Mar 14th

How She Nailed Her Niche In 12 Minutes

By ling wong

In the Monetize Your Truth coaching call, Patti realized how she can define her niche by tapping into the psychology of her ideal clients, in a way that is fully aligned with her passion, value and expertise.

Here is a snippet of the coaching call – the entire conversation that took Patti from niche confusion to niche clarity – and I hope the thought process can inspire you to get clarity on your big message.

Feb 26th

Is That $1,999 Business Training Working For YOU?

By ling wong

Let me be clear: nothing against those $1,999 or $3,497 business training programs. They deliver huge value and give students a comprehensive view on building a solid biz. Good stuff. Lots of respect for the creators.

But I have two lil’ pet peeves, after working with many people who have taken these $1,999 or $3,497 programs and still struggle.

Pet Peeve #1 :: Building On Quick Sand

These folks cannot give me a confident answer (or just draw a blank) to my foundational questions! That means they don’t have CLARITY about their biz.

The very questions I make sure all my private clients can confidently answer so they have a solid foundation for their biz.

The questions that give them a rock solid platform so they know how to articulate “what they do and how they do it” in a way that allows them to sell their products and programs confidently.

The questions that lead them to ultra-clarity so they have the Conviction to fuel the Commitment that leads to Gumption which helps them stick with it and succeed.

These are the questions you can download immediately when you join the Monetize Your Truth Program to get those light-bulb moments going.

Plus, you won’t be left hanging with a bunch of half-written assignments. (How many of those are collecting dust on your hard drive?)

We will delve into each of those questions in the first module so you will know how to translate your soul-aligned answers into business strategies that serve YOU.

Pet Peeve #2 :: Where’s the Money?

Many of these folks don’t have a unique offering that reflects the needs of their ideal clients and their passion, expertise and superpowers.

Why? Because they have not dug deep enough in a way that translates what they know and who they ARE into business strategies and marketing communication. (Plus, not many people talk about this superpower bit, which is CRITICAL.)

Because they were not guided to do the mindset work so they can step up and claim the hell out of their superpowers and uniqueness.

Just writing down your passion, vision, or superpowers on paper is not enough. You can journal till you turn blue, but nothing happens if you don’t have a plan for aligned action.

The key is to OWN IT and translate it into something useful for your biz.

You also have to strengthen your mindset so you can sell your products and services confidently – because very often, confidence is what seals the deal.

And, like it or not, many training programs (intentionally or not) foster certain level of conformity, instead of helping you step up and be unapologetically unique.

Just taking someone’s 1-/3-/6-month program or some webpage templates and plop it into your website may work for a while, but eventually it will flop because it doesn’t reflect your value, passion and superpowers.

Your superpowers are what make YOU special so you can stand out, make competition a non-issue and command a premium pricing. It’s crazy that so few people talk about how to find it and claim it!

In the Monetize Your Truth Program, we will follow the arch of “Your Biz Your Way” – from finding your clarity and conviction, to nailing your lucrative nicheand claiming your superpowers, then planning your very own profitable business model, to designing your unique offering that reflects your vision, mission and contribution.

I want you to have something you can be proud of. No more imposter’s syndrome. No more rambling on and on in a sales conversation because you are not confident about the value you offer. Because YOU’VE GOT IT!

Net Net…

I am not saying don’t take those training programs.

I am saying put in the work to build that solid foundation, find that clarity and claim your superpowers so you can supercharge any marketing tactic by claiming your brand identity, creating communications that sell, and designing offerings that let you stand out in the marketplace.

I have not taken that very popular $1,999 program, or that other $3,497 training – so my stuff is NOT a regurgitation of these programs.

In fact, I have busted my ass to dump out other people’s ideas of “how things are supposed to be done” so I can help you find your Truth.

In the Monetize Your Truth Program, you get a unique approach and perspective from yours truly – practical business and marketing training with a Mindset + Psychic twist – straight up, original, undiluted, unapologetic.

If you dig my stuff, you will LOVE this brand new program.
(If you don’t, don’t waste that $97. I am cool with it.)

I promise rapid-fire light-blub moments.

In just 4 weeks, you will Nail Your Message, Find Your Lucrative Niche, Design a Profitable Business Model and Craft Your Money-Making Offer.

I am not going to repeat the sales page stuff, because you can read it here.

But sales pages are for the monkey mind. Ask your GUTS, do you want to find the SOUL of your business?

>> Grab Your Spot! <<

***

About the Author

May 2014 - polaroidThrough her unique blend of Business + Marketing coaching with a Mindset + Psychic Twist, Ling Wong helps Maverick Entrepreneurs nail their message, claim their superpowers and muster up the GUTS to monetize their Truth so they can build a purposeful and profitable Personality-Driven business that is a full expression of their creativity and individuality.

Ling helps her clients excavate their personality-brand identity and weave their personal brand story, then translate them into marketing communication and offerings that sell through her intuitive yet rigorous iterative process born out of her Harvard Design School training.

 

Find Ling and download her free “Monetize Your Truth” Mindset + Marketing training bundle here

Feb 17th

4 Steps To Monetize Your Superpowers

By ling wong

My schtick is to help people design a business based on their Truth.

I consider it critical to claim our Superpowers so we are selling MORE than our “expertise.”

Why do we want to highlight our superpowers in our businesses?

Many people possess the same skills and expertise as you do (e.g. went through the same training), but your { gifts + personality + life experience } combo is unique.

The law of supply and demand tells us that whatever is more unique can command a higher price – as long as its value and relevance to the market is clearly communicated.

Claiming your Superpowers is your ticket to standing out, making competition a non-issue and commanding premium pricing for your programs, services and products.

Here is how to Monetize Your Superpowers:

Step #1 Discern Superpowers vs Expertise:

Here is a simple distinction – your Superpower is within you, you don’t need training or certification to acquire your Superpowers.

Digestive wellness is an expertise. Online marketing is an expertise.

Intuitively getting to the root cause of your clients’ confusion and overwhelm, and helping them get clarity for the next step in 30 minutes is a Superpower.

Look closely into your interactions with your gold-star clients. Look into your process in helping clients get results. What are you most proud of? What do they identify as the AHA moments, from time to time? In what ways you create breakthroughs for them that other your “competitors” fail?

Think about what is easy for you that surprises others. Consider what you “ended up” doing with most of your clients. What does your GUT tell you?

 What Wisdom am I here to give the world?

Here is a concrete example of my own experience.

 

Step #2 Articulate Your Superpowers

You may have an inkling of what your Superpowers are, but just having it swirl in your head is not good enough.

Articulating your superpower takes time, commitment, effort and the willingness to step out of your own way and to constantly evolve.

You may have to turn your world upside down to see what you were unable to see. You many need help to open up to what was not apparent to you and be humble enough to accept and admit that you didn’t know that part about yourself.

You probably need to overcome preconception and judgment of what is “appropriate” to say in order to fully step up and claim the hell out of it…

 

Step #3 Claim the Hell Out of It!

Unless you step up and own it, you won’t be able to communicate your Superpowers to your clients confidently. If you can’t do it confidently, how can you ask others to have confidence in you?

Claiming their superpowers has done wonders to my clients’ confidence and has added much clarity to their marketing communication on so many levels – so much so that it has become an integral part of my work with all my private clients.

“Claiming it” is the hard part, because you are putting it out into the world. Because you have to own up to it and stop hiding behind your “expertise” or “job titles” or other labels that fence you in the safety zone.

You have to face the fear of not being good enough, the fear of change and the fear of being vulnerable head on (I will dig into these fears in the Monetize Your Truth Program) so you can make your Superpowers magnetic to your ideal clients.

 

#4 Communicate Your Superpowers

To communicate your superpowers, you need to cut through the jargons and superficial wordings – don’t let them become your prison bars that limit your possibilities. Buzzwords are tempting, but they make you lazy.

You need to be able to put your Superpowers into words that your ideal clients can relate and understand, so they will pay you the big bucks for your services.

Here is where the “MONETIZE” piece comes in because if you can’t make your peeps understand how your Superpowers can solve their problems, they are not going to whip out the credit cards for you.

In the Monetize Your Truth Program, I will show you how to translate your uniqueness into marketing communication that sells.

***

Do you want to translate your unique blend of { gifts + personality + life experience = Superpowers } into a profitable business that will make your heart sing?

NYMpilot 1

Don’t miss out on this GOLDEN opportunity… only 20 seats are available for this Monetize Your Truth Pilot Program during which we will Nail Your Message, Define Your Lucrative Niche, Design Your Profitable Business Model, and Craft Your Money-Making Offer.

Be the trailblazer that you are.

>> Grab Your Seat Now! <<

(at the incredible pilot program pricing!!)

 

About the Author

May 2014 - polaroidThrough her unique blend of Business + Marketing coaching with a Mindset + Psychic Twist, Ling Wong helps Maverick Entrepreneurs nail their message, claim their superpowers and muster up the GUTS to monetize their Truth so they can build a purposeful and profitable Personality-Driven business that is a full expression of their creativity and individuality.

Find Ling and download her free “Monetize Your Truth” Mindset + Marketing training bundle here.

Feb 11th

Self-Love, Unconditional Love, and Your Business

By ling wong

Valentine’s day is around the corner, and love is in the air.

Speaking of Love. Recently I was invited to contribute to a book on love. Love, and business, in the same breath.

I wrote about the expansiveness, trust, deep knowing, full embrace, total surrender and a touch of youthful willfulness as the expression of love when I connected with the “purpose” of my business and dive right into it.

For most entrepreneurs, at one point or another, we have fallen in love with the concept or idea behind our businesses. That’s why we started our businesses.

But for some, they fall out of love because they don’t feel the FIRE, or the excitement anymore. Or, maybe they get tired of working on their businesses and not seeing the return, aka, not being loved by their businesses.

Can we really LOVE our business unconditionally, and make a good profit?

Here are a few paragraphs I wrote on Self-Love:

“Self-love is more than what we “do” or “buy” for ourselves. It is not what you do but HOW you do it. 

Self-love is attained out of total respect for ourselves and our purpose on Earth. Self-love is expansive, trusting and allowing ourselves to be embraced. 

Self-love happens when we realize that we are here to create something bigger than ourselves; that we are a vessel or channel for something way more significant, and timeless.

Self-love happens when we recognize our life’s purpose and know that we have to take extreme care of ourselves so we can be our best to be of service – because our existence is about something way more than our own body, mind and spirit.”

Self-love is inspired by knowing your purpose, nailing your message and realizing that you are a critical piece of this puzzle.

Rainbows and unicorn? Nah, we don’t do vague here.

Here at Business Soulwork, I believe we can express our creativity, individuality and fullest potential through our business.

I believe if we pour our heart and soul into our business, and have the courage to BE our truth – i.e. loving our business unconditionally – we will be generously rewarded.

So here is a piece on Unconditional Love:

“Loving unconditionally does not mean we don’t get rewarded or acknowledged. We are human, and we need to be seen and heard. If we keep giving without being acknowledged (or refusing to receive), it is not love – it is being a doormat.”

I believe it is very important for us to nail our message and find that unconditional love for our biz, so we can have the courage to put all of US in our businesses and out in the world.

When you are being all of YOU in your business, helping others with your expertise andsuperpowers, you will be handsomely rewarded and have your business LOVE YOU BACK.

***

Business is business, and for a business to love you back it has to generate revenue.

If you are ready to get off the hamster wheel, stop wasting time, money and energy on bright shiny objects so you can do want matters and have a profitable business that is a full expression of your individuality and creativity – I invite you to my Brand New Free Webinar:

 “4 Keys To Kick Overwhelm, Take Impactful Actions And Get On the Fastest Path To Cash”

I think the title is pretty self-explanatory, so I am going to shut up so you can sign up:

>> Grab Your Seat Now! <<

Jan 25th

The Ass Backward Way To Find Your Marketing Message (It doesn't work)

By ling wong

I have been thinking and writing a lot about “niche” lately. Probably 10,000 words worth – you can check out this video and this post.

I have also spent hours speaking with folks about “niching”. And one thing has become apparent to me.

“Niche” as an “artificial” construct is derailing the REAL work we need to do to get clear for our business, to define our message that will DRIVE us to do what MATTERS.

“Niching” without a deeper foundation is just busy work.

Worse than the busy work of implementing some marketing tactics because it gives you the ILLUSION of clarity and send you down the rabbit hole of building a business around something that does not resonate with you.

Here is the I AM REALLY PISSED bit

I was talking to a health coach who is taking a very popular “$3,997-ish business program for holistic practitioner” (Am I stepping on some toes here?)

(Note – I am quite angry here, and the anger is not a judgment of the action or decision of this coach. I respect where she is at and I think her story illustrates a deeper problem – aka the kool-aid we got fed - that I am seeing over and over again.)

She was 3 months into the program, and she told me she was struggling with her elevator speech. I asked her – what’s your niche, what you do for them and how you do it?

(Assuming if she’s been in a “business training” program for a couple of months, she would know the answer before being sent into doing the elevator speech exercise…)

BLANK.

She has a very strong conviction about her mission – which is awesome. But 3 months into the program and she can’t articulate her unique positioning, what she delivers for her clients and how she deploys her magic sauce??!

Apparently, her coach just told her she was not telling the “benefits” in her elevator speech and leave it at that. Leaving this woman, with a FIRE in her belly and a life-long mission in her heart, feeling incompetent.

3 months in, dude, and you are still skimming the surface?

That, PISSES ME OFF. 

(*If your experience with these $1,997, $2,997, $3,997 programs has pissed you off, I have a special offer for you at the end of this article.)

How can you craft an “elevator speech” and deliver it confidently and convincingly if you don’t even know the very basics that DRIVES you and your business??!

ASS BACKWARD

Trying to craft an elevator speech (or whatever fancy schmancy name they call it) without understanding the purpose, drive, beliefs, conviction, superpowers etc. behind the person delivering the speech is a losing battle.

Assuming the 10-minute of fame in a group coaching call can hand you a bunch of words you can regurgitate and magically sell something is just wishful thinking.

Are you going to let someone else’s “what something should look like” make you feel incompetent because it doesn’t gel with the way YOU roll?

Can you stop making yourself wrong for being YOU?

She then told me she was going to do a survey with a list of 70 people who, half of which, are not her ideal clients.

WTF

You are asking people who are not even going to pay you for your stuff what you SHOULD be doing – before you are clear what YOU WANT to be doing??!

Are you really going to let “other people’s worldview” drive your life’s mission??!

Frankly, I don’t think it’s her idea to do a survey. Someone told her to do so without understanding where exactly she is at, and the quality of her list.

In a way, I am glad she doesn’t have an elevator speech yet because at least she is not under the illusion that she got it “figured out” but in reality, the business is built on quick sand.

My Niche Confession

I did NOT start with a “niche” when I created Business Soulwork. I stopped giving a f*ck to what those “gurus” say. Or the “right way” to do things.

I didn’t go about finding this thing called the “Maverick Entrepreneurs” and do a bunch of research and survey to see if they want some iconoclastic skin-head chick to tell them the programs and trainings they paid $1,997 for are actually derailing them.

I created Business Soulwork because I HAVE to. I have a CONVICTION. I give a SH*T for my ART. It is in my GUTS and I had to do it.

This CONVICTION is my foundation. From there I crafted my message – from MY point of view, not other people’s worldview from research and survey.

(I gotta say, I am pretty one of a kind. So take it or leave it.)

Only after I felt solid from the inside and created things that I felt good about with this new clarity (it took a few months, and a LOT being a heap of tears on the floor), then I put this message through the grinder to make marketing sausage.

I reverse-engineered my “niche” in the “marketing sense” from the stuff I was already creating that is TRUE for ME.

Screw “Defining Your Niche” as some marketing exercise you do because you paid $1,997 for a training. Don’t give a f*ck about “other people’s worldview.”

Let your niche EMERGE from the message that is already alive and on FIRE in your HEART and GUTS.

When you nail that message, and do the inner work to remove your mindset gunk to create a clean path for it to emerge and for your to CLAIM IT – because it’s no good if you can’t OWN IT and just keep it between you and your cat – you don’t have to force yourself into anyone’s marketing box.

You can make yourself the niche, if this is how it has to go down. Permission granted to toss out the “niche menu”.

Can you please stop letting other people’s idea about marketing to derail YOU from your life’s mission?

The first step to clarity is stillness. Go within, muster up the GUTS, CLAIM your big-ass vision.

When you get to the bottom of it and find YOUR passion and vision, you will also nail that CONVICTION from the GUTS that leads to COMMITMENT, which fuels the GUMPTION to “stick with it” and make it happen.

It is not an easy task to get to that place of ultra-clarity, then formulate it into an Identity you can claim and translate it into marketing communication that sells while allowing all of your individuality and personality to shine through.

It took me 12 months and a 5-figure private coaching program to dig myself out of jail. I want to make it happen for you in 60 days, for less than $800.

Are you game?

>> Check out the brand new NAIL YOUR MESSAGE Private VIP Intensive <<

* If you have taken some $1,997, $2,997, $3,997 that pissed you off because you didn’t get what you need and even worse, felt like “there must be something wrong with you” because you didn’t get the results as advertised… let’s make it right for you.

Send me an email and tell me what training(s)you took and why it (or they!) pissed you off. If your reason is legit (not like, I bought the program, didn’t do sh*t and didn’t get results; or do any kind of blame game/victim BS) I will give you a coupon code to knock another $100 off the already ridiculously low pilot program pricing for the NAIL YOUR MESSAGE Private VIP Intensive.

>> Join this Nail Your Message 60-Day Experience <<

Jan 22nd

A Surprising Productivity Secret (It's not a available online!)

By ling wong

It’s New Year and everywhere I look, there are some “gurus” or “experts” talking about “setting up successful habits” or “how to be more productive.”

Despite being a bit of a rebel, I value routines, structures and frameworks – as long as they are mine. They form the skeleton upon which we create freedom.

They remove unnecessary decision-making that drains our energy and focus so we can save our brain juice for what really matters.

When I studied design and architecture in (the country’s #1) grad school, a “program” (a set of requirements or needs or problems to solve) forms the premise of each design project. The framework is what sets the final product apart from some self-gratuitous artsy-fartsy self-referential object.

The rules, the parameters and the reality of gravity spark creativity and allow the freedom of expression to be meaningful.

So why do I have bones with those gurus talking about “success habits” and such?

Whenever they say – for the first 90 minutes in the morning, keep everyone out so you can meditate, exercise, make green juice, journal till you turn blue and set intention for your day – I laugh.

Reality is, my kids wake up at some ungodly hour like 5.30am and no, I don’t have it in me to drag my ass up at 4am to meditate. If they find me anywhere other than my pillow (they know better not to disturb), I would not have a moment of peace.

Do the highest priority tasks in the morning? 
Fat chance – try that as you pack lunches for two, while running after a 2-year-old who drops whatever he eats on the floor and demands food every 5 minutes, very loudly.

Do the income generating projects first thing? 
Yeah right – try it with Happy Feet in the background and “mommy play doh open” every 5 minutes.

I don’t follow the rules because if I try, I would fail miserably. Yet most people I interact with are impressed by my productivity. Go figure.

It is a losing battle to squeeze some arbitrary routine designed by someone who knows NOTHING about my life into my life.

To be Productive, we have to find what DRIVES us and what works for us.

What Is Productivity?

Being Productive does not equate doing busy work. It is about doing work that MATTERS. Doing work that is meaningful to YOU.

It is not defined by some arbitrary numbers or measurement imposed by others.

Productivity is NOT about crossing sh*t off some random checklist.

Productivity is completing projects that MATTER to the expansion of your business.

The First Step To Being Productive is Being STILL

Make space for creativity to flow so you can identify you MIAs (Most Important Actions) that are in alignment with YOUR vision and value.

And it’s not just about doing stuff. It is also about protecting your energy from things that don’t matter so you can spend it on what do matter.

Discipline is required when you need to eliminate mental distraction so you can stop the worst energy drains, which come in the form of busy work that make you take your focus off your MIAs and spin your wheels. 

These busy work includes tasks that others make you *think* to be important, but really, they are not for YOU.

Bottom line is, you need to know what REALLY matters to YOU and your biz – not what other people say what “should” matter.

Then, you can put my #1 Productivity into good use...

Ready for My #1 Productivity Tool?

DISCERNMENT. Yep, just like that.

We are tempted to do stuff because the “gurus” say so, or our competition is doing so.

But is that right for YOU?

Will it take you where YOU want to go?

Do you know what your big WHY is?

Do you know what your business is about?

Do you know who you want to BE in your business?


If you can nail the Ultra-Clarity, Identity and Conviction that are deep inside of you, they will become the guiding light and filter you use to make decisions.

You won’t be taking any action just because it comes your way, or because others say you “have to.” The action you CHOOSE will bring you closer to alignment. (Misalignment = time, money and energy leak = sucks)

Discernment will help you stop wasting time, energy and money to chase after theBright Shiny Objects. It will help you dig out of the Comparison Trap so you can stop rubber necking and actually keep your eyes on where you are going.

Awareness is the key – GUT check often to make sure you are doing what you are doing not out of fears or conformity.

***

If you find yourself getting sucked into the social media dark hole, or doing sh*t that doesn’t give you results… you may want to look into why that is, and what you are HIDING from, instead of stuffing yourself into other people’s idea of “what a productive schedule should look like.”

We can “produce” enough if we have enough time. But do you? What if, your Time Management problem may not be about managing TIME – have you considered that possibility? What if, you can change that?

Chances are, it’s not because you don’t have the discipline or the willpower. Stop beating yourself up - you may be barking up the wrong tree.

It’s more likely that you have not found that DRIVE in you that will render any distraction powerless...
Do you have an unwavering MESSAGE to guide your CHOICES?

Do you have a CONVICTION that leads to COMMITMENT to fuel the GUMPTION so you can stick with it and stay on task?


For my clients, NAILING THEIR MESSAGES and finding their Drive gives them the rocket fuel behind productivity in a way that creates FREEDOM to fully expressing their creativity and personality through their business.

>> If you are ready to nail your message and get the Rocket Fuel for Ultimate Productivity – join me for this Nail Your Message 60-Day Experience.


About the Author

Through her unique blend of business + marketing coaching with a Mindset + Psychic Twist, Ling Wong helps Maverick Entrepreneurs nail their message, claim their superpowers and muster up the GUTS to monetize their Truth so they can build a purposeful and profitable Personality-Driven business that is a full expression of their creativity and individuality.

Download the free “Monetize Your Truth” Mindset + Marketing bundle here.

Jan 19th

Work Hard Today, Create Something Brilliant Tomorrow!

By Sheri Horn Hasan
Work hard toward your goals between today and the Aquarius New Moon on Tuesday morning!

While the Moon is in Capricorn take care to integrate into this workaholic-type energy its polar opposite: the energy of the sensitive and compassionate sign of Cancer...

Employ self-nurturing, self-compassion, & be kind to both your own psyche and that of others. And remember that your thoughts create your reality!

Think positively about yourself, & don't drive yourself to work hard at ALL costs. If you incorporate self-care into your routine, you will accomplish far more than material gain--material gain will simply be the icing on your cake...

Now--and for the next two days while the Moon is in Cap--is the time to work on your list of intentions for the New Moon's 48-hour period starting at 8:14 a.m. ET on January 20. In other words, WORK your way into the harmonious energy of the Aquarius New Moon when you'll put these intentions out into the universe in order to make them manifest down the line!

Enjoy the journey folks, & happy Moon waning-in-Capricorn-almost-New Moon day! The early bird gets the worm, but nice guys DON'T always finish last, hahahaha! ;-)Cap New Moon 1-18-15.png
Jan 19th

Work Hard Today, Create Something Brilliant Tomorrow!

By Sheri Horn Hasan
Work hard toward your goals between today and the Aquarius New Moon on Tuesday morning!

While the Moon is in Capricorn take care to integrate into this workaholic-type energy its polar opposite: the energy of the sensitive and compassionate sign of Cancer...

Employ self-nurturing, self-compassion, & be kind to both your own psyche and that of others. And remember that your thoughts create your reality!

Think positively about yourself, & don't drive yourself to work hard at ALL costs. If you incorporate self-care into your routine, you will accomplish far more than material gain--material gain will simply be the icing on your cake...

Now--and for the next two days while the Moon is in Cap--is the time to work on your list of intentions for the New Moon's 48-hour period starting at 8:14 a.m. ET on January 20. In other words, WORK your way into the harmonious energy of the Aquarius New Moon when you'll put these intentions out into the universe in order to make them manifest down the line!

Enjoy the journey folks, & happy Moon waning-in-Capricorn-almost-New Moon day! The early bird gets the worm, but nice guys DON'T always finish last, hahahaha! wink emoticonCap New Moon 1-18-15.png
Jan 14th

The Secret to Defining Your Lucrative Niche

By ling wong

Recently I have talked to many people who are struggling to “figure out” their niche for their businesses. Some of them are just starting out, and some have been in business for a while but feel that “something is missing” in their messages, their target markets and their offerings.

These are not “dumb” people – most of them have a pretty good handle on the “marketing” stuff but seem to be stuck in limbo, unable to find the FIRE to light up their actions.

I was there, about 18 months ago. My business was plugging along nicely, hitting the 6-figure mark as I spent a lot of time with my newborn and 3-year-old, working 25 hours or so a week (and doing yoga every morning!)

But something was unsettling. I started to feel like I was punching the clock and doing things “by the book” – where had my creativity and personality gone?

My marketing knowledge and skills could only take me so far. What do I really believe in, and who do I want to BE for my peeps?

“Plugging along” doesn’t mean progress, or expansion. We have to reignite that FIRE to get out of “clone drone” existence.

The #1 Reason You Are Stuck Like a Peking Duck

(Will explain the Peking Duck bit in a moment, other than it rhythms…)

To get out of limbo and find the FIRE to inform impactful actions, we need to determine our big WHY, WHO, WHAT and HOW – which will also conveniently translate into your niche if you do it right.

“Yeah yeah, I have done this ‘niche’ thing a dozen times in different programs and trainings, but it didn’t get me very far. I am still confused and frankly, feel incompetent because I seem to be the only one who can’t figure it out,” you may say.

I hear you – been there, done that.

Here is the problem – most of these trainings package “niche” as “a thing” to sell. They blow the subject, with too much emphasis on “formula” and “research”, out of proportion – like, it’s the magic pill that will relieve all your pain if you just “find your niche.”

Sadly, many people got “pushed” into a niche (because they were told they need to have one right here right now) before they are ready to “claim it”, picking something half-assed-ly from a “niche menu” (because someone told them it is “viable” or “lucrative”) only to find out it does not resonate after they spent months down the rabbit hole of building everything around this “made-believe” niche.

All these emphasis and attention on research and data have distracted you from the most important thing in the equation – YOU!

You are the secret sauce in your business. Data are just representations of the past. They serve to inform. They cannot synthesize and innovate without your creativity and individuality.

Unfortunately, if you stick with the marketplace’s collective memory, you will produce something that reflects the “what has been”, not something innovative that looks to the future.

Here comes the Peking Duck bit – we literally stuff ourselves with “other people’s view points and ways of doing things” at the expense of our own beliefs, passion and conviction. All those template and checklists, blueprints and formula are weighing us down.

They make us think if we look outside of ourselves, we will find the key to the kingdom.

The first step to finding your very own big WHY, WHO, WHAT and HOW is to question everything – is this idea, belief, or concept coming from deep within YOU, or is it something you were told that is “supposed to be?”

With that mindset, ask what YOU and your business is about –

  • Why the heck did you go into business in the first place? (Be selfish here. No body is judging, you don’t have to save the world.)
  • What do you want your business to do FOR you?
  • What is your passion and conviction? What are YOU about? What riles you up? What makes you angry about your industry?
  • What are your superpowers?
  • How are you going to blend desires, conviction, superpowers altogether and express it fully in your business so your personality shines through?
  • Who do you want to work with that will really light you up? Don’t give me women 25-45, because I don’t think all women 25-45 will light you up.
  • How does your conviction apply to these people? How can your superpowers serve them in a way that others can’t?

You are not going to bend your message to fit some market research data. You are going to wrap them around your message to make marketing work FOR you big WHY.

When you get to the bottom of it and find YOUR passion and vision, you will also nail that CONVICTION from the GUTS that leads to COMMITMENT, which fuels the GUMPTION to “stick with it” and make it happen.

It is not an easy task to get to that place of ultra-clarity (if it’s easy, there wouldn’t be so many people being stuck!), then formulate it into an Identity you can claim and translate it into marketing communication that sells while allowing all of your individuality and personality to shine through.

I am pretty darn diligent (and a bit pigheaded) and it took me 12 months and a 5-figure private coaching program to dig myself out of the rut. I want to make it happen for you in 60 days, for less than a grand.

Are you game? Check out this brand new Nail Your Message Private VIP Intensive.(psssst, pilot program pricing going away soon!)

 

About the Author:

May 2014 - polaroidThrough her unique blend of business + marketing coaching with a Mindset + Psychic Twist, Ling Wong helps Maverick Entrepreneurs nail their message, claim their superpowers and muster up the GUTS to monetize their Truth so they can build a purposeful and profitable Personality-Driven business that is a full expression of their creativity and individuality.

Download her free “Monetize Your Truth” Mindset + Marketing bundle here.

Jan 2nd

How To Protect Your Boundary and Integrity with Proper Scoping

By ling wong

Have you encountered clients who ask you to “just throw in” that one more thing… habitually? You think it’s not a big deal, you want to be “nice” and of course, you don’t want to “offend” a client. But on the other hand, you feel like you are “being taken advantage of” and the constant giving without being properly acknowledged or compensated just doesn’t sit right.

I know, it’s a tough call… especially if you are in the “helping profession” (with a natural tendency to help!) and/or are the “sensitive” type.

Hmmm, between a rock and a hard place? Not really, there is a way out so you can uphold your boundary and integrity without sounding remotely like a jerk. It involves me whipping out my 10-year project management chops to show you some soulful scoping.

Before the nuts-and-bolts, let’s get over a misconception:

Scoping Is Not Nickel-and-Diming

Having a clear and defined scope allows you and your clients to understand how to act and what to expect in your working relationship. If something is out of scope and you say “no” or ask for additional compensation – there is no hard feeling or weird energy.

A clear scope helps you protect your boundaries with integrity. And it’s not just for you.

If you spend you time and energy doing “extra” work for one single client without being fairly compensated, you are unable to devote your attention to clients who are actually paying you for your work. The quality of your work suffers, and how is it fair to those clients who are actually paying you for your work and respect your boundary?

Also consider this: if you keep “throwing things in” without being compensated, you will get resentful about your work and this energy will poison your business and relationship with your other clients.

Scoping Is Not Rocket Science

Sure, I used to bang out 50-page scope documents on a weekly basis for projects worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. But you don’t have to do that.

Simple documentation as part of an agreement your clients sign off before the start of your services should be sufficient for most (note: this is not legal advice, I am no lawyer.)

The scope would simply detail what you agree to deliver for the amount that is paid to you.

(Note: if you are a coach, you are NOT promising results. You are promising what your client will get as the “features” of your program, e.g. number of xx-minute phone coaching sessions, handouts, email support and expectation in terms of turnaround time, supplementary reading materials etc.)

If there are a few things you always “throw in” for clients, add them to your scope and take them into account when pricing your service.

The more specific you get, the easier your life will be when you encounter “clients that make your cringe” who pull that “just one more thing” thing.

What To Do When the Client Asks For that “One More Thing”?

With a well-defined scope/list of deliverables that your client has signed off on, you can simply say it’s not covered in the original scope of the service – period.

If you are kind of a “recovering over-giver” and /or compelled to sound “nice”, you can say something like “I really would like to do this for you but unfortunately it’s not in the scope of this service and to be fair to my other clients, I won’t be able to provide it as part of the package you have purchased.”

Then, based on what the client needs at the moment, you can suggest a few options – e.g. a maintenance program or retainer service, another service/coaching package, or upgrade to a higher level program or package. (See below)

It Doesn’t Mean They Can’t Get What They Want

They just have to pay for it so your time, effort and energy can be acknowledged andcompensated. It is very important, not only from the monetary perspective. It has an impact on you attitude toward your business, and your very own self-worth.

Most of the time, these clients just want to test the boundary (subconsciously) to see what they can get away with. If you suggest something reasonable, more often than not they are willing to pay if they really want it – because it’s fair!

Here are a few ways to go about it:

Amendment to the Original Agreement

In the agency world it’s called “change order.” It is essentially an amendment in written format detailing the change in scope and the additional fee involved.

It’s the most flexible way to go if you cannot anticipate what your clients may request. Of course, do this with integrity – you are only going to add on a service if it actually falls in your area of expertise and you can deliver the intended results.

Otherwise, don’t let the fear of lack or the fear of being vulnerable get in the way – don’t go for the quick buck, be honest about your capability and if you know someone who can do the job well, make a referral.

Menu of a La Carte Services

I don’t advocate selling “a la carte” services (or single sessions) to everyone and anyone. However, you can create a menu of these services available exclusively to your current clients as add-on to their packages, and make this a “perk” for being your clients.

It is often of higher service to your clients because most of the time, these piecemeal services will not have the intended results unless you have a good understanding of the clients, which means they need to be already working with you to get the most out of these add-ons.

E.g. Although I have been asked quite often to do copywriting, I don’t provide copywriting services to people unless they are my clients. For my platinum client, their package comes with copy editing. For other clients, they can purchase copywriting services as an add-on whenever it’s needed.

Purchase Another Package

Sometimes, what the client requests may be something completely different from what is included in the current package, and you have another package that meets her needs.

Maybe she is asking for a part of one of your other package, and you know for her best interest, she would need to purchase the entire package to get the best results. In this case, don’t go for the quick buck but take the time to educate the client why purchasing this other package will be of best interest to her.

Sometimes, you may have to refuse delivering a partial package if it’s not going to create the intended results for your clients. Remember, you are the expert of your offerings – own it.

You can offer a discount for existing clients as a nice gesture. Make sure it’s a fair energetic exchange so it’s not about people-pleasing or begging for business (energy of lack.)

Upgrade To a Bigger Package

Sometimes people may not know what they really need when they start a working relationship. Clients are also more willing to trust you and go into a higher-priced engagement once they feel comfortable with your style and trust your ability to deliver.

If what your client wants is covered by a “bigger” package that includes the deliverables of the current package, you can recommend an upgrade so she just pays for the difference in price. You may want to review the deliverables to see what has been delivered and what is outstanding, and make an amendment to your original agreement to reflect the changes.

Make It a Long-Term Relationship

If the client is near the end of a program or package and wants continual support, you can offer a retainer or a maintenance program. You have to be the judge to make sure that scaled-back availability is sufficient to support this client, and make sure the amount of support a client gets per month is clearly outlined.

Saying “No” Can Still Be Tough If You Don’t Have the Right Mindset

Saying “no” or stepping up for yourself to ask for more compensation is not always an easy thing – knowing the “how” does not always mean you have the ability to protect your boundary.

If you score high as Nurturer, Connector or Romantic in this Sacred Money Archetype Assessment, you may need to be more mindful about your boundary, create system to keep your “people-pleaser” in line, and make sure you don’t go into over-giving mode because of fears of being disapproved, losing love, being judged, ending up with nothing etc.

You need to have the confidence to step up and own your expert status because there are times you will have to refuse a client’s request for her best interest, and be able to educate her on the reason.

You also need to realize your responsibility to your other clients because if your time and energy is sucked by one “client from hell,” your other clients will not be able to get the best of you – and that’s what they paid you for.

It is YOUR responsibility to set clear boundaries and educate your clients on the way you roll so they can get the best out of their experience working with you. So chuck that victim/martyr mentality – if you allow “clients from hell” to drain your time and energy, it is YOUR boundary crime to commit.

 

Just having the “how to” is only half the story. Your mindset is the determining factor behind if your strategies and tactics are achieving their intended results.

Ready for a Mindset upgrade for your biz? Let’s talk.

How are you going to set your boundary with integrity? Share your thoughts in the comment here.

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