The Truth About Building a Successful Business for Entrepreneurs

by Shana Lynn Yao
CEO | Business & Personal Success Strategist
Total Genius™


You’re doing everything “right” to make money and get clients, but actually it’s very WRONG. I’ll show you the exact steps that led me to making $20,000 a month, with an overflow of clients.

But first, let’s see what you’re doing wrong.

Have you ever tried to go on a diet, and you felt like you were doing all of the "right" things - only to end up losing a few pounds, starving, and struggling to stay on it?

Or how about in your business - you know you need to build your list, have a blog, post on Facebook, have a great website, have a sales page that sells...so you do all of those things and you're still hearing crickets?

You're doing all of the "right" things - what's going on?  Why isn't it working?


Ok - so let's review the situation and start at the beginning:
"So you're doing all of the "right" things and it's still not working."

Did you see what happened there?  Let's review just in case.

"So you're doing all of the "RIGHT" things and it's still NOT working."

Hmmmm...but you're doing all of the "right" things?

When is "right" really right?  Just because it's worked for other people - is that really the way you should be going?

Positioning, client attraction http://totalgenius.net


A few years ago when I started my business, I tried to learn about how to build a business as most entrepreneurs do… from the massive amount of content online. I watched videos, bought a course, and then was at a lost that despite my 25 years of marketing experience, I couldn’t get clients.

It wasn't until my successful mentor who went from trying to give away human grade dog food at dog parks just a few years ago, is today, living in the hills, driving a Tesla, was even invited to speak to Congress, said to me, "Shana, you're doing it all wrong."

Huh? But I'm doing it all right? How can that be wrong?

He pointed out exactly what I see other entrepreneurs doing everyday.  They let their limited thinking about their business run them - maybe you can relate?
√ You spend all day on Facebook trying to prove your value by trying to be “visible”
√ You focus on building a list rather than building a business
√ You lose or never discover your highest value in your business so you’re not selling something people want from you
√ You are trying to follow someone else’s marketing strategy
√ You are looking for a “magic solution”

Without you knowing it, other people’s income achievements suddenly and silently become your success goals, and instead of creating your own success, you follow other people, spend countless dollars trying to find “the magic solution”, drown in mountains of content that is barely read and appreciated, a lot of BUSYness, and ultimately, you end up trying to create your individual success based on someone else’s lifestyle. 

The reality is, if you think you have to play by whatever you believe to be the “rules”, your business success will become the sum of your story.

And don't get me wrong - that's great if it's working for you.  But it wasn't working for me and I've noticed, it isn't working for a lot of other entrepreneurs.  You’re working on growing your email list - but no one is buying.  You have an awesome freebie opt-in but no one is buying.  You just did a webinar and put it out over the internet - and no one is buying. You may even LOWER your prices and because of it, maybe you make a few measly dollars a month… but your dream of success, fulfillment, and freedom, seem like a dream instead of a reality.

You feel undervalued. Spent. Used. POOR. All of that self esteem busting work causes you to lose your self esteem. You withdraw (the exact opposite of what it takes to create success) or you try to learn more, buy more coaching programs, follow more people that look like they have the answer.

What is going on???


How you define “right” will determine the quality of your actions, which will in the end, determine your results. This means, that there is a difference between somebody else’s “right way” and “the right thing” to do.

The “right way”, in actuality, is based on your belief about what the right way is. What you think is the “right way”, someone else may think is wrong. 

There is more than one way to accomplish any task - in both business and life. Too often entrepreneurs are sold a created “school” or “10 step formula” to creating a successful business, but as author of “The Power Of Habit” Charles Duhigg said, someone else’s solution is just the way THEY created their solution. Things like GTD (the widely taught Getting Things Done method of organization by David Allen) was just his way of getting organized. Sure, it worked for a lot of people, but for many, it was just a great book and et another thing on their “to do” list.

As an entrepreneur, it’s HOW you think about “the right way” and your ability to design a solution for YOU that will work in the end. If the “right way” someone is teaching you - “you have to do a webinar”, “you have to have a list of 1000 before you sell anything” - whatever someone else is teaching you to be the answer, is just that, “an answer”. It’s not THE answer. 

So then, could the “right way” actually be so wrong?

Recently I was helping a new client. She had built her second business, and she had meticulously built out funnels, was doing a weekly webinar that was attracting a good amount of people, running Facebook ads. She had a dream of building a BIG business - a business that would allow her the freedom to be with her family, to use her high value expertise on working with the mind to gain control of your life, and her love of fitness, into a business that paid her what she was worth.

She had bought expensive coaching programs, courses - spent so much to learn the “right way” to scale her business, yet her 6 figure income goal and all of that hard work was leaving her feeling spent, exhausted, running around like a crazy person, and pulling in less than $50 a week.

She wanted freedom, was doing everything right, and yet, all of the results she was getting were so wrong.


It's time to take a stand and forget the rules.  You see, when my friend and mentor told me I was doing it all wrong, I thought I was doing it all "right".  But what I really was doing was doing it all AVERAGE. I was following what other people were doing, what other people’s “10 steps to instant clients” methods, and what was engrained in my brain - do this and get rich, do this and you never have to work… yet no one told me to expect failure. To watch for comparing myself to others. To understand and TRUST my own strengths and life experience and intuition.

Now you have a business and your future is less secure.  So you unconsciously play it “safe”.  You see others that say they have the magic solution. And so you try to learn. You shut down the voice telling you “This seems sleazy”, “It’s so not me but all of these people following her/him must mean it works.”

You lost your inner rebel.  Your guts.  Your key to success. 


Most people think they are doing everything “right” - building a list, selling low value things, having a freebie optin - they build the outside tactical pieces of their business without understanding and building the SOLID FOUNDATION - based on your highest value, your personal values, and your end goals.

Your highest value is made up of what you do best, what people want, and what you love to do - in the center of that is YOU - your highest value. When you understand your highest value you are able to understand what people are really searching for. 

Research shows in 10,000 studies over the past 2 decades shows that GOAL & PROBLEM based business models are the main drivers for human motivation. (chemicals of life)


It turns out the problem you solve for clients will end up solving your financial problems as well. It’s based on your highest value - made up of your

  1. Expertise (the skills you learned at your past job, your natural talents, your schooling, or certifications)
  2. Your life experience - your past challenges, failures, discoveries - all of the things that make you who you are today
  3. Your personal values - the standards you run your life by

A business without a purpose is a waste of time. Just because you build it, doesn’t mean “they will come”. Hence the purposeLESS, busYness model of so many client-less entrepreneurs.

As it turns out, discovering your business purpose - what I call your genius - your highest value - is at the root of your solid foundation. 

Your business purpose is found in your E2 Personal Blueprint - a combination of your expertise and life experience.  Your E2 Personal Blueprint is based on a scientific phenomenon called epigenetics. Epigenetics is the study of changes in gene expression - how outside environmental factors affect the way your genes express themselves - which impacts not only your health, but it actually impacts who you are. Research shows that depression, happiness, and even success is found in the ways your genes express themselves.  And today, they have found that you can actually change the way your genes have been programmed - you actually can change your future.

According to Bruce Lipton, author of "The Biology of Belief" and research scientist , states that "95 percent of the human population arrives on this planet with a perfectly functional set of gene blueprints."

That's incredible. Then why is there so much disease? Why is there so much depression?  What they have found out is that most people are born perfect.  With a perfect genetic makeup.  You were born to succeed.  To be healthy.  To win.  But outside factors, your parents, your diet, your environment have changed that.

So how does that play into you as it relates to your business?  That is what your E2 Personal Blueprint is. The discovery of who you really are and what you are really meant to be doing. It is the discovery of your highest value - because it solves an urgent problem for someone else. Your discoveries and life story determines who you are, how you best communicate (your marketing), what you need to do and speak to attract your audience of raving fans.


If you’re trying to “get clients” and “make money” - I have a wake up call for you…


No one is going to pay you to make money.

What is the value you are selling? 
What is YOUR value that you are selling? 
Is that your highest and best value or just a dumbed down version you "think will sell"?

If you believe that your goal is to "get clients" and that you have to dumb down your value and offer something low value (read: LOW VALUE) then that is what you are going to attract. People who don't want to pay for REAL VALUE. They will want to pay for QUICK FIXES.

And that's fine if it's working for you. But what usually ends up is that the people I see lose yourself esteem because you aren't BEING your HIGH VALUE SELF so you feel a bit cheated and undervalued.

If you believe that getting clients means that you are going to have to do so much free stuff that you spend all of your time throwing your value at people - and just like what happened to the retail store, The GAP - they went through a VERY LONG period and finally just worked it into their marketing plan because they would get desperate at the end of each week and started to offer 50% off every weekend - so it TRAINED PEOPLE to NEVER buy full price. :o Their sales plummeted for years and they almost filed bankruptcy.

So if offering a bunch of free things is working for you, that's fine. But what I usually see is that it leaves people feeling cheated, not understanding your high value, and then ultimately, not feeling good enough, comparing yourself to others and then NOT doing what you need to do to have a profitable business.


1. Use the GOAL/PROBLEM SOLVED approach
Solve an urgent problem that uses your expertise and life experience -
    1. What is the urgent problem?
    2. What is the result people want?
2. Create a HIGH VALUE program that is worthy of the HIGH PRICE you charge
3. Set up your business systems and marketing so you are able to attract THAT niche market
4. DEVELOP a marketing/sel
3. MARKET to them in the forms of webinars, social media, advertising, audio and video
4. POSITION yourself as THE answer for this niched down audience with the confidence you have in the solution you provide (positioning is that thing you would SCREAM FROM THE MOUNTAIN TOPS because you KNOW IT, BELIEVE IT, and talk about it everyday
5. ATTRACT your ideal clients, "get clients" - people you love, who you really can help, and have them rave about you so that you attract more.

Which model do you follow? (no judgements!) just make sure it is working for you.

Whichever model of success you follow, you need to ask yourself
1. Are you willing to do what it takes - like really go at it - to achieve the success you want?
2. Are you willing to win, lose, fail, and GET BACK UP AGAIN until you do?

And most of all...

Is what you’re doing now serving you to getting to where you want to go? Are you making the money you want? Creating the freedom and independence you wanted?

Look in the mirror - be honest with yourself. 

If you’re not ready to change your success story, stop now. You’ll save yourself a lot of heartbreak and starts and stops trying to find the solution. Continue to follow people online and spending time looking for the magic solution.

But if you’re ready to create change and do what it takes, get started now. STOP doing things, following things, downloading things if it's not working for you. You are an entrepreneur - that means you CREATE SOLUTIONS TO PROBLEMS.

Every hard decision will bring you one step closer to where you want to go. 


Your brand story lives inside your strong beliefs. This is what positioning is in business. It's the truth that you stand for, the purpose it serves in  your life, and the place that it holds in the lives of your ideal clients.  This is the strategic difference you have that sets you apart from your competition.

A business that is positioned correctly means:
√ You sell what your ideal clients need
√ You have an evergreen marketing tool that can be your client attraction magnet
√ You know the exact words your ideal clients need to hear because you're so clear on them you speak their language
√ You are reaching your target audience all around the world because you're not relying on standard marketing tactics
√ You have a personalized marketing and positioning strategy that makes you STAND OUT as THE answer for your ideal clients

In business, It’s not about being better than the competition. It's not about trying to be everywhere. And it's not about being on Facebook and trying to get more "likes".

It’s about having a business that is positioned correctly, with a strategic marketing plan of action. A business that is based on your expertise and life experience, that supports what you STAND FOR, and ATTRACTS your ideal clients based on a purposeful strategy and system that works.

Ready to scale attract your tribe of loyal PAYING CLIENTS and build your business in a smart, strategic and purposeful way using positioning?

Click here to grab your seat at the next FREE Online Class all about the EXACT steps to getting

Shana Yao is CEO and Founder of TOTAL GENIUS™, where she works with high achieving entrepreneurs to discover your genius - the combination of your greatest strengths, talents, and life experience - to create a profit generating business based on your purpose, that fulfills your life and makes an impact on the world. She is an award-winning Business and Personal Success Strategist with over 28 years of experience managing multimillion dollar retail and shopping center locations, including the famed Rodeo Drive. 

In her signature program Discover Your Genius, Shana helps her clients achieve discover and empower their genius within. Using her knowledge of neuroscience, neuro-linguistic programming, positive psychology, emotional and positive intelligence, and high level business strategies, she works to develop her client’s unique vision by uncovering their purpose, their message, building their profit-generating signature program and putting their words into action on their website and in their customized marketing strategy. Schedule a chat to get your business and personal brand positioned to sell.