Who are the experts you follow? Do you watch and admire any “lifestyle entrepreneurs”?
Whether or not you realize it, they are gradually affecting you with their definition of what a successful person is.
The more we consume someone’s content, the more we take on their values and priorities.
It’s the reality of being a tribal creature called homo sapiens.
If someone we watch and admire appears to be traveling the world, always having glamorous experiences or fun adventures, we start to believe that it’s what is needed for life to be truly happy.
What some of those experts don’t tell you is that they purposely staged those photos or videos, maybe even going into some debt, and that it’s not their regular lifestyle.
Even if it’s something they really live, those experts are subtly suggesting that you shouldn’t settle until you have what they have… which is often tied to buying one of their courses or programs…
Why I raised my rates -- and then lowered again...
As we grow our experience and reputation, we should keep raising our rates, right?
Not always. It’s an assumption that might be limiting you from doing more of the work you love.
My own example:
In August, I quietly raised my private coaching rate. I changed it on my website, without any fanfare. I didn’t announce it anywhere. Just a simple number change on an obscure webpage that few of my website visitors will ever see.
Based on my experience and skills, and what clients could pay elsewhere, I felt totally deserving of the new rate. Still, it was lower than most of the peers at my level of reputation.
Strangely, the inquiries to my private coaching stopped. From late August through early November -- usually one of the best times of the year for inquiries about my work -- I barely received any inquiries.
Very unusual. For 20 months I’ve consistently received more inquiries than I could handle... due to my regular posting of free content that resonated with my people.
Why suddenly did the inquiries stop? I don’t think it was the price change. Based on my conversations, some people who contact me for private coaching didn’t even have a chance to look at my price beforehand. They ask me right on the call.
However, because I *thought* it was the price change, I put the price back to the rate I’ve been charging since 2016.
Within a few weeks, the inquiries went back up, and now I have a waiting list again.
The thing is, my new clients aren’t that price sensitive. I don’t think my new rate was so different that it would’ve affected their decision to contact and work with me. They didn’t even know I had temporarily raised my rates.
If it wasn’t the price change -- since it was unnannounced -- what was it?
In life, we usually can’t know the real reasons behind why things happen, when there are so many factors involved -- other people, societal changes, economic cycles, the weather, our own biological changes, and many unknown influences we’re not yet privy to.
What we are left to do is interpret the mystery, and be at peace, knowing that we might eventually come to understand more deeply.
Here’s how I interpret what happened:
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Chances are, you have heard about Bitcoin and the cryptocurrency craze.
This post is for those of us who are curious — and maybe feeling some FOMO (fear of missing out) — if we don’t jump on this shiny new object bandwagon.
I haven’t invested a single penny in any cryptocurrency, and don’t plan to for the foresseable future.
Here are my reasons. Yours may be different, but I hope this post will ease some of your fear / regret for not having jumped into this current mania:
Stay in the regular practice of doing your craft
If you need clients, consider trading sessions with other service providers. It's important to stay in the regular practice of doing your craft, and getting feedback.
When you don’t have enough clients, or any clients, it is important to keep practicing your skills, to keep applying it in different client situations, to deepen both your self-knowledge and awareness of the current market.
Think about the famous idea that you can become a true master of anything by practicing it for approximately 10,000 hours.
You probably don’t need another certificate or training program. See my blog post about not delaying anymore -- www.georgekao.com/blog/NoMoreDelay
What would help you the most is to *keep using your skills* day by day, to become so excellent at what you do, that clients just can’t help but refer you onward to their friends.
So, if you’ve got a lot of client openings right now, consider doing this:
Trade sessions with other service providers for feedback, and you might even get testimonials and referrals.
This allows you to use your time wisely, by continuing to practice your craft, while getting to know colleagues who could become mutual referral sources.
Here’s what to do, step by step:
Look at your network and write down which of your colleagues/friends who meet these 3 criteria:
* They are also service providers.
* They might be looking for more clients, and might be open to trading with you.
* They have a network of friends or clients who are probably similar to your ideal clients, in values and needs.
The easiest way to look at your network might be to go to your LinkedIn Connections -- www.Linkedin.com/connections because underneath each name is their professional headline.
If you don’t have any Linkedin Connections, check out your Facebook list of friends -- https://www.facebook.com/me/friends
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Eliminate, Automate, Outsource, Transform
Whatever tasks or projects you don't want to do in business -- but still needs to be done -- can be done by someone else (or a software) affordably...
Not everything on your to-do list is meant to be done by you.
As you look at the list, which tasks fit all 3 criteria?
1. Enjoyment: You do -- or wish to -- enjoy doing it
2. Expertise: You are -- or wish to become -- an expert at it
3. Effect: Compared to other things you could be doing, the effect of this action is worth your time
If it passes all 3 checks, then it is worth you doing it, with mindfulness and deliberate practice.
If not, then consider one of these 4 actions:
The fact that you are reading about productivity means that you’re more conscientious than most people. You tend to carry a lot on your shoulders.
You probably have far more items on your to-do list than you have time for.
For your mental health and personal sustainability, it is time to practice eliminating tasks from your list.
“What if I need this later?”
That is the one question that leads to clutter and overwhelm.
Instead, practice just getting rid of it. Each time you do this, you grow your muscle of simplicity.
When fear arises, remind yourself / reconnect with your limitless source of abundance within, or above. The truth is that you really need to do very little in your life. No matter what, you’re going to be fine.
If you are still hesitating on deleting a task, quickly run it through the 3 criteria above: Enjoyment? Expertise? Effect? It must be a strong Yes on all 3 to stay on your list.
Or at least, remove the due-date and have it essentially go into a “someday / maybe” pile.
If you see a task appear again and again -- and it doesn’t meet the Enjoy, Expert, Effect criteria -- then it’s time to either Automate or Outsource it.
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I don't recommend auto-recurring social media posts
Take the extra minute of care to post on social media by hand and heart... not by robot.
Should you use a tool that automates your social media, such as Buffer, Hootsuite, RecurPost, etc?
I’ve tried Buffer and Hootsuite, and have seen them in use. I use none of them now, and caution my clients away from such tools, especially when posting to Facebook. Here’s why:
1. I’ve noticed that Facebook greatly decreases the visibility of posts that use software such as Buffer, Hootsuite, RecurPost, MeetEdgar, etc. It's like you might as well not post them at all. Facebook’s algorithms are trying to highlight *authentic* human experiences, in-the-moment feelings and thoughts. That means being in the moment when posting on social media. The algorithms on Facebook (and I believe the other platforms) emphasize and reward authentic human activity.
You can see evidence of this in how Facebook, Twitter, Youtube all encourage live video. You can’t get more authentic than that.
2. Your own sense of your Authenticity/Integrity. The moment we schedule a post, we have different thoughts and feelings to the moment that post gets published.
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Create Authentic Content That Engages Your Ideal Audience & Steadily Grows Your Business
If you are eager to:
...then there is one set of skills you need to learn: How to create & distribute great content, authentically and consistently.
- Clarify the message you are most meant to share
- Discover your authentic voice via writing or video
- Increase your confidence in sharing your message
- Grow your creativity and effectiveness
- Be discovered consistently by your new ideal clients
- Develop credibility in the mind of potential clients
- Organize your body of knowledge to better serve clients
- Grow your business authentically & steadily
- Serve the world with greater positive impact
In this workshop series you'll accomplish the following:
You'll discover that if you are willing to be authentic with your audience, consistent, and with a helpful heart, you will draw forth the ideal clients you love to work with.
- Explore your natural ways of creating content
- Practice generating relevant content ideas for your blog posts, videos, books, and social media
- Understand the keys to creating great content
- Get tips for making videos for Youtube & Facebook
- Create a rhythm of content creation that energizes you
- Clarify the balance between free vs. paid content
- Get your questions answered about creating content
The workshop has 3 parts. Even if you cannot attend, you will receive all the recordings.
Wednesday Jan. 10 -- Overview + Stage 1 Content
Wednesday Feb. 21 -- Stage 2 Content + Distribution
Wednesday Mar. 28 -- Stage 3 Content (Integrate, Monetize)
(The reason that sessions are several weeks apart is to allow you time to implement, so that you can more effectively utilize the next session.)
All three sessions are 1 hour each, starting at this time:
The workshop sessions are online. You can attend from anywhere with internet.
- 1pm Pacific
- 2pm Mountain
- 3pm Central
- 4pm Eastern
- 9pm London
- 8am Sydney (next day)
Sign up here:
I hope you enjoyed this month's newsletter!
I wish you authentic marketing, deeper impact, and true livelihood 💛
~ George Kao
Since 2009, George Kao has given workshops and coached people into growing their marketing authentically, and building their true livelihood.