10 Jul Special Episode: Signs of Trouble!
I am currently running (unfortunately) at a 100% accuracy rate of predicting failure. Maybe it’s a blessing, maybe it’s a curse, I dunno. I recorded this episode to address signs of trouble that you need to assess immediately. Not tomorrow or next week but right now. Just yesterday, I saw that an almost-client had closed her business and gone back to Corporate America. I don’t want that to be you!
✔️ Warning signs that go beyond the obvious.
✔️ You can’t operate on a shoestring budget forever; at some point, you have to invest in yourself.
✔️ “Digital mentoring” on YouTube does not a coaching relationship make.
✔️ What we fear we often create.
✔️ Fear of making the “wrong” decision often paralyzes us into taking no action at all.
Need more? Email me: https://causeyconsultingllc.com/contact-causey/
Transcription by Otter.ai:
Hello, hello and welcome to today’s episode of the Causey Consulting podcast. I’m your host Sara Causey and I’m also the owner of Causey Consulting, which you can find online anytime at CauseyConsultingLLC.com. Today I want to talk about signs of trouble in your business. I am still running at a 100% accuracy rate– I’m not going to say success rate because it’s a depressing topic but a 100% accuracy rate of being able to predict situations where, if the person doesn’t make some serious changes, they’re not going to be in business within six months. In fact, I just saw this morning where someone I’d made that prediction about has folded up her company and gone back to corporate America after saying that was never a possibility; she didn’t even want to think about going back to a corporate 8 to 5 job. That’s exactly what has manifested in her life. I would much rather be able to consistently predict winning Powerball numbers, it would be more pleasant and even more lucrative if I could do that. But unfortunately, it seems that I have this knack for being able to go “Yep, if that person doesn’t make some serious changes, if they keep doing X, Y, and Z, six months from now their business is not going to exist anymore.” Now, obviously, you don’t need me to record an episode around very obvious signs that your business is tanking. If your business is not bringing in any revenue. If you have severe feast/famine cycles, where maybe one month you make 40 grand, and then for six months after that you make nothing. If you have a really successful product launch, but then nobody continues to buy the product, you don’t have any rebills, you don’t have any repeat customers, it’s just they buy once and go, Hmm, I wasn’t thrilled about this and your revenues declining, obvious things like that you don’t need me to record an episode and tell you it’s a major warning sign that you better make changes or else. So I want to talk about a few of the situations that I’ve encountered in the hopes that if you see yourself in any of these stories, you can make a change. You can get help from a coach or a consultant, you can do something other than continuing to drive yourself further and further into a rut. I’m not recording this episode to be depressing. I don’t want to be a Debbie Downer and talk about a very sad topic of “hey, here’s how you know your business is about to go in the crapper.” Neither do I want to record an episode of like, you know an old timey cartoon villain crunching on a cigar, like hmm, every time I’ve predicted somebody was headed for doom, they were. I mean, I guess it’s a gift, maybe a gift and a curse all at once. There was one person that I encountered, and he was in a really odd situation, the whole vibe of it felt strange to me. But he had taken on a business partner who sold him a very strange bill of goods. I mean, it absolutely was like the old phrase, if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is this person and waved a pretty good amount of money in this guy’s face and said, Well, I really just want to be a silent partner. I like the industry that you’re in. I like the space that you’re in. I don’t want to try to control anything, I don’t want to come in and make any changes. I just want to pay you this money and get a certain percentage of the company, get some equity in return, and I’ll just keep moving. But you know, as the company grows and the revenue grows, then so will my investment. And I can feed you some leads. I know other people in your industry and in your space that would be amiable to working with you, this is just going to be a win-win all around. And, you know, another thing that was sketchy as hell is that they didn’t really get any proper legal paperwork drawn up around all of this, it was just sort of done in like a back alley style with cash money and a handshake. And as he was telling me all this, I thought, God, this is just, you know, I’m just remember, like, I’m even doing it now. In you know, replaying as rubbing my temples and going, What in the hell like what, well, why would somebody agree to do any of that. And as time went on, this unscrupulous business partner, in fact, was not a silent business partner and had just continued to edge this guy out further and further and they’re now involved in some kind of nasty litigation where they Almost client, it has wound up losing his business, essentially, he’s being pushed out in a sort of hostile takeover. And the whole thing just sounds like a giant mess. And I’m going, dude, you know, instead of taking on some weirdo silent business partner who’s just trying to shark you out of your business, why didn’t you get some help to make it on your own steam? No. So that’s one sign that I want to warn solopreneurs in particular, about very small business owners and solopreneurs. In particular, when you get these bailout fantasies, that is a sign of trouble, whether it’s taking on a business partner, or I’m gonna strategically partner with someone else in my industry, and we’ll feed each other leads. I see it in staffing from time to time where it’s like, Okay, well, I don’t feel like I have enough job orders. So I’ll go over here to Sally Sue, who says she’s got plenty of things to work on. And we’ll just kind of, you know, do it good. Do a good old fashioned handshake and operate on the honor system that we won’t steal each other’s clients and it’s like yeah, because that always works out, you know, especially in an industry as sharky and snaky a staffing, you’re gonna rely on a handshake like, I’m rubbing my temples again because I’m like just don’t, the thing of it is you have to know that you can survive on your own, you can make it on your own steam, and you’re willing to invest in yourself, you’re willing to partner with someone who really is going to be in your corner. It’s not a competitor. It’s not somebody else in your business space or some, you know, kind of shady investor that says they want nothing for something which nobody ever does. But someone who’s really going to be on your side and who can advocate for you and help you to overcome your own limiting beliefs. This segues into another point, another sign of trouble which is trying to do things on an absolute shoestring budget. I had an almost client that I talked to who had left a corporate job and started her own solopreneur company. And initially my impression was okay, so she’s in over her head. And she doesn’t know what she doesn’t know. In the course of talking to her, I realized it was some of that but more so that she was trying to do everything on the cheap. don’t invest any money at all anywhere. Which I understand that there are some people who will over invest. And there were times in my first version of self employment where I over invested in things all scurry over here and throw some money into Facebook ads. And I’ll go and hire somebody who says they’re a Google Ads expert and I’ll you know, just I had scurrying mouse, you know, I can I can spot that and other people because I’ve had it before I know exactly how it plays out. So you can throw money down the drain. There’s no doubt about it. You want to be strategic you just Don’t want to be a complete cheapskate. It’s very hard to get on the phone with someone and sell a high ticket offering if you’ve never been a high ticket customer yourself. Dan Lok talks about this in his programs, you know, how can you have the nerve to sit there and charge somebody $10,000 for a consulting package or a coaching package or a product or whatever a system, whatever it is that you’re out there selling in the marketplace, how can you have the nerve to charge somebody that amount of money if you have never paid it, you have no idea what that person is thinking or what they’re going through in writing that check or throwing it on their credit card if you’ve never done it yourself. And I can tell you, I definitely have done it myself. I know what it’s like to write a check for 10 or $20,000. For some help. I have the nerve to be able to do that with other people because I know the value of my service. I’ve seen the results that it gets for other people and I’ve been on the customer individ too. So it’s very important that if you’re going to run a business, you can’t just say, I’m going to do everything free of charge. Neither can you just throw money down the drain and be totally irresponsible. But you can’t run it on a shoestring either, if you do, it shows. So as I’m talking to her, and I’m realizing that’s a problem. She tells me that she’s being coached by some guy in Seattle, and she tossed his name out like he was, you know, like she was saying somebody that everybody would know, I’m being coached by Steve Jobs are being coached by Mark Cuban, she throws this guy’s name out lay supposed to mean something. And I’m like, Okay, well, this person’s not anybody that I’ve ever heard of. So very discreetly do a Google search to see that he’s, you know, really a nobody. And I was thinking about something that somebody once said about a one way ticket to the Z list. But I digress. So the guy’s a nobody. And I’m like, so, you know, out of curiosity, how does his coaching services work? Like, how often do you meet? Oh, well, we’re just doing everything virtually. She stopped short of saying everything’s virtual because of the pandemic. But she said, Oh, we’re just doing everything you know, virtually. Oh, so do you guys have like a private once a week zoom call with each other? Do you have to get into a group? Like how much one on one attention Are you actually getting from this guy? And it was like crickets and tumbleweeds on the other end of the phone. She was like, Oh, well, I’m being like, digitally mentored. I was like, Oh, so you mean like he’s shunted you off into a Facebook group or like one of those mastermind and I’m using that in air quotes because so many of these mastermind programs are total freaking rip off. I’ll record another episode of that. It just it makes my blood boil that people can charge exorbitant prices for straight up bull. Anyway, okay, so we shunted you into social media and then he’s calling it digital mentoring. How quaint. No, I mean, like, I’m not really paying anything. I’m not like you know, in Have a program I guess I’m just you know, like I’m being digital mentored by him, because I’m just watching his videos every week on YouTube. And I thought, oh my god like I, I can’t with this like there’s an I can’t, there’s no way for me to coach or develop or train somebody who just wants to watch YouTube videos for free. They’re scared to death to put any money into their business. And they think that digital mentoring by watching some dude on YouTube who’s a chest beater and a shouter is actual help. They think it’s actual coaching like I can’t, there’s nothing I can do with that. So I quite rightly predicted like, there’s no way in hell, she’s gonna make it. I mean, nice person. It’s not personal at all. But from a business standpoint, she’s in way over her head, and she’s terrified. So I, you know, in her case, I really thought it’s not even going to be a six month turnaround is going to be more like within the next 90 days. She’s just not gonna be in business anymore and she wasn’t, she’s delivering pizzas and driving for Uber and just trying to do whatever she can to make ends meet. If you are trying to run a business on a budget of zero, I’m not saying that it’s completely impossible to at least get your first client or at least make your first sale and then take a portion of the money and reinvest it back into your business. But if you’re like stuck, you know that you have a great product or you know, you have a great service and you just cannot achieve liftoff. You don’t want to sit there over and over again, watching YouTube videos and not getting any kind of professional personal one on one assistance, it just does not work. Another sign of trouble is being scared to death of everything all the time. Sometimes this shows up as analysis paralysis. Sometimes it shows up as being really hard on yourself and highly judgmental, being scared that you’re going to make quote, the wrong choice and the whole world is gonna fly off its axis. I had an almost client who fell into that category, she was very afraid of throwing good money after bad because she had been– taken advantage of might be a little strong. But she had been in some coaching programs that she just didn’t get much of anything out of. And some of them were quite pricey and they would do things like the the last one she was in that she shared with me was like some guy who sent her a whole bunch of spreadsheets and PDF documents and wanted her to be almost like an employee like I’m gonna hold you accountable to me, in his modality in his thinking, like, the reason why solopreneurs go off the rails is because they don’t have a manager like they’re there. Maybe they’re not good at managing themselves. And I find that really intriguing for so many reasons. Like I there was a coach that I worked with on and off For three years, and we got to a point where I decided that I no longer wanted to be in a coach client relationship with her when she started pressuring me to project manage myself. And the way that she wanted me to go about that was very similar to this other guy’s methodology. Like, I want you to turn in worksheets, I want you to start coming up with these, like very thorough plans, where you’re gonna check off ticky marks and then email me the results and I was like, Oh, hell no. Like, I don’t know if you’ve ever heard that song where that guy’s like, Hell no to the no no no, hell to the no. That’s where I was at with that. I was like, there’s an absolute no chance that I’m gonna do any kind of Excel spreadsheets and I don’t want an accountability partner. Like one of the things that I do in my methodology and my way of teaching and helping clients is to teach them to be accountable to themselves. I don’t want them looking for validation and approval from me, or looking at me as their, quote, accountability partner, a lot of people who go into solopreneur ship or they start a small business, they’ve had an A hole boss in corporate America before, the last freaking thing they want is to turn around and have to put ticky marks in a database or do vanity metrics or fill things fill out progress reports that they turn into somebody else. Like, I’m not gonna sit here and say don’t keep good records and don’t keep progress reports for yourself that only you see and that you know, how their things are going but like, I’m not an advocate of giving up your autonomy to someone else, like leaving corporate america getting your autonomy back, only to just go and willingly hand it off to somebody else. Just the all the energy around that for me is bad. So she’d been in a program like that it had not gone well. She’d paid quite a bit of money for It as I understand it, but it just did not yield a good result. And she was terrified of ever getting into any kind of consulting or coaching relationship with anybody ever again just could not overcome that fear. Her business was impacted by the pandemic, but I will say I’ll just make a very bold statement here and say her business was not nearly as impacted as she thought it was. There were still people out there conducting business and commerce and making money. But she chose to put her business on hold and say, Well, I’m doing this because pandemic, nobody’s going to be buying from me, I’m not going to be able to make any money. There. Therefore, I’m just going to roll the sidewalk up and give it a break for a while and you know, we’ll just see what happens at the end of this. Meanwhile, this pandemic has been like a freaking bottomless pit, things open and then they close again and then there’s a spike and then there’s a lull and I mean, who knows really when this thing is going to be a mere, a memory for us in our rearview mirror. We don’t know. But to sort of sit back and make the excuse of, well, I can’t sell anything because pandemic, and to be terrified that trying to get any kind of help, is going to automatically be like you getting ripped off again. That’s a recipe for disaster. So she’s had to I mean, her the closing of our business was not a temporary thing due to COVID. It was a permanent thing, due in large part to our own mindset. So if you get scared to death, that you’re going to get ripped off, you’re going to be taken advantage of everybody’s out to get you nothing works. I can’t sell anything because pandemic. It’s not these external things that are actually causing you to experience a failure. It’s your own mindset. Because you are telling yourself that things are doomed and destined to fail. That is exactly the result that you will manifest in your life. It’s important to decide if you have an internal locus of control Or if you have an external locus of control, an internal locus of control means I am the captain of my own ship. I cannot predict from day to day what’s going to be happening in the stock market, or the political realm. I don’t know what the weather is going to be like, I cannot predict all of these external circumstances, but I know that I can take care of myself, I know that whatever gets thrown at me, I’ll handle it. I’ll be able to provide for myself and my family and I’ll be okay. An external locus of control is blaming everybody else for your circumstances and whining, and saying, well, I can’t do anything because of insert external circumstance here. The stock market’s not good or the unemployment rate is high or nobody’s hiring, or the pandemic is still going on. If you are viewing all of these external things as circumstances that Are hampering you circumstances that are preventing you from being able to take care of yourself, then that is exactly the result that will manifest in your life. So signs of trouble are not always as obvious as well, the business isn’t making money or the business made a crapload of money in q1 and never again, those types of problems are very easy to troubleshoot and be aware of. Some of the other signs that are more subtle, are often the ones that are ultimately responsible for failure. If you felt your own story in any of the stories that I relayed today, or you’re, maybe you’ve hit a plateau, and you just don’t want it to go into a full on downward spiral, go to my website, CauseyConsultingLLC.com, shoot an email to me, and we will talk about it. If you enjoyed today’s episode, please share it. If you haven’t already, please subscribe to this podcast and leave a review for us on iTunes. Bye for now.