If you own a coaching, consulting, speaking, healing or other service business, no doubt you have been challenged by the upheaval of the last 2 years. But what if the events that contributed to that upheaval were the very ones that will also catapult your business to the next level?

They are.

I have worked with heart-centered and spiritually oriented service entrepreneurs for more than two decades, and there has never been a more exciting – nor fearful, for many – time than right now. But where too many business owners are finding themselves caught now is “holding back,” waiting until something shifts or changes outside them until they take the steps they want to take to build their business.

It’s time to stop waiting.

You see, waiting to move forward also holds at arms-length the very clients you want to attract. So you become part of the problem, not the solution, by hesitating! Consider these three dangers which I see as monumental – yet very much surmountable – as you envision your future.

Danger #1: Blaming the economy for not moving forward.

Certainly these have been “interesting” economic times of late. But did you know that the vast majority of the companies now in the Fortune 500 were begun during a recession or depression? This is where the opportunities lie! If you are willing to see things differently than the masses – and find opportunity in the midst of chaos and change – you can literally open up a gold mine for your business.

People are investing their money in what they value – and in what they see as the bridge to help them obtain their important goals. But they have to want your services, not just need them. Have you made an emotional, soul-based connection with your prospective clients? If not, they will keep shopping until someone does.

It is also dangerous to believe that once the economic indicators start to uptick, business will be “back to normal.” A whole new definition of normal is emerging! This is not just another economic downturn; it is the emergence of a new way of doing business – what I call the Entrepreneurial Renaissance.™ And it has a whole new set of rules that govern it. Small, virtual, home-based, and entrepreneurial is “in” (much like the emergence of the guilds in medieval times) – and large, red-tape laden, corporate structures are on their way “out.” Anything that is not authentic and aligned with integrity will be brought into the open and eliminated now. But here is exactly where the opportunities lie: in capitalizing on the needs and wants people have now for the personal touch, for meaningful services, and for opportunities to connect with people who share common interests and values.

Question to ask yourself: Am I making business decisions based on a pessimistic attitude or fear about the economy? If so, how can I make a decision based on my vision, with faith, instead?

Danger #2: Underestimating the importance of meaning and purpose in today’s marketplace.

In 1980, John Naisbitt predicted in his blockbuster best seller Megatrends that the more technology became part of our lives, the more we would seek connection. He called this “high tech, high touch.” And was he ever right! People today are starving for meaning and purpose. Dan Pink also touched on this phenomenon as one of the 3 biggest factors in the new Conceptual Age today. Are you addressing it in your business?

One way of course is to offer services or products that directly help someone feel connected, discover their purpose, etc. But have you built your business mission and values around your own individual life purpose? If not, chances are that you will struggle to grow it in the new Entrepreneurial Renaissance – or perhaps not survive at all!

People want to hear your story – how did you come to be doing the work you do? If you can get them to be asking “how can I do what she’s done?” – then you have a purpose-based business!

But beware: you may need to be willing to discuss the “s” word (spirituality) – instead of holding back from fear that others will be offended! Part of meaning and purpose, for most people, is spirituality…and if it is part of your journey, don’t hesitate to mention it.

Question to ask yourself: Have I been afraid to share my purpose with my clients because of fear of rejection? If so, how can I begin to be even more authentic with them?

Danger #3: Going for the quick sale instead of building a long-term relationship.

If you have been concerned about sluggish sales or decreasing market share, you may have fallen into the trap of just getting more people to buy – and lost your true sense of self and building a tribe or community around your passionate, purposeful message. Don’t fall into that trap!

Remember, each person who enters your business pipeline has a tremendous potential value to you – first, as someone who can benefit from your message (and create a great success story or testimonial), and second, the lifetime value of all of the purchases they make from you – coupled with those they refer to you and their purchases over their lifetime. That next call you take could be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. Does that change how you interact with them?

With this perspective, it is critical that you turn your core expertise into a repeatable, reliable Signature System that you can present easily and effortlessly – and with which you can get consistent results. That system can then be delivered in a wide range of products, programs and services – from books to individual coaching to year-long group mentoring programs – that will keep your customers engaged and the relationship deepening.

What this means for you is that you have less turnover in your business/clientele – you have to do less marketing outreach – and you have more freedom to work the hours you want, making more money in doing so, and having more fun too!

Question to ask yourself: Have I been shortsighted in my marketing and sales conversations with prospective clients? If so, how can I leverage my services to build long-term client relationships?

Want to learn more? Attend a FREE call with Marcia Bench on Thurs., May 6 – details are at www.brandyourpurpose.com

Author's Bio: 

Marcia Bench is the world's leading expert in helping
service business owners incorporate purpose and meaning into their brand and
business. She is a Purposeful Business Strategist, President and CEO of the
Institute for Purposeful Entrepreneurship (www.purposefulentrepreneur.com),
and founder of numerous coach training companies, with more than 24 years of
experience in coaching and consulting. She has authored 23 books including
The Tao of Entrepreneurship, and has given hundreds presentations worldwide.

Copyright (c) 2010 Marcia Bench; All Rights Reserved