‘These Results Are Not Typical’ And 5 More Inconvenient Truths About Entrepreneurship
I spend a lot of time telling people stuff they don’t want to hear. If entrepreneurship was a train, I’m typically one of the last stops people take on their journey to building an awesome business. I call myself the “inconvenient truth” stop because it’s typically my job to tell people why they’ve invested, tried, and hustled but still aren’t succeeding in business the way they’d like.
I call my truths inconvenient because they go against the narrative that everything in business must be easy, you don’t have to change, and things just happen because you want them to.
Nothing makes me sadder than meeting someone who has spent over $20,000 to learn that maybe all those facebook ads weren’t 100% truthful and more was required than they thought.
Just in time for the holidays, I’m here with a cold shower just for you! YAY!
Here are the 6 inconvenient truths that every business owner should know.
These Results Are Not Typical
I’ve seen the facebook ads too. Make 90k in 90 days! I’m just like you! You can do it too! Everyone talks about fast and how easy it could happen to you. I’m going to let you in on a little secret: most of that is complete bullshit. While I’m not saying that these people are lying about their results, I’m saying that the results are considered “exceptional.” Don’t believe me? Go to the bottom of one of those landing pages you see. In super SMALL print you’ll see something that more or less says this:
These results are not typical
Never noticed it before? That’s okay, most business owners would rather you didn’t. You’ll also see an earnings disclaimer clause that says something about how they don’t make this kind of money all the time.
Despite that, everyone has the same expectation: this should happen really fast, right? Not so much. While there are a few amazing success stories out there (mostly due to luck and getting there first), the businesses who are around the longest know that most success stories take a while to happen.
This doesn’t stop with just starting your business either. EVERYTHING takes a long time.
It took me MONTHS to get my webinar formula down
It took me YEARS to discover the right membership model for me
It took me YEARS to figure out a facebook ad strategy that would actually work for me and convert.
Long story short: you gotta be in it for the long haul. Fast success stories are not typical and most of those people come and go because it was luck and a flash in the pan. Of course, there are always exceptions but most people can expect to work longer than 90 days to make a sustainable income. You can accelerate your success with money but from my experience talking to many ex-members of 40k masterminds, not even that is guaranteed.
You have to change in some way
One of the things I’ve noticed, after almost a decade of doing this, is that people really struggle to become the type of people required to make entrepreneurship work. The fact of the matter is that as humans we all come pre-wired with tendencies to succeed in specific areas of our life. This could be because of genetics or family history.
Everyone has a pre-setting.
Some people struggle to stop eating and some people naturally stop when they are hungry. Some people naturally take to languages and can learn them no problem and other people struggle to get a few phrases down.
The same is true for most entrepreneurs. Some of us (I’m one of those people) are built for entrepreneurship. I know it is a privilege that I have. I’m naturally self-motivated and work best alone. I’m good at making decisions and I have a “figure it out” attitude about things. I’ve never thrived in job settings and have always struggled with authority and rules. I had success quicker than other people because I had no resistance to the lifestyle. It felt like home for me immediately.
This isn’t actually super common. Most people find comfort in systems and like the stability of being a part of something bigger. If you are used to having someone tell you what to do and be on your butt to finish things, you can’t expect someone to do that for you in your own business. That’s not how it works.
Most people have to change. They have to work really hard to embrace autonomy, get used to instability and become really self-motivated. A lot of people never do and THAT’S why so many businesses fail. They don’t change. You will have to change something about the way you show up in the world to truly be successful.
I had to change my tendency to take everything personally. For years my business success would stall out because it wouldn’t take much for me to completely break down. I lost a lot of momentum and time being someone who couldn’t handle critique. I had to change and my success doubled and tripled once I did the work to change that aspect of my personality so I wasn’t so tortured by everything.
Everyone is right. Everyone is wrong.
My friend Denise says something that I love, “everything works.” It’s true. Everything works. If there is a system you are reading about on a facebook ad or reading about in a book, there is a good chance it’s worked for someone. Will it work for YOU? That’s the big question. It might. It might not. Ultimately, your job as a business owner is to be able to look out there and know that there is no magic bullet or sure thing and that everything that’s out there is just strategies and techniques to try until you find something that works.
And “what works” is totally dependent on —
Timing: Is this the right time in your business for this technique to be really effective?
Clarity: Do you know enough about your business to implement this technique effectively and the way it was intended?
Willingness to do the work: Are you ready to do the work right now?
Patience: Have you waited long enough for it to actually work?
The majority of people (including me) have a hard time waiting for a strategy to actually to settle in long enough to actually work. A lot of stuff won’t work for you and that’s just a part of the game. It’s totally impossible to get it right and find the perfect fit for you right out the gate. Some businesses do but it doesn’t happen super often. When you DO stick to a strategy it’s mostly because you like it! The people who got BIG during the podcast boom LOVE podcasting and stuck to it. The people who did big things on instagram LOVE taking pictures and were a great fit for it. It’s all random.
You have to be prepared to have some things and not work and have the process be a little bit more expensive than you’d like. If you don’t want to go big on any one strategy, buy books and sign up for lower level programs first and then invest upwards. I know this sounds dumb but I just grab whatever I find interesting and I end up using EVERYTHING eventually.
For example, there is this book The Untethered Soul and I tried to read it 7 times and never got past the 20th page. This year I felt the urge to read it and it changed my life. I’ve read it 4 times. THIS YEAR. Most people are so quick to say “oh, this didn’t work or I don’t like it” and yeah it might not work but a lot of times we just aren’t ready for it to work. So much of business success is about timing and we don’t say enough about that.
Whenever you see a big success story, it’s rarely a result of that person doing anything remarkable but it’s almost always because it just happens to be the right time for whatever they are talking about to actually work.
It’s also good to know that marketing isn’t super complicated (I’ll talk about that later) and if you just focus on consistently promoting your offers, you’ll always be in good shape.
Clarity is the hardest but everything becomes easier when you have it
Clarity is the least sexy business concept out there but it is by FAR the most important and it’s also the hardest to get. We can do so much in our businesses without having complete clarity but then something always happens that lets us know that we actually have no clue what the hell is going on in our business. Here’s an example: I was talking to someone about their business. They were talking about sales funnels and promoting their business. They also told me they were having struggle selling.
I asked a simple question:
Okay, what is your customer’s number 1 problem?
She then went on a huge spiel about all the different types of people she was going to help and all the different scenarios.
There was no way she could create a product that would be a good fit for ALL these people. No wonder she was struggling but because she had enough clarity to follow some of the advice she heard, it didn’t feel like the lack of clarity was a big deal.
The only problem was that the lack of clarity was influencing her results. It’s an endless cycle…you have to take action to get clarity but a lot of the action you take will feel “meaningless” without clarity.
This is where patience comes in. You have to let yourself go through the process of clarity gathering without throwing the baby with the bath water.
You don’t get points for thinking about things
I think I’ve written 40 books in my head but you’ll never be able to read them because they are in your head. The same is true for business. One of the inconvenient truths of entrepreneurship is that you don’t get credit for the idea, you get credit for the execution of the idea. Business owners always talk about having a lot of ideas and as a result, place way too much value on their ability to be innovative.
Reality check: everyone has ideas. Anyone can think of something cool. We aren’t talking about some of the great artists and creators in the world’s great ideas, we talk about the execution of the ideas. I have to remind myself of this too. Every time I have a great movie idea I’m like “wow, an awesome idea” and it makes me feel like I creator but I’m actually not. Not until I turn it into something.
If they don’t get it, they won’t buy it
When you think of marketing you might think of special software or special techniques. You think of signature systems and growth strategies. Marketing is actually really simple.
It’s defined like this: Communicating the value of your offer so people want to buy it — consistently.
It doesn’t matter if you do that on a flyer, via email, instagram, or even by sending snail mail every month.
Above all else, communicating the value of your offer is the most important part of entrepreneurship and business growth and if you can’t explain it, people won’t buy.
It doesn’t matter what software you buy or how awesome you are if someone doesn’t fully “get” what you are offering, they won’t buy. That’s why it’s good to invest in clarity and products and services that help you communicate value FIRST and then add all the bells and whistles.
Before you put together a passive income funnel, can you write a sales-focused social media post? Before you develop a webinar funnel strategy, can you write an email and have people buy?
If not, you shouldn’t be focusing on all that other stuff. You need to start with just telling people what you do so they get it.
Bottom line — success in business is a combination of luck, good timing, and a lot of work and patience. There are no shortcuts and you might be doing all the right things, everything might just be still working itself out.
It’s inconvenient but it’s worth it in the end. What are my big action steps for you today?
Ask yourself: do I know exactly what I’m selling and who I’m selling it to?
Am I consistently telling people about what I do?
Have I given the latest strategy I’m trying time to actually work?