My goodness it feels like I got on a Bullet Train last week and it’s just started to slow down as it heads towards the station.
However it has been the most extraordinary experience.
Even at that moment when I wanted it all to stop, I still knew I was safe and that this too would pass (and my wonderful husband reflected that back to me).
I’m not even going to try to share my experiences as there is waaaay too much for one email.
And truthfully, what I am experiencing now is the result of a journey of transformation I embarked upon 10 years ago. There’s a gazillion puzzle pieces that are all falling into place right now, but they’d only make sense if I shared the whole story.
And that’d take a looooooooooooong time
But what I do want to share is the consistent message that I’m getting loud and clear which is to re-connect to who I truly am.
It’s really beautiful to watch it unfold.
And at times it’s scary.
Whilst I have a huge amount of trust and know at a deep level that I am on the right path and this is what I’m meant to be doing – it’s a massive step into the unknown.
I am truly stepping into unchartered and uncharted territory.
From a business point of view it may make no sense.
Many people will think I’m crazy.
But when I look back at my life – including all my successes in business – I never did anything because it made sense.
I did it because there was this part of me that lit up and sparkled and went “ooh that sounds fun”, or “ooh not done that before”, or “wouldn’t it be amazing if …”
And although the thoughts were different each time, the feeling was always the same.
A feeling of excitement, curiosity, adventure, magic and trust.
And no fear – the fear only came later as I started implementing:
What if I’m wrong?
What will people think?
What if it doesn’t work?
Oh s**t what have I done?
As I moved through my fears I discovered that my courage inspired people.
People loved the big bold actions I took because it motivated them to step forward.
They felt the energy behind the words I shared.
They thought “if Melina can do it, I can too”.
I discovered it’s not what I do, it’s the magic and the sparkle that infuses what I do that inspires and empowers others.
Whenever I did anything “sensible” it was a flop.
Doesn’t mean doing sensible stuff is bad.
Or that you have to do wild and wacky things to get results.
But for me I don’t shine unless it includes a little wild and wacky-ness.
Something different, something bold. It’s part of who I am.
It’s when I show up as the best version of me.
It’s when I write the best emails.
It’s when I create magical experiences for people.
So if I don’t get that sparkly “ooh” feeling about something – it’s not right for me.
Doesn’t mean it’s not right – it’s just not right for me.
Can you build a sustainable business that goes against 80% of everything that’s currently taught about marketing and sales?
Who knows! But I’m excited to find out. It definitely gives me that sparkly “ooh” feeling.
And I know that if it doesn’t work out something else will show up along the way.
Now before you go away and think I’m a crazed wacko and I’m going to fail miserably, I have actually spent 11 years, following rules doing “what works” in business.
I’ve mastered lead generation and selling high ticket programmes; I’ve had 6 figure years, and 5 figure months and launches; I’ve had a successful membership programme; I’ve sold hundreds of digital products; I’ve worked with the best mentors (who’ve hired me to sell their coaching programmes); I’ve spoken on many stages; some small, some large; I’ve done webinars; I’ve put systems in place; I’ve hired support; I’ve let go of my money story.
I’ve learnt what works for me and what doesn’t.
I’ve done all the “groundwork” so I can now “break” the rules with confidence and congruence, stepping into the unknown with faith, fully supported on a practical level with a deep knowing that whatever happens all is well.
It’s now time to step it up a gear.
And I’m excited about the future and how I can fully support you on your magical journey.
So over the coming weeks I will be sharing more about what that looks like and what to do if you want to be a part of it. And if you don’t but you still want marketing and business building advice I’m going to be recommending some awesome business building and marketing experts.
And I’ve got some great “letting go” offers of my own.
So stay tuned.
And thank you.
Thank you for being you and for joining me so far as our magical paths intertwine.
I have started several articles to you over the past 2 months only to abandon them several hours later as they were rambling and unclear.
And this is very unusual for me because normally my writing, especially emails and blog posts, flow fairly effortlessly.
The first couple of times I simply noticed.
But when it got to the 5th or 6th attempt I started to get curious, delve deeper and really explore what was going on.
And I came to realise that I was trying to squish myself into a box. Ever had that feeling?
Since I started my business 11 years ago I have been on a journey of self-discovery and transformation.
But the last year it really ramped up in intensity to the point that teaching people how to attract high paying clients or take their business to 6 figures no longer floated my boat.
I knew I wanted to take my business in a new direction, yet every time I tried to come up with a brand, or a tagline or an elevator pitch, I would go on to Facebook or look at my emails and someone else was promoting the exact same thing (at least that’s the way I perceived it).
I felt I was back to the drawing board because I wanted to create something totally unique – even though I knew that it was me that made it unique.
I kept reminding myself that there are about 8 different hairdressers in my town – each one different and they each have loyal clients who keep going back (at least I assume so as they’re still in business). There was room for them all.
It didn’t matter that I was doing the same thing as other people.
But it’s one thing to get something at an intellectual level – it’s completely different to clear it an energetic level – which is why many people stay stuck. They know what the problem is and what to do about it – yet something stops them taking those action steps.
So I looked at it at an energetic level and came to see that the difficulty I’ve been having over branding is because I cannot condense what I do into a few words or even a paragraph.
And in traditional marketing you have to be clear – clear on your message, your market and the transformation you provide.
So I’ve spent the past year trying to get clear so I can start marketing and sharing my message.
I’ve created space, I’ve hired branding experts, I’ve tested different messages with different people – I’ve made progress, had breakthroughs yet still couldn’t come up with anything which I was happy with for more than a few days.
And when I dig deeper the truth is, I’m actually very clear on what I do and where I take people.
It’s just I’m asking them to step into the unknown.
To take a complete leap of faith (which may make no sense).
To trust themselves (and life) completely.
To go on a magical adventure of infinite possibility (with business as the playing field).
And let’s face it people don’t wake up in the morning thinking:
“how can I step into the unknown?”
“where can I find someone who can help me take a complete leap of faith?”
“how can I trust myself more?”
“where can I find someone who can take me on a magical adventure?”
But truth is when you are courageous enough to do that and fully commit to the process, then everything else falls into place – all those dreams start to come true.
I may never have a tagline or an elevator pitch or even a clear brand. And I’m ok with that.
It’s not going to stop me moving forward, sharing what is in my heart or creating the most awesome programmes.
And I reckon there are enough courageous leaders out there who want to step into uncharted territory and explore what’s possible for them in life and business.
What do YOU think?
Does the thought of uncharted territory excite you or are you thinking “what planet is she on?”
I’d love to hear your comments.
I recently attended an event and for much of it I felt like a square peg in a round hole.
Everyone else was loving it – having amazing aha’s and insights, feeling so inspired and really excited about the future.
I sat at the back feeling like I didn’t belong.
Noticing that I didn’t think like everyone else.
Recognising that I no longer agreed with some of the messages that were being shared – messages that just a few years ago I not only believed to be true but I actually taught my clients.
“If you’re not growing you’re dying”
I sat back and asked myself is that really true?
I knew that in the past I believed it – but was it true?
And as I felt into it, I could see that yes, there is an element of truth (and it certainly works to get your butt in gear), but if you really look at it – it’s not actually true.
Let’s take bulbs – the growing kind, not the lighting kind.
Right now I have tulips, daffodils and snow-drops in my garden.
You can’t see them.
You wouldn’t know they were there.
At the moment all you can see are colourful summer bedding plants (and a few perennials).
The bulbs are not growing.
But they’re certainly not dying.
They are simply dormant – happily sitting in the ground waiting for spring to burst forth and shine.
When they do they are magnificent – they flower with such beauty and grace that make my heart sing.
Then the flowers die down and there are several weeks where the foliage looks a little ugly (but you mustn’t cut the leaves because as they die down they provide valuable nutrients to the bulb).
And the bulbs spread giving a bigger and brighter display the following year.
Are we any different?
Are we either growing or dying?
Or are there not times in our lives (and our businesses) where we are dormant – neither growing nor dying but simply dormant, gathering energy for the next phase of growth?
Ever since I was a little girl I would question everything. I got nick-named Melina Why (my maiden name was Fry).
But over the years I had forgotten to question – to go within and ask myself “is that really true”?
I’d gotten a little cynical (which I hated about myself). Cynicism and “anything is possible” do not go hand in hand!
And during the event I came to see how I’d squished myself into a box – trying to please others, trying to conform, trying to find something unique to share.
But the truth is I don’t need to.
I don’t need to do anything unique – because I am unique.
It is not what we do, it is who we are that makes a difference.
I came to see that part of me was a gardener (albeit a business gardener)
I plant seeds – ideas, inspiration, questions or simply the seed of permission.
Other seeds need more nurturing, more tending and supporting along the way. They are the sweet peas of the business world.
And of course there are many, many different varieties of sunflower, sweet pea and clematis.
You see we are all different – each and every one of us is unique.
What is right for one person may not be right for you – and that includes your business.
Clematis doesn’t compare itself with a Sunflower – it doesn’t think the sunflower is better than them.
Actually it’s no more absurd than us comparing ourselves with someone we think has done better than us, has grown faster, has achieved things we haven’t.
Their journey is their journey.
Your journey is your journey.
My journey is my journey.
And whether it feels like it or not, our journey is magnificent – because we are.
We don’t have to squish ourselves into boxes.
As with most things in life, when you know what your goals are, then your chances of success improve. Having the right approach to joint ventures is essential. It can’t just be about benefits to your business.
It needs to be a win-win for everyone involved. Know what you want to get out of it – the answer to that is usually new customers. But also know why the other business would be interested in partnering with you.
What can you offer that their customers would want or would enjoy?
Want to know how to grow your business and profits?
What do your products or services do for your customers to make their life easier or better?
What value do you add to your customers?
You may know what you think makes your products or services great. But what many business owners fail to realize is that your customers perceive your business from a very different perspective. Customers are smart and they have heard most of it before.
Best service, unbeatable quality, lowest prices – describes most businesses in the yellow pages. Unless you can get a customer’s attention in the first place, they won’t be making any contribution to your profits. The key to getting your customer’s attention is as simple as getting to know them, how they think, how they act and what is important to them.
What is a customer really worth to you over their lifetime?
Sales revenue is important, but don’t forget that it is customers that are bringing you that sales revenue. Some business owners think that as long as products are moving off the shelves that all is well. Yet without customers coming into your store to make those purchases you would not be making any profit.
And how much is it costing you to find those customers?
Doesn’t it make sense to look at your business in terms of your customers instead of just products and profits? Do you really know what it costs for you to get a new customer? And do you have any idea what the real value of a customer is worth to you over time?
Making the most of your Marketing Budget
When you start to understand the real lifetime value of your customers you will see why making free and similar irresistible offers to your customers is the best thing that you can do for your business. Compare the cost of giving away a free offer to the lifetime value that the customer can bring you, and it is usually negligible.
Most marketing studies show that getting new customers is one of the most time consuming and expensive aspects of running a business. So if you have invested time and effort in getting a customer, it makes sense to optimize the potential of that customer, and that means looking after them. Why not do that from the outset and offer them something that is of real value. Here is an example that illustrates the lifetime value of a customer:
An Indian restaurant wanted to grow their business. They were located in a fairly prominent neighborhood so they took time to find out who the VIP’s and well known business people were in their area. The restaurant owner sent out 120 letters to these people inviting them for a free lunch. Of the 120 letters, 100 customers came to the restaurant to take him up on the offer. In addition to their free lunch most ordered extras or had someone with them who ordered a meal. In the end most of them became regular customers.
When asked why he did this, the owner replied that normally it would take him six months to get in that kind of business. But the offer of a free lunch brought him that business in six days. He simply couldn’t afford to wait six months for that business. He needed it now, and making that irresistible offer to his customers gave him that business.
Ways in which you can optimize the Lifetime Value of a Customer
- Offer them something of real value. A 5% or 10% discount won’t get a customer’s attention. Something that is free, even if it is just a trial, a brochure, a report or a gift is something that they will be far more interested in.
- If it is a free offer, attach a value to it. So if it’s a consultation tell them that it is worth £200 so that they know what they are getting.
- Look for ways in which you can continue adding value to your customers. Ways in which you can get them to keep coming back to you. Give them vouchers that they can use towards purchases or gift to friends. Be creative in your incentives.
When you look at the bigger picture and realize the potential lifetime value of a customer then giving something to them for free, or giving them something back seems small compared to the revenue that they will generate for your business. Once you have taken the time to target and attract customers don’t stop your investment there. Build and maintain the relationship with your customers so that they will continue to send you business over time.
There’s been a recession.
The economy is in shambles.
Better to save than spend.
No one is buying.
Who’s going to invest in what I’m offering at that price?
You’ve heard it all, right? And some of it is true. There have been financial difficulties, but here’s the thing: the world is abundant. The money exists. People will spend, but only on that which they believe is worth it. Your job in selling any product or programme is to ensure your clients believe it is worth every penny .
Never! Most people are only delighted to get something for nothing. It is such a rare occurrence these days that most people instinctively ask, “What’s the catch?”
When they discover that there isn’t one, they quickly line up to take advantage of the free offer. Now many business owners look at the cost and say that they can’t afford to just give stuff away. Their immediate thought process runs to
“Imagine how much money I could make if I sold that stock or charged for that service, it doesn’t make sense to give it away!”
Or does it?
Stay with me for a moment and I will let you into a powerful little secret behind growing your business through free offers.
Both people have the desire and are taking action whilst one person is having success and the other seems to have one set-back after another.
You may even have seen it within your own business too – suddenly you’ll have a rush of new clients and don’t really understand why and other times you’re taking all the action and nothing is working.
I have been doing some pretty intensive research recently into “success” and “failure” and I am pretty certain I know what the reason is. It might surprise you.
It’s the small things that can make a big difference. Just letting customers know how much you appreciate them can make them more loyal to you. Remember that your client base is one of your business’ most valuable assets. Looking after your customers and building relationships with them is one of the best things you can do to grow your business.
In business one of the most effective forms of marketing is referrals and word of mouth. Yet few businesses have a deliberate strategy to use that as a marketing tool. The relationship that you have with your customers will determine the long term profitability of your business. So it makes sense to be more deliberate in building relationships with your customers. You want to make them feel important.