Want Faster Growth? Use This Simple Trick! And No, This Isn’t About Getting Rich Quick — It Is About Focusing On Your Why…
So, we all do it — we write articles on marketing that make it seem like we have a special secret that will change your business trajectory overnight. (Here is an example from us: Turn LinkedIn Into Your Personal ATM Machine — 1 Simple Hack That Changes Everything) That is a clickable headline that entices you to see what is on the other side of that blue link. It is enticing — there are the promise of riches on the other side.
We all want it to be true. Somewhere out there is a “trick” or a “hack” that will make everything easy. If you just learn this one piece of special knowledge, your business will explode! We’ve all seen the headlines “like “The One Weird Trick Google Doesn’t Want You To Know”, or “How I Made $17,438 in 7 Hours Using This Simple Insider Hack”. I guess its because we are lazy. We want to believe that building a business is as simple as knowing some simple tactic that others don’t.
But here is the straight skinny: There is no “hack” or “trick” that will make building your business easy.
In our post on how smaller retailers can compete with Amazon, we do go through the tactics of keyword layering, and the “product surround” framework. But we spend most of our time talking about is finding the right buyer persona. We start with the concept of “who”. We start there because knowing whom we are selling to makes things like content development and messaging more clear. Having a realistic picture the desired customer allows you to throw away marketing approaches that aren’t relevant. Knowing who allows you to focus on what to do.
But I want you to take a step further back — who is great. Let’s focus on why — that is where the real focus should be. While the online marketing industry is focused on optimizing tactics — you know, the tips and hacks that are supposed to make everything easy — tactics are at the end of the process. Tactics are focused on tweaking something that you are doing in order to improve results.
While it is important to master the tactics of online marketing, in order to know what tactics you should use, you need to understand your strategy and goals. In order for that strategy to remain clear in your mind, it has to be important to you. Especially for entrepreneurs and solopreneurs, your strategic goals need to be brilliantly relevant to you in order to stay front and center. The world of building a business is so full of distractions and busyness that having a clear and relevant strategy is crucial to moving closer to where you want to go, being busy just keeps you moving.
Have you ever used a map? Imagine trying to figure out which route to take if you did not know your destination. Turning left or right have no impact on getting you closer to your destination if you haven’t clearly defined where you want to go.
Think of your business as a journey. Strategy is your destination. Tactics are the turns you take on the way.
Your business destination is the secret to success. Your eventual success depends on how well you have defined what you want to accomplish. If the end point is clear, then, just like the GPS on your mobile phone, the turns that you choose are equally clear. A significant reason for failure, in the online marketing space (or any other endeavor, for that matter) is not understanding the destination well enough.
For many, especially in the online space, set their destination in the wrong way. They say that they want to make “six figures” or that they want “freedom”. Those destinations are too squishy. If you want “freedom”, should you turn left or right? Do you get off at this exit for six figures, or the next exit? You have to have a clear vision of your destination, but more importantly, you need to know why you are going there.
In order for your strategy to remain clear, it has to be uniquely relevant to you.
Building a business is hard — really hard. You need a vibrant vision of destination, and a meaningful reason to withstand the travails of the journey.
In order to build a business of any scale, it needs to sustain you, not just financially, but emotionally, too. This is why is so important.
Why are you building this business?
If your answer is to make money, that won’t sustain you. That goal is too impersonal. You have to dig deeper and understand why you want to make money.
Here is my personal why relative to SellingToTheC.com: I write this blog so that I can express my thinking in a way that is public and (hopefully) compelling so that my target clients will use the content in this blog as evidence of my expertise in digital marketing. This will facilitate the purchases of goods and services from me so that I can provide for my family. But moreover, I want to provide for my family in such a way that we have the means and opportunity to spend time together experiencing not only our local community, but also the world.
My Why: To earn money so that I can show my kids the world.
That is why I do this. That is my end point which allows me to have a consistent checkpoint. Will the activity that I am doing next get me closer or further from that goal? Your why allows you to throw away extraneous things. Why allows you to say yes or no authentically. Why gives you a framework in which to make decisions rapidly. Why is your organizing principle.
Once you have an organizing principle, then you need a vehicle through which to leverage that principle. That is your what. What do you do in order to facilitate your why? This is crucial to understand. Many entrepreneurs and business builders confuse busy with their what, e.g., the 50 things on my to-do list are what defines me. But you need a persistent and immutable context for your activities.
In my personal why, I outlined the what: “I write this blog so that I can express my thinking in a way that is public and (hopefully) compelling so that my target clients will use the content in this blog as evidence of my expertise in digital marketing. This will facilitate the purchases of goods and services from me…” My what is goods and services around digital marketing, and this site is a way to facilitate acquiring customers for those services. (By the way — here are the digital marketing services, in case you wanted to check them out and help me with my why…)
So I have connected my why and my what. Those two are crystal clear. And that allows me to focus on the how. How is the realm of the “what do I do right now” in order to serve my what that serves my why.
This One Weird Trick Will Get Your Business Moving Faster
Connecting your why and what to how gives you a rapid decision-making framework. For every action you take, you need to be able to draw a bright line from how to why and back again. But better than helping you decide to take on tasks, the strategic mindset allows you to decide IF you should do something. Present yourself any opportunity, any meeting, any task in the context of why, what and how, and you will immediately know if it feeds or detracts from your personal strategy. You can probably imagine a million examples, but here is one that makes sense in the context of a business building focus. You need to generate more business. So you think of a million ways to get in front of potential clients — this is your how. You brainstorm postcards, cold calling, local media, search ads, and content development. Working backwards to your what, you can align your brainstorms with how closely it ties with your vehicle. In my case, selling digital marketing services. So, if I want to ease the friction and show my chops in digital, I should probably throw away the non-digital efforts. So let’s skip postcards and cold calling. Next, I am going to tie this together with my why — I want to be able to show my kids the world. I have 5 kids — in order to get us across multiple time zones is going to cost some serious cash. So, my why comes with an expectation of financial scale. Local media isn’t likely to have sustainable scaleable impact. That leaves me with content development and search. Search is seriously scaleable, and content development has an evergreen component which will continue to yield results. So, I have been able to dial in on my how, through the context of my what and why.
So the one weird trick to grow your business faster, more happily, and sustainably is to be able to tie together your emotionally relevant strategic organizing principle (why) with the vehicle that you can best accomplish your goals (what) in a way that is moving you to your desired state (how).
Jeez — who knew it was so simple?
Originally published at sellingtothec.com on June 26, 2017. We’d love to have you as part of our mailing list — sign up here. And as always, thanks for reading!