Don’t Make the Business Mistakes I Did!

January 7th, 2013 by Jennifer Grainger

I didn’t start out intending to make every possible business mistake so you wouldn’t have to, but that’s what happened.

Six years ago when my husband, Dave, and I reshaped our relationship from married, to good friends, we had an amicable parting, each of us coming away with a very tidy nest egg.

Though it would be the first time in 25 years that I would be completely responsible for my own financial well-being, I had no worries. I’d just graduated from coach training, internet marketing was just coming on the scene, and seemed like a perfect vehicle for me to build a profitable business doing what I loved . . . providing spiritual seekers who were wandering down the road less traveled to explore the metaphysical/mystical aspect of spirituality in a non-judgmental environment that respected their personal connection with the divine.

My “product” was the opportunity for them to experience more joy and less struggle as they let go of the false selves they were trained to be, while risking showing up as their authentic selves.

Always on the shy side, I liked the idea of attracting clients with a website rather than meeting people face-to-face through networking, which was just short of torture for me, especially when I was always at risk of coming face-to-face with someone who believed I was “dancing with the devil,” which, of course, I wasn’t!

Like a baby mesmerized by the whirly-gig suspended above her crib, I became fascinated with the big success stories of how easy it was to make big bucks on the internet. All I needed to do, said the 10 page sales letters, was follow the “simple formula” of that particular “overnight success,” and I’d be on my way.

Wanna’ know my BIGGEST mistake?

I didn’t know what I didn’t know! I had no idea how huge the gap was between inspiration and implementation when it came to building an internet business. I thought everyone was like me and would want what I wanted . . . more joy, less struggle and to be my authentic self. Fortunately (or not, depending on your perspective) I had a ton of money to throw at the challenge.

When my life savings were used up in the first two years, I had a lifetime of excellent credit from which to draw cash advances on a plethora of credit cards.

I had a team of web related experts to help me build a humongous membership site complete with online products, online classes, online programs, online forum . . . that fewer than a dozen people at any one time were attracted to.

Though I knew something was missing, I just didn’t know what. This made me easy prey for the next hypey “follow-my-formula-and-you’ll-have-the-success-I-had” crapola.

Then one day I hired yet another coach who turned out to be brutal with the truth. “No one wakes up in the middle of the night desperately worried about how to ‘become their authentic self,’” he said. “What’s the urgent problem you solve?” After two months of coaching with him, in which he made it crystal clear that unless I was Deepak Chopra or Byron Katie, I would never make a living as a Spiritual Coach.

Thoroughly convinced that I had nothing of value to offer anyone, ever, and completely devastated, I retreated into silence, listening intently for a whisper of what to do next.

Don’t get me wrong . . . I’m grateful for all I learned during the five years it took to spend myself into bankruptcy, while working my patootie off to make a living doing what I loved. And, after all, I did survive and recover!

The turn-around came about a year ago, when, through a series of serendipitous events, I was led to my current mentors who have a step-by-step program, complete with fill-in-the blank templates, that set me on the path to success. Just in time, I might add!

No, not as a Spiritual Growth Coach, but as a Marketing Coach to teach what I have learned to women who are going through what I went through . . . working too hard, making too little, and not knowing what they don’t know.

Almost without exception, all my clients have the same two problems that I’d had:

1. An ineffective What Do You Do statement (what you say when someone asks “so what do you do?”) that goes on and on about how they solve the problem, rather than three short sentences that highlight the positive results the potential client can expect to get.

2. No clue how to make it easy for an ideal client to buy when the client bumps into one of the three most common obstacles to buying what you have to offer:

a. Can’t afford it

b. Need to think about it

c. Don’t have the time.

BOTTOM LINE: It is very hard to succeed in business without adequate business training. The “do what you love and the money will follow” is only true if you have the business savvy to be able to turn a profit. As coach Suzanne Evans is famous for saying, “if you are not making a profit you don’t have a business, you have a hobby!” So many women entrepreneurs focus their efforts on gaining more knowledge about the process of what they do, when what they need is business training. As my mentors, Jesse Koren and Sharla Jacobs point out, many hardworking entrepreneurs have more letters after their name than they do clients. This would be really funny if it weren’t so true!

TIP #1: People don’t care how you produce results, they only care about what results they will get, so you must first do a market survey to find out what they perceive is their problem. People are more prone to buy what than want rather than what we experts believe they need!

TIP #2:,You must craft your What Do You Do statement, in three or four sentences at the most, to clearly state the problem you solve and the results they can expect to get from working with you. You can skip all the techno-babble about how you do what you do. They don’t care!

TIP #3: If you go into persuasion mode when the potential client with the exact problem you solve, who wants to buy your solution, says “I can’t afford it,” or “I need to think about it,” or “I don’t have the time,” you are missing a vital skill set. Knowing the respectful and heart-centered questions to ask that support your client in mustering the courage to say yes to their dreams is a learned skill, that along with your ability to be creative in finding ways to make it work for them, is the very foundation of having a successful business. The male-oriented tactics of the past of “overcoming objections” and “closing the sale” are distasteful. I don’t like being “sold.” And I don’t like being pushy or salesy. Do you? Well, neither do your potential customers or clients.

TIP # 4: Marketing is founded on getting really clear on who you are here to serve and then positioning yourself so they can easily find you. No one is born knowing how to do this, so getting educated on this is essential!

If you’d like a free 30 minute telephone marketing consultation to get crystal clear on where you are now, where you’d like to be, and then get some tips and suggestions from me on how to get there, please go to my online calendar and book an appointment by clicking this link:

If you don’t find a time that works for you, email me your best days and times and I will do what I can to squeeze you in! 209-369-6188

P.S. As Katherine Woodward Thomas and Claire Zammit co-founders of Feminine Power Mastery say, “You can’t grow yourself by yourself. We all need mentors to move us forward,”

If you have any comments about this newsletter, I’d LOVE to hear from YOU! Contact me at

I’ll “see” you in our next newsletter.



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