Don't make your business about working with the brokeDec 06, 2021
Let me start with a quote today.
"Never make your business about working with the broke and broken - that's what charity is for. So your job is to work with the highest value, highest end person because if you work with the broke and broken, you're going to resent your business, your customers, and you'll wind up broke and broken too. You gotta be careful about letting the right ones in and knowing what that distinction is. This does not mean don't be charitable and philanthropic. Your philanthropy is what you do by being focused on the right ones."
Don't get me wrong, the emphasis in the above quote is on the word, BUSINESS. Not your activity in general. But if what you do is responsible for paying your living, it can't be built on broke clients.
I'll be honest with you. This has always been one of the most challenging elements for me to tackle in my business.
I say it has been, as I still sometimes fall back into the trap this presents.
If I only help those who are unable to invest in my product the amount it's worth, I might use up all my energy and there might be nothing left for those that are able and willing to pay me what my services are worth.
I believe we have to give even when we have little. I have never supported the idea that "I will give when I have more to give from." As money does not turn you into a better person. Money only amplifies who you are.
I found the only way I can truly change the lives of masses - which is my #1 goal, is charging what I'm worth in the first place, finding the tribe that's able to pay that price, and from there, I can also help more and more, who couldn't afford it.
Let me tell you how I did it at my school.
My service has always been top-notch, as I'd never give away a crap service, even when I thought it had to be cheap. So I started out with excellent service, at very low prices. It all went fantastically well; people were raving, my team loved their job, but sometimes I had no money even to pay my dropbox subscription of 9.99$ a month... Is this how you imagine being an entrepreneur? I certainly hadn't imagined it so...
I needed to understand the hard way, repeatedly, that to be able to offer a 6-month grant to someone to pay half price or to get our entire course for free, I needed a certain number of students to pay the full price to have it covered. It sounds so obvious but somehow, fur us, "givers," it's something we often turn a blind eye to. Thinking, we pay it forward, and life will work it out. Well, life doesn't work it out unless you do...
It always ended badly for me as long as I didn't include my "grants" in my financial planning right at the start of the year. No money left for me for the summer, unable to pay bank debt and being blacklisted, everything you can imagine... And whenever I was broke, I attracted more broke people.
It sounds harsh, but YOU need to break the cycle to maintain it and make your business grow the right way. No one else will do it for you...
Imagine you keep basing your services on the broke. How much longer do you think you can keep going? A year? Two more years? And then, finito... and you need to look for another thing to do as you simply can't maintain the situation. How many people were you able to help there?
Now imagine you ask for the prices you deserve, pay your team, and pay yourself generously; how much longer do you think you can keep going? Well, probably a lot longer than a year or two. And imagine all the people you can help during those years to reach their goals.
So be very careful where you position yourself. If you feel like, "I know, Eszter, but how do I do this??", continue here where I talk about getting paid what you're worth.
Another problematic point was that even when I found a way to take on people in need, I had never been able to communicate openly to my tribe about me offering "free" places at my academy. I always did it in secret. While being open about it could have actually attracted more of the Dream Students I wanted to have more easily... In November, we had a hugely insightful chat with my friend and colleague Fiona Locke. She brought in such a great suggestion of going from "free" places to "sponsored" places, which puts everything into a different perspective.
I invite you to listen to her views and make this thought process part of your planning for 2022. It has been a total game-changer for me: Listen to my question about free places and Fiona's answer here.
And now over to you. Do you feel you're struggling with this at any level? I'd love to hear your thoughts and see where I can help. You can post about it in the Community to hear other like-minded business owners' thoughts.
Thank you for coming along!
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