It takes a lot of guts to believe in yourself, your business, your abilities and your dreams enough to even take a shot at running your own business. Three cheers for you!
But, once you start to get the hang of it, it becomes typical for entrepreneurs to chase every shiny object that comes into our field of vision. It’s easy to get so bogged down in the minutiae that we fail to work “on” our businesses instead of only (frantically) working in them. It’s so easy to bury yourself in your business and forget about anything on the outside of your personal reality. It’s time to stop.
Just by reading these three ideas and giving them some real consideration, you will get today’s bonus points for working on your business. They’re not “shiny objects.” These are gutsy, proven ways to attract more money into your coffers, more customers into your front door and gobs more “street cred.”
Here are three yank-your-head-out-of-the-sand ways to grow any business exponentially … and fast:
Related: I Started Saying ‘No’ to These 6 Things. My Life and My Business Got a Lot Better.
1. Start speaking.
Identify your target customers and start speaking to them, ideally live. Teach them what you know about the benefits that come from using products or services like yours. A good friend of mine runs a company that builds websites. He talks to business groups about how to create the right website to get the results they want. He averages two to three new customers from every speech — at a price tag of at least $5K each. An artsy woman at one of my own speeches (on how to become a speaker or an author) now goes to women’s groups in her state and talks about style and fashion. She brings a selection of the expensive hand-painted scarves her little company sells. She went from struggling to earning close to $180,000 in personal income last year. Yeah, impressive right?
If you’re afraid of public speaking, just get over it. Take an improv or acting class. Go to Toastmasters. I’ve been training new and emerging speakers for what feels like a thousand years, and I can tell you that those who are scared of it often end up equally or more successful sometimes better students than those who thought they were hot stuff the day they decided to begin.
Best of all, if you get good at speaking and/or have solid content that people value, you can turn speaking into a lovely, abundant extra new revenue stream all on its own.
Related: 10 Simple Daily Practices That Will Make You Happier
2. Raise hell or high water.
Take a visible public position on a topic of local or national interest. Choose something that is in the public interest. Everybody wants safer streets, better schools, a park at the intersection of Main and Washington. Lead a cause or get on the board … and get active and visible.
Because when the cause you are championing gets media, they will name you and your business. (Read: free advertising!) You may say, “I don’t have time for charity!” but the great thing about this is that the public perception of who you are will soar, which magnetizes customers for life.
Related: 12 Scientifically Proven Ways to Reinvent Yourself
3. Run for office.
Seriously! Whether it is the school board, town council or senator, there is no better way to get visible. When you get visible, your business gets visible too. Maybe you’ll win, maybe you won’t, but the fundraising process, the ads, the interviews — the “people know your name and your business’ name” factor — is unparalleled.
For all who think, “I’ve got too many skeletons in my closet to risk such exposure”, recognize that by age 12, most people are already accumulating things they’d prefer their mothers — and the public — not to discover about them. Unless it is a felony conviction, you are probably fine. Journalists are unlikely to spend copious time on you unless you become a significant contender anyway.
Each of these three options — to start speaking, raise hell and run for office — are big ideas. They have been ranked in order from easiest to most challenging. By putting yourself out there in any of these ways, you will greatly increase your brand’s identity. Whether you are selling goods or services; whether your business is regional or national; take a shot and focus on one of these and watch your business grow far faster than you can imagine.