip I have on wanting everything to be a perfect representation of me. It takes the pressure off.
When I think of most of the coaches I have hired either in business or personally, very rarely have I hired them because of their website, or perfect brand photos, or hobbies or interests we have in common, or anything else that is really about them… other than the fact that they were able to clearly describe my problem and show me that they have a solution for me.
I’ve literally spent thousands of dollars on coaches, courses, and programs simply because they took the exact words I used when I was blabbing about my problems and said them back to me in their marketing, making me feel like they GET me.
And your clients will spend thousands on you, too, once you learn how to take your focus off of YOU and put it back on them, where it belongs.
Want to learn how to read your clients minds so you can sell to them more easily? Check out Uncage Your Business, the program for new coaches where we teach you how to do just that.