Loli Parekh • 38 minutes ago
Hi cristian. To answer your questions:
1: my biggest problem as an entrepreneur is to find the right market to target and approach them.
2: finances keep me up at night. If I take my business full time how will it go on that particular point?
3: I struggle to sell myself out there. Advertisement would be something I d want to solve.
4: Time is holding me back. Definitly. Between my day job and being a full time mum it can be difficult.
5: my art is more than a hobby. It’s a passion. I lose myself in it, I can get away for a little while in that happy place where nothing bothers me. When my buisness will be a success I ll be able to live more happily, doing something that provides for my family as well as make me happy. I won’t have to see my day job as a way to pay the bill as I will enjoy it and it wont feel like a job as much.
Here is my website: www.atlolis1989.artweb.com
Dear Loli Parekh (& EE members),
Thank you for answering all my questions. I will provide you with my best advice, hoping that I can bring clarity, joy and trust in everything you want to achieve.
Besides that, together we will help some other Educated Entrepreneurs members. I am sure that some of them are asking themselves similar questions. As strange as it sounds, this is a good sign. Your questions are legitimate.
How could you be a marketing expert, take care of finances, put himself/ herself out there, advertise, while paying the bills, living his/ her purpose and providing for his/ her family? I don’t have to pay bills at the moment and I am not a parent. I could only imagine that being a parent is as being a super-hero, because you have to be there 200%. And I think you are. 🙂
My answer is that you can, if you have the right mindset an action plan that you will actually apply and, while you grow, team you can inspire and delegate to. It’s not that you can’t try it in a random way, but you will struggle a lot. The truth is that there’s no such a thing as a total entrepreneur or a total expert. I remember Vishen Lakhiani from MindValley, a remarkable leader and entrepreneur that changed the way teams and business work, saying recently something that shocked me at first. He said that he has a side business, a coaching business that, at some point, was not going as he planed. Is it possible for someone created and inspires a team like this?
Every business is different, because customer’s needs and wants are different. So, even those there are highly appreciated have to search and constantly talk with their market in order to “get it”.
Now, let’s go for some action. Practical steps that you can be applied in your business, in terms of market, finance advertising and time.
1. Market(ing): How to find, target and approach your market
- Before doing anything inside any market, you must be clear on your deep purpose. And I don’t mean selling your products and services. Why you do what you do?
- Any business is based on solving a problem for ideal customers. What problem are you solving?
- What’s your solution for their problem?
- Who do you want to serve? Who’s your ideal client?
- What’s your story and why should they care? (show your steps, say how you can help, why are you the right person and make it Inspiring)
- Where can you find them in larger numbers? (Think creatively. For instance, instead of investing huge amounts of money in random advertising and hoping they will get some clients, a restaurant advertised in trucks, through their stations, because their ideal customers were truck drivers)
- Why should they buy from you and not from your competition? Define your Unique Selling Proposition. Your USP must be strongly connected with the problem you are solving for them. Here are some great examples.
- What do you sell and what do they buy. For instance, if you sell paintings, they don’t actually buy paintings, they buy an experience, a result, meaning… a more beautiful/ meaningful/ cooler house, right? That means: in your marketing campaigns you should talk about the unique experience, the end result and not about your product/ service
- How do you promote/ approach your clients. As you see, this is the last question and the main reason why people that ask this question first, can not making it. You have to ask and response to the other questions first. If you have those answers, you will know how they need to be approached
- Be aware that your customers are in different stages.
- It’s not about selling, it’s about serving and creating relationships. Delivering results through products/ services, content and relationships. Marketing is a genuine, serving dialogue, not a trick to sell more.
- It’s not bout you, it’s about them.
- The easiest way I know in terms of selling is creating a community that knows, likes and trusts you.
- As a marketer, you don’t control and decide anything. Your market does.
- Why most people fail in marketing? First, they market based on hope instead of specifics. They market to anyone, hoping they would get someone, instead of marketing to their ideal clients and simply get them. Second, they don’t measure all their marketing actions, so they don’t actually know what works and what’s not. Therefore, they don’t know what to improve. If do this two things, you’ll be ahead of your competitors.
2. How will you make it with your finances
- By doing a targeted marketing and constantly measuring and improving your everything you do.
- Create a community around yourself. Constantly communicate with your followers and buyers via phone, skype, e-mail and social media in order to offer them more value
- Ask your current best customers for testimonials and publish them. Also ask them for recommendations if they enjoyed what you did for them
- Split your money
- 10% – financial freedom: You don’t touch this money, no matter what situation you are in. This is what you leave behind to the next generations in terms of money. The single situation when you can go for them is when you want to make a SURE kind of investment. What you gain for it will come back in the financial freedom category
- 10% – long-term economies: This is for long-term investments, a house, a car, a travel, unpredictable expenses, debts etc)
- 10% – education
- 55% – necessities: Food, electricity, water, phone, internet, gasoline, haircuts. If 55% is not enough for you, you must simplify your life. If 55% is too much you can put the rest in your financial freedom category.
- 5% fun: This must be spent every month. On anything that make you happy. And you don’t have to feel sorry for spending them. You need rewards for your work. If you want 10% here, you can take 5% from necessities.
- 10% donations: If you are a giver you will get more fulfillment in your life, you will shift your mind about money, you will learn how to receive and you create good in the world
- Simple Guidelines:
- Track all your ins and outs on a paper, in an excel or with a money tracking mobile app (if you know this, you will have real control on your money
- Do this split for all the money you got (including presents)
- Do this split before paying for anything (including very important payments). This is the reason why people don’t have money. They pay taxes before saving money, so what happens is very logic – they don’t save money
- If 6 accounts are too much as a start, you can start with 3: 60% necessities, 30% long term economies, 10% financial freedom. If 60% is not enough, take 10% from long term economies
- You can change the values as you want, even if that means having only 3 accounts. What matters is that you:
- don’t use economies as necessities, education as contribution, financial freedom as fun and so on; respect them and they will work. if you trick them, you actually trick yourself
- save at least 10% every month and don’t touch those money under any circumstance
- have an the long term economies account for you predicted and unpredicted expenses
This will shift your mind about money, about how to get them and use them in a healthy way. I am using this method too.
3. To do or not to do advertising
You can do/ not do all the advertising you want as long as you do the steps from the first point – marketing. If you kinda skip those steps, you will either lose time or money, you won’t have the clarity and the results you need in order to stay on track, to stay motivated and to do your thing.
4. Time management: tools to do more with less
- Considering that you are a mom, probably you are a disciplined person. And this is great. Most successful business owners/ top performers fall into this category. Not huge victories but day by day disciplined work will make your business fly.
- Have a daily schedule: even if you have 2 hours/ day to work at your business, having a schedule will help you a lot. On the other hand, if you have a bit more time, you can split your schedule in different parts: inspiration, marketing, making money, offering value to your community, etc
- Split your activities in 4 categories
- urgent: most business owners concentrate here. As one of my mentors says, urgencies are just for those who work in a hospital. If you do the things when they are important, they don’t become urgent, right? And if other people come to you with urgencies, well, that’s their plan, not yours
- important: here’s your family, your other highly important life aspects (including health) your passion and your business
- not urgent: these are the things you decide if you’ll do then and when that will be
- not important: here’s facebook feed, receiving and sending too many unimportant e-mails and lots of any other activities that are eating your time. If you do this split you will know what they are and you will be able to start avoiding them. Even if you won’t do it from the start, keep working with this scheme and the change will happen.
- Use a time track tool: work on a task for 50 minutes, then do a 10 minutes break. Then continue with another task. This will help you give more in less time and also find out how much your time really worths
5. Never forget/ ignore who you are
My art is more than a hobby. It’s a passion. I lose myself in it, I can get away for a little while in that happy place where nothing bothers me. When my buisness will be a success I ll be able to live more happily, doing something that provides for my family as well as make me happy. I won’t have to see my day job as a way to pay the bill as I will enjoy it and it wont feel like a job as much.
Branding expert Kimberly J Taylor says that “The secret sauce in your business is you.” I strongly believe that every business on the planet is a system that works or not. It’s not a job that you create for yourself. And I am sure Kimberly would agree on that. But I want to close my post to you by saying: please don’t you ever forget/ ignore your true self. Keep dreaming and believing, dare for more and trust who you are. You are worth it and, inside caring communities we can make it happen.
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to serve you, Loli! If you have any questions, future victories or challenges, please post them here, in the comments section and we will continue the discussion.
Thank you, Catherine Orer for making this connection possible!
For any other EE member that read our discussion, see how you can apply this to your business and if you want me to create a specific post for your situation, read this article and leave me a comment.