“Hard work never killed anybody, but why take the chance?” —Edgar Bergen, ventriloquist, 1903-1978
As a business owner, I like to offer my fellow entrepreneurs helpful information when I can. So if you’re not in that audience, it’s okay to skip this one! Otherwise, read on!
I started my first business in 1999. Like so many first-time entrepreneurs, I had lost my last job to a lay-off, so I started providing my job skills as a consultant. It was my great fortune to start a facilities project management consultancy during a huge boom in the hi-tech industry in Austin. The architects referred their clients to me willingly, because I did all the add-on stuff that their clients needed but the architects didn’t do. In short, I had more work than I could handle and hired a project manager in short order.
Back then, I did not network–at least, not consciously. Certainly, I went to association functions and talked to all kinds of people, kept up with all my vendors and contractors, etc. But I didn’t do any real marketing, didn’t have a website (You could get away with that back then), it was all word of mouth, and lots of it!
Nowadays, things are completely different. I became an expert networker, and I was so good at it, that about 80-90% of my business came from referrals. I also developed the curriculum for a networking workshop, which I still teach on occasion. And I now spend approximately half of my working week on marketing in some capacity. This blog post, for example.
Fortunately for me, I really enjoy marketing. I like writing, conceptualizing, planning, and creating. I am not in the kind of business that would be helped by cold calls. (Thank goodness. I really don’t like cold calls.) I do less networking, but that has more to do with geography at the moment than with a lack of desire or need. I’ve put out some feelers in my new city, but haven’t gotten very involved yet.
The other thing that I do differently now is work on the energetic side of my business. That means the spirit of my business, my own thoughts and energy, my spiritual world. Back in 1999, I had only an inkling of the awakening that was to come. Yes, I listened to my inner guidance–in fact, it was a “message from the Cosmos” that created my first business–but I didn’t study Law of Attraction, meditate regularly, or work on my thoughts, feelings, and spirit.
Now I do. And this is as important a part of my work as anything I do. Not just because I am in a spiritual, transformational business, but also because it is so important to be aligned with the work you are doing.
My current Clarity Statement or Personal Statement arrived whole in a moment of meditation: “I joyfully use my gifts in service to others, and I joyously receive payment in return.” I start each day by repeating this as many times as feels necessary, some days only once, some days over and over!
What about you? Have you changed your methods of marketing and getting new clients in the past few years? If not, it’s time to look at what you’re doing and how. The world is changing fast. Consumers–your clients included–are awakening to a new world, a new way of thinking and feeling, a new alignment. Are you tuned into them?