WHAT'S CHANGING FOR SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS IN 2017
By Shana Lynn Yao
Have you felt it? As you probably know, I'm not the most woo woo person, and maybe it's all of the time I've spent in the sun, but there has been this weird undercurrent of energy happening in the entrepreneurial world. And it's not to be ignored.
Have you felt it? I know in talking to so many people - my clients, people I'm meeting online AND people out in the "real world" - people are starting to get overwhelmed. Overwhelmed with TOO much content - and it's not that it's bad information. The problem is that it's GOOD. It's research backed oftentimes, value added - and with technology progressing every moment of every day - there is so much to learn. Or rather, so much you could learn.
The truth is, along with this overwhelm, people are also starting to get fed up. Just listening to some of the top business podcasts, reading Forbes (yes - it's not just me that thinks this) - if you're feeling overwhelmed and kind of "over" drowning in too much information, you're not alone.
But what are you supposed to do? You have to "get" clients, and get your message out there. You're going hard at your Facebook lives, networking in groups - but is all of that helping?
Because this new wave blowing in is not going to let up. And the reality is, the action takers - the real entrepreneurs that want to create original work and not follow someone else's blueprint - are setting the new trends in business.
So as someone who built my reputation on spotting trends (that's what I won an award for from the International Council of Shopping Centers), I feel like it's my duty to help you get ahead of the wave. (you can thank me later).
Are you ready? Get ready to be inspired, to have some real action steps, and then to actually gather your confidence to TAKE ACTION (that part is essential).
1. QUALITY OVER QUANTITY
Stop trying to be everywhere, do everything, and learn everything. Due to the overwhelm of content, people are buying things that add value. They are looking for people, brands, values that they believe in. No longer is it going to be valued to just "show up". Just because you "do your social media", or "try to be helpful" in Facebook groups doesn't work anymore. It's crowded out there and sure, you may get a few clients here and there - but people are now getting smart. (when was the last time someone ignored your friend request or ignored your heartfelt message)? They want authentic connections and real value - just like you probably want too. They are looking for great brands that STAND FOR SOMETHING. Curated content. Beautiful graphics. People who specialize in being great at something - not just being great but being original.
Youtubers talk about it all of the time. They talk about the "collabs" they did - everyone from 13 year old superstars with millions of followers to big name brands. Bloggers and vloggers with large followings are collabing with each other. Big brands are collabing with bloggers and vloggers. And paying big bucks. It's a great way to grow your following, get inspired by others doing similar or related things. And if you haven't entertained the idea of big brand sponsorship as another income source - why not?
3. CUSTOMERS COME FIRST
Predictability and crafted is starting to be seen as inauthentic and too crafted. It's a total mindset shift to go from planning months in advance to MOMENTS in advance - but just like Facebook Live caught on, people want REAL PEOPLE. They want to see other humans (what a concept). In fact, did you know eating on video, putting on your makeup, being HUMAN - was a "thing"? I know... I sound crazy, but it's true. The more human you can show that you are, the more people will like and trust you.
4. PASSION OVER PROFIT
What you say? But you need to make money. Don't worry - I get that. But as I said in #3, people want connection. They want real people who care about their happiness. (what a concept). You knew you hated selling for a reason! And you know why? Because you're HUMAN. If you hate feeling sold, so do your customers. Help someone find heir smile again and you will always be successful. What makes you passionate? How does that solve an urgent problem for someone ? How can you position that into a business that makes money?
Wait - did you just say "I love it when my clients have that game changing "aha" moment!" Nope - that's not what I'm talking about. Real passion is not found after the result is had. It's found in the things that you do even if you DON'T get a result. What makes you passionate? What do you love doing so much that fear, insecurity, failure - that knowing that if you do it enough - all of those things make it worthwhile? (that's a tip from Tim Ferris himself).
For me - it's CREATING. I am so passionate when I am CREATING - writing, doing graphics (I now do websites!) and creating solutions. That's actually why I started THE DAILY - because I wanted to create - every single day. Leave it up to me to work in my own accountability system by calling it THE DAILY - but everything works better when you have a system that creates order of the chaos and yet allows everlasting freedom. In it, I get to share everything from business strategy, to holistic health - and information from other EXPERTS - from Facebook ads to getting glowing skin and actually living your best life. Because that IS my passion - to help you live your best life.
Distracted, bored, and overwhelmed. Sounds great, right? But those are the main problems facing people today. So if you're just trying to get people's attention, you better have something unique to get it by. And that's the simple part - it's called showing up as yourself. You actually can't "fake it until you make it" in this one. It takes the courage to show up as yourself. To know what makes YOU happy. And to do it as consistently and authentically as you can.
So let's make this easy. Just follow these steps to make sure you get ahead of the trends:
1. Know what makes you passionate in your business and do it often
2. Pick a few social media outlets or ONE to specialize in and become great at - and decide to ignore the rest (just as FOUNDr magazine, Marie Forleo, and countless others did - they owned ONE social media channel and made it part of their BRAND)
3. Dare to dream - have a vision for what you want to create and actually CREATE it. Stop worrying about what other people think. Stop predicting failure (which only makes you either avoid doing it (resulting in failure) or only half assedly doing it (resulting in failure).
The bottom line is, JUST DO IT. The rules in business are CHANGING - and in fact - there are NO RULES.
Look, you have a business and you don't have a boss - you ARE a boss.
Be a boss. Take action. Stop doubting yourself.
So I want to know, what are you going to do to get ahead of the changing tide of small business? (remember there are NO RULES).
Share your comments below and be sure to subscribe to THE DAILY for daily updates on business and life strategies that help you live YOUR BEST LIFE.
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