The way you show up for your business determines your degree of success.
When you truly understand the nature of the Law of Attraction, you recognize that it operates in all realms of life – at all times. This means your business, too. In other words, the way you ‘show up’ (the way you invest in your business), is the way your customers and clients will (or won’t!) show up for you.
When you’re not investing in your business or not valuing your services by putting a living-wage price on them, the folks who show up don’t value what you do and won’t pay for your expertise, either.
Perhaps this story of a client of mine will help illustrate the point …
As a personal trainer who is passionate about what he does, Pete is truly an expert. He himself is an elite athlete, training at the cutting edge of performance and always abreast of the latest technologies in health, nutrition, exercise science and monitoring equipment for peak performance.
Overcoming the ‘Impossible’?
As a child though, Pete was sickly. In fact, he was told he would never have the cardiovascular capacity to do what normal folks take for granted. But with determination and education, he beat the odds and gradually healed his system through nutrition, weight-training and high altitude cardiovascular conditioning.
Now in his 40s, Pete is the model of an ultra-fit athlete. In racing competitions, he often leaves kids half his age in the proverbial dust, with a lung capacity and muscular fitness that he’s come to trust under all kinds of endurance conditions.
Living as he does in a high-mountain town that attracts high-performance athletes, it’s a no-brainer that Pete should be a highly paid and highly sought after trainer.
But he’s wasn’t … At least, not until he started working with me.
The ‘Non-Committal Business’
You see, while everyone loves Pete, he had set up a business based on a non-committal model. (Which is of course, completely ironic, given his own deep and long-standing commitment to high-performance.) Pete wasn’t willing to invest any time, energy or money into his business and so it limped along as he relied on his spouse to handle the lion’s share of their considerable financial responsibilities.
So instead of training elite athletes, or highly committed clientele, Pete attracted low-paying, drop-in clients and month-by-month group classes.
Does he help people? Of course he does! His knowledge of form, fitness and injury prevention are exceptional. There is no question that Pete’s programs are both safe for the averagely fit person (or the seriously unfit person, for that matter!) as challenging as necessary for high-performance athletes, and indeed, transformative for anyone who makes an extended commitment to working with him.
Poor Business Models = Poor Business Owners
The problem is not with Pete’s knowledge, skill sets, passion, capacity to teach, or his personality. The problem is his business model.
You see, up until his work with me, Pete’s business and commitment to the business of his business, followed the same model that most service-providers follow: A 1-off, money-time exchange.
From drop-in classes to private sessions billed at a very low hourly rate, Pete did ‘business as usual’ which meant chronic financial and time strain.
Pete lived on a hamster wheel of needing to work inordinate numbers of hours just to make ends meet. And while his physical vitality and powerful immune system helped stave off burn-out, it did nothing to help the increasing distress in his marriage, caused by heavy financial burden.
When Pete came to me, he was overwhelmed with even making a 3 month commitment to business coaching. But because he is by nature a courageous man, and more importantly, he was at his wits end, commit he did.
The change was quick and drastic. But committing to the business of his business – through both a financial and significant time investment, Pete was able to activate a new kind of energy for his business.
Working together, the first thing we did was restructure his offerings to get him off the hamster wheel of the money-time exchange equation. This alone made a quick and radical difference in his income.
Then we went to work on his mindset. You see, like so many gifted service providers who genuinely want to help people live better lives, Pete did not recognize the value in his own services.
When I insisted he almost double his prices, I swear I literally saw the lump in his throat as he tried to swallow! He didn’t recognize how his years of education, study, training himself and training others had put him in the category of Master Trainer.
Problem Business Model #1 – the ‘Drop-In’
Group ‘drop-in’ sessions for 6 ladies at $20/class sounds alright at $120 for an hour, right? But here’s the problem: without a commitment on their part, Pete often showed up to a ‘group’ of two. And when you are an elite trainer with other clients willing to pay you thousands of dollars monthly, wasting even 1 hour at $40 is just bad business sense.
After all, the mortgage and car payments still need to be paid, whether you ‘drop in’ to your house and car every day or once a week, right?
Problem Business Model #2 – the ‘Month-to-Month’
A month-to-month boot camp sound reasonable from a conceptual point of view, but when you put your business goggles on, it looks a lot more like foot-shooting. Let me explain …
Pete had made the commitment to teaching an ongoing class for 3 month periods, yet he was willing to let his clients commit to only 1 month at a time. The results?
- Month 1: 12 people
- Month 2: 10 people
- Month 3: 8 people
At the extremely reasonable price of $100/month for 12 hours of training (and 15 hours of his time, considering equipment set-up and break-down time), let’s do the math:
- Month 1: Pete averaged $80 per hour
- Month 2: Pete averaged $66.67 per hour
- Month 3: Pete averaged $53.34 per hour
‘Whenever’ Don’t Work!
Before working with me, Pete’s approach to his business was vague and non-committal. This was reflected in both his expectations of his clients and their resulting behavior.
He was also ‘loose’ about when they paid him, with a ‘drop-in’ mentality that extended into payment amounts and time commitments as well.
And even though, like the rest of us, Pete would be penalized for late mortgage or credit card payments, he let his clients pay when they wanted, based on when they felt like showing up.
Nice Guys CAN do Business!
Pete is a genuinely nice guy, he didn’t want to set boundaries and contracts with people. Like many heart-centered business owners, Pete is more than a Personal Trainer to many of his clients. He’s also a friend. He genuinely wants to help people, and is ‘fed’ energetically through being of high service to others.
And this is where so many of us get ‘stuck’. We want to be ‘nice guys’. We don’t want to make people feel uncomfortable around the whole ‘money thing’. We understand when they are feeling financial strain because most of us know it all too well ourselves.
But the problem is that when we don’t get clear about the value of our time, service and expertise, and when we blur the boundary between business and friendship, we tend to cut ourselves off from the very thing we need to actually be of service – a steady and reliable income.
We may not always agree with the system of exchange as it is set up in our world – with money being the means of trade. But let’s face it: this is what it is right now. So until your clients decide to build you a house or grow your food for you and your family, you’re going to need to come to peace with these issues.
And this means being clear
It means letting go of business models that are vague, payment structures that are non-committal and programs or services that keep you locked into the money-time exchange equation.
“The way you show up for your business is exactly the way your clients will show up for you.”
How are clients ‘showing up’ in your business?
Are they valuing your time & energy or niggling you over price & time? Are they invested in full programs and packages?
… or do they just show up when they need help – once in awhile?
Have a look at how your clients’ behavior reflects the way you are treating your business, then let me know what you discover in the comments below!