Athletes and entrepreneurs often tell me some form of,
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I know I’m good (maybe even proven to be), but no one knows about me / no one is buying from me yet / I’m not getting the attention I expected given my skill level. Understandable — I want more people to know about me and buy from me right now, too. Some of our challenges are bigger than “hurry up and wait” or hoping these blind mofos start seeing you they way they should have seen you five years ago. There are some things you can work on yourself to help your cause.
Below I’ll lay out the three most prominent reasons most people don’t get that attention or results, along with some examples and fixes for each.
In short, people don’t know that you exist, and/or they don’t know the extent of your skills and what value you can offer them.
This, I’ve found, is the #1 reason most people — whether Athlete, freelancer, unemployed professional, blogger, dog sitter — don’t have the business revenue they want. Assuming that you’re good at what you do and can deliver results, getting people to know your name is your ONLY job. I know that I’ll have more business revenue myself the more people know who I am.
88% of the athletes who reach out to me do so to ask me about getting themselves seen. They want to play in college or the pros and believe they have the game to do so — problem is, the decision makers who can put them on aren’t aware of their existence. Now, maybe they actually don’t have the game to perform at that next level, but if you can’t get yourself seen, known, exposed, you’ll never really know.
If you run a brick and mortar business with a traditional storefront, you need people to know that your business is there to serve them with your goods and services, and to get their money.
My favorite brick and mortar business is called Rita’s Water Ice. I worked at Rita’s when I was 16 in my hometown of Philadelphia; I eat at Rita’s twice a day on average when I’m visiting Philly. There used to be a coupe Rita’s locations in South Florida (where I live now); problem was not enough people were patronizing Rita’s. Italian water ice is a northeastern-USA novelty food; the Europeans and Hispanics in SoFla didn’t grow up with it and weren’t buying it. Water ice wasn’t known enough to survive down here.
If you’re sure you have game (skill, ability to do what you do well), getting people to know about you/it is not only your top job, it’s your ONLY job.
On the other hand, there are people out there who are good at what they do, but they have trouble displaying that good-ness consistently enough to generate returns on their game. These people’s problem is uncertainty. They’re not fully convinced of their skills, at least not when and where it matters most.
There are myriad ways uncertainty rears its ugly head in your business.
Not charging full price for your value. If you listen to my podcast, you heard me twice talk with freelancers who were challenged by low prices, prices they had set for themselves. Their explanation? I don’t think anyone would pay a higher price than this.
Here’s news: They will pay. Maybe the same people you’re currently serving are not your ideal customers. Maybe they are, and would gladly pay substantially more than you’re charging them. Either way, people exist who would — and already DO — pay a lot more than you charge for the exact same product or service.
If you charged twice what you’re charging now, with no change in sales volume, you’d make twice the money. Crazy, right?
Does this mean that, by simply raising your prices, the money will appear, just like that? No. But you have to start the process by aligning yourself with what you want.
Performance anxiety. You have game, are confident in your game, and are ready to play the game… but as soon as the lights come on (maybe metaphorically), you freeze up, your palms get sweaty and you can access only 35% of your skills.
There’s a process to overcoming performance anxiety, which I covered here.
Not going all-in selling yourself. Outside of price, a lot of people simply undersell themselves. You’re too modest is describing yourself and what you do to the people who can help you advance.
Look at the headline to the article shared here. They website in question didn’t just come up with that line — I did. All they had to do was copy-paste. The point is, I was a basketball player with a proven track record, the only thing I was missing was a playing contract. I took the fact that I was a proven commodity and sold myself out of all proportion to anything anyone else would even think of saying. My next contract came soon after.
The world is a crowded place; Your field is crowded too. In selling yourself, you need to grab people’s attention and never relinquish it. Make yourself sound like a superstar, make the sale, then, dammit, BE one.
Passing on opportunities. You wouldn’t be able to guess the number of entrepreneurs I’ve spoken to who refuse to make cold calls because they have to get [my] script down before I start calling. They’re uncertain about what to say or what their specific offer is and are afraid of messing things up with people who don’t even know who they are anyway.
When you’re uncertain in yourself and your skills, you not only pass on opportunity that’s in front of you, you also don’t see the opportunity to the left and the right of you. Unconsciously, you don’t even want to look — because if you look, you’ll see it, then you’ll feel like and asshole for not seizing it. So you make yourself blind to it.
Being anything less than fully confident in yourself not only diminishes your performance, it keeps you from even getting to the performance by being unwilling to see opportunity, and unwilling to full sell yourself to those opportunities.
Some people simply stop trying.
Persistence: firm or obstinate continuance in a course of action in spite of difficulty or opposition.
I knew a girl who was a really good singer. I gave her some tips for getting her singing talents out to the world back when I had less than 1,000 videos on YouTube. Had she followed what I told her, she’d be a well-known singer with a loyal fan / customer base by now.
But she quit. Not because she couldn’t sing. She just didn’t want to deal with the grind of making something out of nothing.
Maybe it makes sense to stop in some things, you may be thinking. It’s not like you’ll get drafted into the NFL at 35 years old. In theory, I agree with that. But persistence isn’t just about how long you’ll stick to something; it’s how many different ways you’ll try to create an outcome, despite whatever number of unsuccessful attempts. Trying ten different approaches can happen in a week, or it can take you a year. Your choice.
It’s hard to persist in something you’re not excited about or don’t fully believe in. It’s much easier to quit when you never really cared in the first place. I never really cared or was excited about being a baseball player, for example, so as soon as I saw another vehicle for playing sports in basketball, I quit it cold turkey.
I wouldn’t suggest you making yourself persist. When you’re in the right place doing the right thing for you, you’ll naturally persist. You’ll get ideas in your sleep. If you haven’t gotten there yet, keep looking.
Bulletproof Mindset installs the mindset you need to pick and path and see it through to completion.
We all, at any given time, have things were working on that haven’t yet “turned over” the way we want them to. Think of one of those areas of your life. Then, check yourself for which of the above needs more work.