- by Don
What if you could make one change that doesn’t cost money, doesn’t take any time, and would greatly increase the success of your business? And what if that same thing also improved your overall quality of life?
Well, such a thing exists: it is a mindset change. It doesn’t cost any money to change your mindset. And it doesn’t require you to spend a lot of time making changes, but it may take some time for the change to take effect.
The mindset change I’m talking about is this: stop focusing on how you can make money, and start focusing on how you can help your clients.
The importance of a service mindset instead of a money mindset
Focusing on your clients instead of yourself has profound impacts, not only in your business but also in your attitude.
I often say that “Life is lived best when it’s lived outside yourself.” There is great enjoyment in helping others. I don’t think we’re intended to live life looking out only for ourselves. If we do, we tend to get closed off. And we get angry and bitter when we’re not getting what we want.
I’m not alone in this belief. There’s a Chinese proverb that goes something like:
If you want happiness for an hour, take a nap.
If you want happiness for a day, go fishing.
If you want happiness for a month, get married.
If you want happiness for a year, inherit a fortune.
If you want happiness for a lifetime, help somebody else.
Time Magazine writes that scientific research has shown that we are hard-wired to help others. When we give to others, we activate portions of the brain that produce pleasure. And a study by Sonja Lyubomirsky, a professor of psychology at UC Riverside, showed that performing acts of kindness not only makes us happier, but also positively impacts our self-perception.
From a business perspective, if we’re focused on our needs, we stop relating to our market. And if prospective clients can’t relate to us, they won’t buy from us.
In a recent episode of The Profit, Marcus Lemonis said, “If you open a business purely to make money, your business will more than likely fail over time.”
And I think he is absolutely correct.
Negative impacts when it’s all about the money
Starting a business can be challenging. You’ve probably heard that it takes 3 things to have a successful business:
- Something you love doing
- Something you’re great at doing
- Something people will pay you to do
It’s often easy to find the first two. But that third one can be a challenge. And while we may not want to focus solely on the money, it’s vitally important that your business produces income. After all, if you’re doing something you love and are great at, but people aren’t paying you, then you are practicing a hobby, not running a business.
But that need to make money sometimes starts to build pressure on us. It can take away the joy of the work. And if the money doesn’t start to flow, then the pressure and stress start to build. Pretty soon, we start focusing on how to make money, and we soon start to lose the passion for the work.
And as we start to focus on the money, we start to make poor decisions. We give in to the temptations of all those internet marketers who promise we can do “just one thing” and start making tens of thousands of dollars in a few short months. So we invest in their programs, only to find that this “one thing” didn’t move the needle in our business.
But no worries… pretty soon another internet marketer comes along, promising some other thing that will make us money. Panicked because we just spent a bunch of money we don’t have, and now needing to produce income faster than before, we buy their program. Only to find that this thing doesn’t solve our problem, either.
Now, more stressed than ever, we look for another thing that will save our business. And as we learn time and time again, “just one thing” isn’t what’s needed for our businesses.
And as we continue to invest in new things that will save our business, we continue to make less and less money. Why?
Well, primarily it’s because we start focusing on the wrong thing. We lose focus on why we’re in business and start focusing on trying to produce revenue. And all of those great programs we bought put the focus in the wrong place: they focus on tactics with a promise of increased revenue.
Positive impacts when it’s all about the client
The reality, though, is that the revenue won’t come unless we have clients. And clients don’t sign up just because we offered a webinar, offered a course, bought some Facebook ads, or did any other strategy focused solely on getting clients to the door.
As we teach in Book Yourself Solid®, clients buy when two things happen:
They need our product or service
We have built a level of trust and credibility that is in line with the offer we are making
So the first step is to make sure that we offer a product or service that is needed.
And here’s where the simple mindset shift comes into play:
Instead of focusing on how to make money, focus on how you serve your clients.
When you focus on your clients, you’ll know the problems they have. You understand their pain points. You understand the benefits they receive when you help them solve their problem and eliminate the pain that is associated with it.
You also know how to communicate with them. You can describe the problem in their words. You talk about their pain in ways that show them you truly get it. And you describe the benefits they receive in ways that show you understand where they want to be.
And guess what? When you do this, you build trust and credibility with them. And that trust and credibility makes you stand out from the crowd. You’re not some huckster trying to sell them something. You don’t need to convince, cajole, persuade, or pressure people into buying your product.
Instead of focusing on how to make money for your business, focus on how you can serve your clients.
Instead, you simply offer them a solution to their problem. You go into sales conversations thinking about them, truly wanting to help them.
I used to always be nervous before a sales conversation. I was afraid they wouldn’t buy my services. I feared rejection. And I sometimes felt the pressure of really needing to close a sale to generate income.
But now, I approach things differently. I enter a sales conversation thinking about the potential client, holding space for them, and wanting to help them. Not surprisingly, my “closing rate” is much higher. Which is good, because if they sign up for my services, then I’ll be able to help them achieve their goals.
And if they don’t buy? Well, this may sound strange, but I don’t feel rejected. Instead, I feel bad that they passed up an opportunity to get what they really want and need. And that motivates me to review what I’m doing so that I can learn how to help others.
How to implement a service mindset
The good news is, this strategy doesn’t cost anything. You don’t need to buy any special equipment, purchase any new apps, or make any other monetary investments.
I don’t have a course like “5 Steps to Start Thinking About Your Customers instead of Money” to sell you. And if I could teach it in a finite number of steps, I’d want to practice what I preach and give it away instead of selling it.
If you’re not in the habit of thinking about serving others, this may take some practice. But the key is to get started. Start small. Then take larger steps as it gets more comfortable.
Here are a few suggestions to get you started:
Smile. (How hard is that?)
Open the door for someone else.
Offer your seat on a bus or train.
Say “Thank you!”
Donate to causes that help others. (If you need help identifying one, I’d suggest Love Without Boundaries. Without them, my youngest son probably wouldn’t be here today.)
Practice listening. (It helps if you keep your phone out of sight during conversations.)
Admit when you make mistakes, and apologize if needed.
The more you start living outside yourself, the easier it gets. And not only will your clients love you, you’ll find you start feeling better yourself. As the old commercial said, “Try it, you’ll like it.”
If you already have a business, take a minute to think about how you help your clients. What could you do better if you focused on them, instead of focusing on the business?
If you’re thinking about creating a business to fund your RV Lifestyle, think about how you can help others. Here are the three steps I use with my clients to help them create a business:
List out your current networks. What types of people do you know? (These people will likely become your target market.)
What kinds of problems do these people have? What are their urgent needs and compelling desires?
Which of these problems would you like to solve?
Once you’ve identified a target market, identified their urgent needs and compelling desires, and identified something you’d like to do to help them overcome those needs or obtain those desires, you have the makings of a successful business!
Would you like help figuring out who you can help and how you can help them? Sign up for a free RV Lifestyle Breakthrough session. In this session you will:
Get clarity on your desired lifestyle
Identify hidden obstacles that are holding you back
Get re-energized, inspired, and renewed to pursue your dream.
It’s free, but the rewards are priceless.
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