The majority of entrepreneurs and self-employed people I meet want more abundance in their lives but most aren't getting it - at least not to the degree they would like. Many of them have excellent products, work hard and have a genuine desire to help others. So why do they find it so difficult to generate a decent income?
In the thousands of clients I have coached over the past 14 years, I have noticed one deadly tendency that consistently undermines people's results. Too many of them focus on themselves and what they deserve, want or need, rather than on the needs and interests of their customer or client.
It's not hard to understand how this happens. We live in a society that supports a "me first" mentality. Looking out for Number One is more than the name of a song; it's a mantra that many in our society live by.
Hold on a minute, you say. Isn't the key to success knowing what you want and then going out and getting it? Yes, but a self-serving attitude can also scare away the very people you are trying to attract.
Imagine you meet someone selling a product or service who is clearly only interested in serving his or her own interests. Even if what they are offering is just what you want, chances are that your defenses will go up and you will proceed cautiously. Why? Because you know that if they are not looking after you, you need to take care of yourself.
Often these people actually do want to help. It is their approach that drives potential buyers away. Think of the network marketers you've met who sell vitamins or other health products. In many cases they represent excellent products and sincerely believe in their value. Even though they work hard to get the message out, most of them struggle to earn a living. Why? Nine times out of ten they have failed to engage you because they never find out what problems you have that their product could address. They get high marks for enthusiasm but by pushing their product on you, they drive you away.
So what does work? It helps to start with a better question. Instead of asking, "How can I make more money?" try "How can I add more value to this person's life?" Or, to put it in more practical terms, "What does this person want badly enough that he or she would be willing to pay money for it?" Or, "What problem does this person have that my product or service could solve?"
The formula for creating abundance is simple. All you need to do is provide more value to more people. My friend Harv Eker, author of Secrets of the Millionaire Mind, put it this way: "You will be paid in direct proportion to the value you deliver according to the marketplace. If you want to get rich, you must deliver value to a lot of people."
Hard work and a good character will not necessarily earn you a large income. Regardless of how good your product is, if the market does not see the value of what you offer you will earn very little. The people who make a lot of money are the people who deliver significant value in the eyes of the consumer. How hard you work is irrelevant. If you don't deliver a lot of value, you don't get paid a lot. It's a simple equation.
How do you increase the amount of value that you are providing? First, you must truly understand the needs of your potential customers. Talk to them about what their concerns are and learn how to communicate your value to them. Second, find ways to make what you offer more valuable to the consumer. Third, and this is the opportunity most people miss, get your product or service out to more people by improving or expanding your model of delivery.
Let's look at ProCoach as an example. When I started out as a coach, I worked one-on-one with entrepreneurs. Over time, I was able to raise my rates because I developed a reputation for helping small business owners increase their income. My earnings went up slightly, but I still only had the capacity to coach about 20 people which put a cap on my income. This motivated me to develop a group coaching model, the ProCoach Success System, which currently serves ten times as many people. Best of all, our clients are getting better results than when I was doing private coaching. Naturally my income has increased because our system brings more value to more people. If I wanted to generate still more revenue, I would need to add even more value to the market. For example, I could create an on-line version of the program that would be available to self-employed entrepreneurs world-wide and thus have unlimited earning potential
If you want to be successful and attract more abundance into your life, stop focusing on your personal needs, wants and preferences. Instead, put your attention on better serving the needs of your client. Taking this approach will not only benefit your bank account; it is also bound to improve the quality of your relationships and your life. And that will lead to true abundance.
To your success!
Master Certified Coach
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Andrew Barber-Starkey is a Master Certified Coach residing in Vancouver, Canada. His coaching program, the ProCoach Success System, is designed for entrepreneurs, small-business owners, self-employed and commissioned sales people who want to double their income while simultaneously doubling their time off within 3 years.
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