In 2004, I felt uncomfortable in my own skin. I felt like a stranger in my own life, like things were happening outside of my control.
The problem, I decided, was that I was living in the wrong city. I needed a change.
I decided that I would leave Chicago, where I had been living, and move to Portland, Oregon. THAT would solve the problem and make me feel comfortable again.
There was a big flaw with that plan, however.
I wasn’t solving the real problem.
Looking back, the issue wasn’t the city where I was living. It was that I was gay and still in the closet.
When I came out a few months later, I started loving my life again, and I stayed in Chicago for 7 more years.
I know that not everyone is facing such a big life question, but still, if you look around, you see people solving the wrong problem every day.
I want to lose 10 pounds → Do Whole 30 (but don’t, say, adopt healthy habits that you can do long term.)
I want to fall in love → Date people even if they don’t treat you well (but don’t, say, love yourself first.)
I want to feel worthy → Buy a bunch of stuff (see above about loving yourself.)
If you’ve ever seen an ad for bra that makes you feel carefree, or a truck that makes you feel like a man, you’re witnessing someone trying to solve the wrong problem.
How does all of this relate to business? Well, I see a lot of entrepreneurs solving the wrong problem too.
It looks like this:
I have this whole list of potential clients I want to reach out to, but I don’t know what to write… so I’m going to rebrand my company. (Instead of, say, just reaching out.)
I keep having great conversations with clients who never sign on… so I’m going to lower my prices. (Instead of, for example, focusing on selling the value of your work.)
I feel so weird talking to potential clients… so I’m going to focus on building my newsletter list instead. (Instead of learning how to have comfortable sales conversations.)
If you have a problem, and you’re not solving that problem, you’re solving the wrong problem.
And if you aren’t getting the clients you want, you have a selling problem. That’s the problem you need to be solving.
(But Leah, of course you would say that. You’re a sales coach.)
Listen – I want you to solve YOUR real problem, no matter what it is. If your absolute #1 problem is that you have no website and no brand at all, then solve that problem.
But if you have a client and revenue problem, solve that one head-on.
Why is solving the real problem so hard?
Because it forces you to take a hard look at the parts of yourself, and your business, that aren’t pretty. It forces you to acknowledge the truth. And it makes you realize what you might be avoiding.
But there’s a tremendous benefit too. When you finally do look at the real problem, you no longer kick it down the curb. You fix it. And when you fix it, it’s no longer a problem anymore.
It’s like one of the new SIGNED students said in our call this week: “It’s hard for me to be open to my challenges, but once I’m open to them, I’m more willing to see the solutions and focus on fixing them.”
So now I want to ask you: what’s one area of your business where you might be solving the wrong problem? How can you address it head-on? And what’s the benefit if you do?
If you’d like, write back and let me know.
To your success,
P.S. Whenever you’re ready, here are three ways I can help you.
1. Join the free Smart Gets Paid Group and connect with women entrepreneurs who are learning how to get clients too.This is my new Facebook community where badass women like you learn how to get the clients they want, without feeling salesy. Click here to join.2. Learn how to get new clients without feeling salesy, in 10 weeksIf getting new clients is on your to-do list, but you’re not sure where to start, I can help. You’ll learn step-by-step how to get the clients you want, without feeling salesy. And you’ll get the support you need to put learning into practice in your business.3. Work with me privatelyIf you’d like to work directly with me to learn how to sell, get paid more, and get the clients you really want, just reply to this message and put “Private” in the subject line. Tell me a little about your business and what you’re struggling with when it comes to selling, and I’ll get you all the details.