Have you noticed there are peaks and valleys in your business? At times you are at capacity and so excited about people coming to you, wanting to work with you. It just seems so easy. Then you notice a shift occurring. All of a sudden what looked like a growing business begins to backslide. Now you are scrambling to pay the bills.

Experiencing that backslide is enough to cause some entrepreneurs to go into a panic. You begin to wonder why this is happening to you and try to rescue your business from going too deep into the red.

I have heard this over and over again, particularly during this economy. Just this week I saw it happen again. Susie and I were talking about her practice growing. She was finally at a point in her life where she didn’t need to take care of anyone else except herself. She got divorced several years ago and her children were now grown. The only person she was responsible for was herself. Of course this was new to her, but she was ready for this new chapter in her life.

She was really excited to be picking up new clients and watching her caseload grow. As her practice grew, she began to feel more confidence. The inner critic, you know that voice which points out all of your flaws and shortcomings, was quiet. As she watched her caseload grow, her income grew. Paying her monthly bills was not a struggle as her income grew.

After several months of experiencing steady growth, Susie began to notice a shift. She wasn’t getting any new clients. Some of her current clients also stopped coming. She wasn’t sure what was happening, but she began to feel uneasy. As she watched this trend continue to occur, doubt, fear and worry began to show up again. The feeling of panic was quick to follow.

While she was sitting in my office it was obvious her dreams and hopes were being placed, once again, on the backburner. The old feelings of never being good enough, not deserving success and fears about money were loud and clear.

Unlike other times in her life, she was committed to doing whatever was necessary to clear the obstacles, develop a strategy and move forward despite it being uncomfortable.

Susie was not sure where to begin. She saw old patterns return. As her inner critic became louder, she made excuses to stop marketing her practice and working on her business. Her inner critic affected her actions. By working together she was ready to break her old patterns.

We developed a three step strategy to build her business back up, get out of debt and reclaim her dreams.

1. Focus on the mindset. Susie realized her inner critic, negative thinking, was affecting her. She was focusing on all the things not going well in her business. This was preventing her from taking action on some opportunities which were already present. The goal was to change focus from negative to positive. Instead of trying to get away from her problem of not having enough clients and cash flow, we began to focus on solutions. Once Susie began to focus on the solutions, placing focus on growth opportunities, her perspective shifted.
2. Find opportunities which are readily available. Instead of going back to square one and starting all over again, we focused on her clients over the past year. Susie recently completed a coaching program with several clients. We designed a new program she would be able to offer those clients. Because it was the next level of coaching, working toward a specific goal, she enrolled many of her clients into the new program. It was a win-win. Susie easily created something of value which bought in more income and her clients were receiving more tools to help them reach their goal.
3. Create a short deadline. Since time was of the essence, we decided on a really short deadline. The program would begin in ten days. The short deadline served two purposes. Susie had to act with speed, contacting her clients immediately. The short time frame created a sense of urgency for her clients to take action.

The results turned out to be impressive. Within a period of ten days she created an extra stream of revenue for her business. She ended up meeting her monthly expenses, bringing some clients back into her practice and feeling more confident.

Feel like it all sounds good, but just can’t figure out what you might have to offer? When you think about calling old clients it just seems like you would be bothering them? You might be holding yourself back because it feels uncomfortable. The fear, doubt and worry will stop you dead in your tracks. That is your inner game preventing you from taking those next steps. When you avoid taking action, you are already making a decision for your clients without ever asking them. By not asking, you will never know if the answer would be “yes.”

What worked for Susie can work for you as well. Be aware of your mindset. If you are focused on the negative, then you will be finding all the reasons things are going bad. When you tune into solutions, your perspective will change. Difficult problems often have easy solutions. Instead of trying to create something totally new, find the easy solutions. Next you want to act with speed. Figure out your goal date and then move it up a little to create a healthy tension. Don’t worry if it is perfect, you can make changes as you go along.

Activity: List the clients you have worked with over the past six to twelve months. See if you can find a common problem they shared. Now what would be the solution to that problem. Create an information product or group series providing the steps to take for solving their problem. Re-connect with your clients, telling them about the new product created with them in mind and the special offer you are making to them first before you release it to the public.

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From Loren Fogelman, the success expert, founder of Mindset for Marketing Success.