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Evolutionary Blog

Distinctions to accelerate your personal and professional evolution

Self-Esteem and the Solo-Preneur | Internal vs. External Locus of Responsibility

Read this sentence to yourself in your mind or out loud:


"My life is the sum total of my own choices; the state of my business is the sum total of my choices".

As you read that and re-read that, what is your experience? Do you feel excitement? Pride? Shame? Do you sense a burden on your shoulders? What does it weigh in your mind? Do you quickly move to insist it is not your "fault". That it was out of your control? That it was this circumstance or that circumstance? That you were "wronged"? Or "unlucky"?

Or do you experience a comforting and/or challenging level of acceptance. A "yup" with a quiet nod of your head?

One thing is for certain-your relationship to that sentence is a good indicator of your level of self-esteem, or your level of healthy egoic development in the positive sense. You see, it is not the big ego that needs defending or asserting in the world; it is the small ego. It is not the big ego that is arrogant, self-righteous, or deflects responsibility and blames others; it is the small, pre-rational, pre-conventional, vengeful, ego-centric ego.

It is a challenging re-frame for most to get their minds around. But just ask yourself this: what kind of ego could achieve a non-dual sense of reality; what kind of ego could be one with all things, moment to moment? A big, huge ego. An ego so large it can be a yes to whatever is arising moment to moment and relate to it, be a part of it. That takes an expanded sense of self. Yet that ego is also diffuse. It is large, but it is flexible. It lacks rigidity. It does not need defending or asserting; it understands its power. As a result, there is nothing to prove to anyone-not even itself.

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Sam Rosen on Conversion vs. Consciousness

It is exceedingly rare that another writer captures my sensibilities perfectly. Sam Rosen has done just that in his article on Consciousness vs. Conversions. Hop on over and check it out.

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How Do I Pace Myself Through the Evolutionary Sales Program?

[Listener Question]

It is unbelievable what I missed the first time through.

Yes. Most people do not believe me [or perhaps literally do not hear me] when I say to listen at least three times through all the way first because of what is missed by the human physiology/sense tools the first time--and even the second. Additionally, you are different, deeper, richer, or just plain have a new focus and so hear things differently--or perhaps for the first time, not having the ability to receive it/fit it into your linguistic or conceptual structures the last time you heard it--even after several listenings. I still re-listen to audio products I bought 10 years ago and hear them in ways that blow my mind now.

I do have one questions...how do I pace myself through the program. First time through was as you were releasing new episodes... now i have 16. I'm fighting back the urge to do them all at once.....

Thank you for this very important question. That depends on your own process and your internal processing. If you are a more kinesthetic person [talking slower, looking down a lot, feeling, touchy feely, perhaps], then you will get it more deeply, but it will take you longer to fully understand the scope. If you have good auditory digital recall, you may remember verbatim the first time--the guy who never studied in college, but always attended the lectures, then aces the final is one example of someone with good auditory digital processing. A visual person will often think they have it, because the understand it cognitively the first time--and very rapidly, but they do not have it deeply in their neurology and will lose or miss stuff thinking they already "know" it because they understood it rapidly. These people have the toughest time accepting that they understand it or cognize it, but have not necessarily "learned" it. When I say "learn" I do not mean remember or understand cognitively, I mean that they actually behave from the mindset, or that it is their patterned response--their new habit pattern or new emotional reaction or their "natural" way or predictable way of responding. On that note, a while back I wrote a piece to support this titled Insight and Integration. You can read it HERE. So...how do you pace yourself? I would make sure you listen to episodes 0 through 16 all the way through at least three times so that you can the model in your mind to such a degree that you can trouble shoot your own performance from an objective perspective. That requires you to mentally and conceptually hold the entire model in your mind. Do that all the way through. THEN go back slowly and go through it to do the exercises and play with the ideas and component parts individually. And remember--there is no inherent number of times to listen to it when you are "done". You are never done--there is just the asymptotic nature of Personal and Professional Evolution. The question is two what degree and in which contexts have I integrated it? Hope this helps!

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How to Avoid Wasting Marketing Dollars

Every successful business person is a marketer and a salesperson first. If you want to be successful, you should consider that as your primary organizing principle. If you want to thrive, rather than just survive, then your primary focus needs to be on generating business and leads—and then opening those relationships.

  • Are your marketing dollars working for you? How do you know?

One of the biggest mistakes a small businessperson can make is not being able to track their marketing dollars. That ad you placed—did it get any response or not? How do you know? That yellow page placement-is it increasing your business traffic? How do you know? Are your dollars well placed with the print advertising, TV spots, radio, or other form? How can you know? Did it even pay for itself? The key words you purchased on google or yahoo search—are they effective? Are they garnering traffic?

That person you are paying 10$ an hour to stand on a street corner and pass out fliers—are they even asking any questions, or just silently trying to thrust the paper into people’s hands to get rid of the fliers--bacause, you know, you pay them for how many they pass out, not how many leads you get from it.

What are you paying per lead generated with these methods? How do you track the efficacy of your advertisement and marketing and therefore make informed choices as to whether or not your dollars are well placed?

There are several ways:

  • Place a landing page.
    • In the age of the internet, you simply MUST have a “landing page”. A landing page is a web page accessible to only those who would have seen a specific marketing piece. An example would be: http://YOURDOMAIN.com/magazine-name-where-the-ad-is-placed.html and the like. In this way, you can look at the referral logs of your web traffic counter and see just how many hits and clicks you are getting as a result of a specific ad placement or marketing prong.
      • Site Meter is a good one, as is Google Analytics, and if you are running google adwords campaigns, you may want to have all of those resources in one place
    • You can also set up a specific toll-free number to take messages specific to that marketing piece
  • Test your ad copy. Just because you did not get as much response as you would have liked does not mean the venue in which you placed the ad is ineffective. It may be your ad copy, or often more importantly—the headline of the ad—that could be more effective.
  • Use a tracking code. If you have someone handing out fliers, put some sort of tracking code on the flier so you can use that number, or landing page, or phone number to track your dollars to leads ratio.

The worst example I have recently seen of wasted marketing dollars was for a chiropractic clinic. They had people handing out fliers—but you would never have known what it was for. The flier distributor was standing on a busy financial district street corner—a location where there were probably plenty of prospects who could use an adjustment. However the person hired to hand the fliers out was simply attempting to thrust them into people’s hands. No engagement. No rapport. No questions or offers. No return on invested marketing dollars.

How much were they being paid by the clinic? How much more effective could those marketing dollars have been if they simply asked: “would you like to relieve your stress more effectively?” or some variant, and ONLY hand the fliers to those who said yes. How many people who needed the service walked on by because they simply did not want an unknown piece of pink paper in their hands?

We will never know—and neither will the clinic that hired them. What we do know is that there were plenty of wasted marketing dollars in that marketing endeavor.

Be sure to avoid their mistakes. Stop flushing your marketing dollars down the toilet. Begin now by following the simple steps above to make the most of your marketing dollars.

Another huge mistake people make is marketing to themselves. What would motivate them is often not what would motivate their target market or their ideal clientele. Buut that is another article for another time.

In Service,

Jason

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How to Determine Your Fees and Get Paid What You Are Worth [Part 1]

One of the challenges I see so many coaches and solopreneurs struggle with is what they should charge for their services. Most do not know what they should charge. Many charge what they think they can get. Some charge whatever the next coach or practitioner charges. That is--"the going rate". Many charge what they would be willing to pay themselves. Most charge less than they are worth--while improving the lives of others dramatically.

But why? And what are the solutions to this travesty of value?

There are three primary reasons:

  • Mistakingly thinking they are actually trading time for money, and/or that their services are a commodity. A thing to purchase
  • Limiting beliefs; usually about themselves or the value they bring at their very core-and what they or their services are worth, what the prospective client would be willing to pay, or about money in general
  • A lack of sales skill; they do not know how to create accurate yet inspiring value perceptions in the prospective client that make the fees irrelevant or appear minimal in comparison to what they are getting through the service.

How the heck do you determine or set your rate?

What are your services and/or your offering actually worth?

There are two answers to "how do you determine the rate?", or "what should I charge?":

  • 20% more than you feel comfortable asking for
  • Whatever the market can bear: whatever you can consistently get in return for your services or product

I have never met a solopreneur or some other type of small business person, who was in their first 5 years in business, who I have not advised to raise their rates. After understanding what they do, I examined their rates, and told every single one of them to raise them about 10% to 20%. They were all dramatically undervalued and undervaluing their offering.

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There is fear around raising rates for most people. They think they will see less clients, and as a result, have trouble with their financial obligations, they fear people will not pay that rate, and ultimately they either lack confidence in themselves and their offering, or they themselves are making the mistake of confused value perceptions; they do not see the true value for themselves.

So especially if you are just starting out or you are in the first few years of building your business, as a general rule of thumb, you should add 10% to 20%. Not so much that you are anxious about it, but enough to expand your beliefs about your value.

What can the market bare? In other words, charge whatever people are willing to pay. Ultimately, the consumers of your services set the rates. If your conversion rates of prospects to clients is too low [and I say it is too low if you can not reasonably count on them signing up], then your rate may need to be adjusted down. However, where you look first, is your ability to sell or enroll others in your services. Be careful to look there first. Anyone can get better at anything. Lowering your rates serves no one--least of all the client.

Clients who pay more are more serious about the work--and they get more accomplished in a shorter period of time. AND you show up at an ever grater level of excellence at a higher rate, multiplying this exponentially.

This is why I do not allow friends or family to subsidize a clients work for them with me.

They can borrow the money--they will take that seriously--but they may not be gifted any number of sessions. It is for the clients own good. And in the case of their borrowing it, I usually conduct my due diligence in making sure my work with them relieves more stress than it creates, so if there are underlying issues around money in their relationship, I may still decline that, not wanting to exacerbate them.

Additionally, if you told me you were unable to get the rate you wanted, I would ask a few questions

  • Can't get it from whom? Which market? There is always someone somewhere who can afford you and will see the value in it. The higher the rates, the smaller the pool of prospective clients as a matter of financial and numerical fact, but you can get it from the right target market
  • How confident and relaxed are you when they review the agreement and see the fees? Do you communicate worth and confidence? Or do you communicate an opening for a negotiation? Do you communicate uncertainty? Or--god forbid--do you ask them if it is too high as you project your own unresolved issues around money onto them? [The client has enough of their own limitations--they do not need you to add yours]
  • Are you selling from vision and possibility and creating more accurate and inspiring value perceptions in the prospect--or are you trading time for money?
  • How effective are you at inspiring, enrolling, and re-framing concerns?
  • Where do you need to gain additional skill?

No matter how good you are, you can ALWAYS improve your sales and communication skills.

Those are the questions we explore first to be an Evolutionary Professional--to be constantly improving our efficacy at leveraging others beyond their limitations to have the life they dream of. There is always something you could have done to make a difference in the process. Examine that and only that. After that inquiry is exhausted, then you can indulge in examining how the client X,Y or Z. And it is, in fact, an egoic indulgence unless you are clarifying what a "qualified" prospect is.

You also need to look at what your intake process and your behavior is telling the client and yourself about what are you selling and offering? What are you offering? How clear are you when you communicate that? Do you communicate competence? Where do you come from or what platform do you stand on? What does your approach and your behavior presuppose as organizing principles. Not espoused beliefs or platitudes, but rather--integrated and aligned behavior.

One of the organizing principles I shared with my Apprentices and Evolutionary Professional clients and I will share with you now is this: You are not selling them on your service or product. It is a mistake to think so no only for your relationship to your own fees, the client's relationship to your fees--their investment--but also your level of fulfillment. If you try to sell them on how great your product or service is, you run the risk of some dynamics that will be set you up to less effective.

What you are selling them is a solution to a problem, or an access--a gateway--to the vision they have for themselves. Therefore:

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