I love a good Butt Kick! As in, provided I’m the one delivering said ‘kick’ rather than being the recipient! Obviously.
In fact, I’ve built my ‘ButtKicker’ persona on the back of this. People have come to expect ‘say it like it is’ talk from me when they attend one of my mentoring sessions, or book in for one of my free ButtKicker calls.
It might sound as though I choose to be deliberately harsh in these calls – but that’s not really the case. It’s more about just being honest with people. After 32 years running my own business and mentoring others running theirs, I really have seen and heard it all – and most of it just doesn’t wash.
One home truth I find I am sharing a lot these days sits at the heart of Michael Gerber’s seminal book ‘The Emyth’. If you’ve not read – well, you should.
I’ve lost count of the number of people who start running their business because they love the thing they do – and are usually very good at it – but seem to have not taken into account how exactly they plan to get customers. They seem to think it will just happen.
Sitting at the heart of this issue is the belief that, provided you are good at what you do, that customers just turn up. Like creating a new store on the High Street, opening your doors and hoping passers by come in and buy.
I’m not saying you’ll get NO customers relying on passive methods but my bet is that you won’t get enough.
The Technician, Manager and Entrepreneur
Being a ‘marketer’ of what you do – and not just a ‘doer of what you do’ – is critical. Michael Gerber calls the ‘doer’ the Technician. The cutter of hair. The counter of beans. The deliverer of cleaning services. This stuff sits really high in your comfort zone, so you tend to do – and to want to do – a lot of it.
He also talks about the Manager. The filler of forms. The payer of wages, The completer of tax returns. You might not like doing it, but you do it because you have to. It gets done.
Then there’s the Entrepreneur. The getter and keeper of customers.
And this is where it all comes unstuck. There’s no imperative to get it done – no national deadline or fine if you fail. But you generally are not sure what to do, it sits outside of your comfort zone – by a mile usually – so it tends not to get done. Tomorrow is generally ALWAYS a good time for a drop of marketing and business growth. Definitely tomorrow. When there’s more time.
Here’s the thing …. there never is more time. Tomorrow never comes.
The harsh, ButtKicker truth of it all is, however good you might be at what you do, it doesn’t count for much if you’re no good at getting customers. Learning the craft of marketing. Seeing what works – and what doesn’t – in YOUR business. Seeing what works in OTHER businesses and adapting it you your own. Flexing your inner Entrepreneur.
Because otherwise you’ll see folk who are NOT as good as you are, doing better than you. Which is irksome, I know. Like they say, MacDonalds didn’t got big by selling the BEST burgers in the land. They just were the BEST people at selling them.
So, here’s your ButtKicker wake up call. If you learn to get good at GETTING and KEEPING customers, the rest should all take care of itself. Your failure to address your ‘E’ – your Entrepreneur – means you stand a very good chance of becoming another small business failure statistic. At the very least, you’re unlikely to get rich on the proceeds.