May 11, 2015

Business owners, coaches, and consultants: If you are trying to make money — but you hate “putting yourself out there” — stop your world and read this. Now.

“I am getting really frustrated, Susan. I’ve taken tons of courses and I’ve worked with some of the top business coaches. But my business just isn’t taking off. I am not making enough money and I’m getting close to giving up on the whole thing. Do you have any tips on how to get clients in the door?”

“Absolutely. For starters: have you emailed your friends, family, and colleagues to let them know about your new business?”


“OK. Have you gone to any networking events, taught any free classes in your community, or maybe some online webinars to try to get yourself in front of potential clients and show ‘em what you’re all about?”


“Are you blogging? Using social media? Trying to get yourself booked in local media?”

“Not consistently.”

“Um… have you reached out to people that you think might be great clients just to introduce yourself and say ‘hello’? Or maybe offer a free consultation?”

“No. I don’t want to be pushy.”

(This is the part where I want to face-plant onto my desk. Seriously? Somebody hold my earrangggs.)

“This might sound blunt,” I continue, trying to stay in my compassionate-coach-zone, “But… have you done anything to promote your business and put yourself out there? Anything at all?”

My client ponders for a moment and then replies:

“Well, sure! I put up a website! It cost me a ton of money to get it designed and it’s really beautiful. But nothing is happening.”

I’ve had this exact conversation — literally: almost verbatim — with hundreds of people over the past eight years. Hundreds of smart, talented, big hearted people who have hired me for business coaching because they are struggling to find clients and make money and cannot figure out why.

May I tell y’all why?

Like, straight up?

Total love and no filter?


Because you are doing everything in your power to avoid the ONE thing that you actually need to do. The terrifying thing that you totally do NOT want to do.

Which is, of course…


I am sorry, but “putting up a website,” no matter how expensive or beautiful it may be, is not the same thing as “putting yourself out there.” That’s like sitting on your porch all week long and then wondering, “Why haven’t I met a great partner? Why don’t I have amazing friends? Why isn’t my phone ringing? Hellooo?? I am sitting right here!”

You can’t just park yourself comfortably and wait for opportunities, connections and eager clients to come tumbling into your lap.

You’ve got to put yourself out into the world in a big, bold, make-a-scene kind of way.

You’ve got to show up for your business audience, dish out inspiring ideas, build trust and credibility, nurture relationships, demonstrate the kind of value that you are capable of delivering and prove your worth and hire-ability EVERY DAMN DAY.

Putting yourself out there is the hardest, bravest thing you can do because it requires absolute vulnerability. You will be rejected, humbled, questioned and criticized. You will joyfully offer your services to a dream client and hear those three painful words: “No thank you.” You will make mistakes and the whole world will see you make them. You will goof. Some launches will flop. Your ego will be put to the test.

Will it be worth it? Will all of your hard work result in thousands and millions, in the end? Maybe. Maybe not. There are no absolute guarantees in life.

But this is what I know for damn sure:

If you hide, your business will not survive. It will have no chance. None.

If you put yourself out there, promote yourself, get yourself in front of potential clients and ASK THEM TO WORK WITH YOU, vulnerably and courageously, then you are giving your business a fierce chance at surviving and thriving.

But you must do this. There is no shortcut. “Expert training” and “coaching” is terrific, but no amount of “training” will replace actually doing the work.

Put on your best outfit, get off the damn porch and march right into center of town.

Remember this:

The number one indicator of success in business is your willingness to put yourself out there, consistently, courageously, and vulnerably.

Be willing.

Get out from behind your computer screen and be daring.

It is time to discover how brave you really are.



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