Have you ever watched the television show “What Not to Wear” on TLC, with Stacy London and Clinton Kelly?
I love that show!
In case you’re not familiar with it, it’s a reality show where they take an unsuspecting person whose friends or family are horrified by the way they dress, and totally make them over. The person must first agree to get rid of their entire wardrobe in exchange for a $5000 credit card with their name on it, and subject themselves to wardrobe and style coaching, a shopping spree in New York to spend that $5K, and a visit with a hair stylist and makeup artist to complete their new look.
It’s always an emotional experience.
Usually the person who was nominated admits they’ve let themselves go, or they simply don’t know how to shop or dress. Occasionally, they end up with a stubborn person who really likes their look and doesn’t understand why they might need to change. One particular episode that comes to mind: the soccer mom/psychic/witch whose everyday attire was a black witches costume complete with the pointy hat – yes, I’m serious! At first she was pretty unwilling to change. But pretty soon, the truth started to come out and she admitted she was hurt and unhappy that she wasn’t being invited to birthday parties and other community events. Turns out she was scaring everyone away! She became quite emotional when she realized that the way she was dressing was NOT really serving her.
A major confidence boost.
I’m always amazed at how much more confidence the contestants have after their makeover. Even though it appears to be an “external” makeover, every single one of them comments on how truly transformational the experience has been. They talk about how their life is going to change. And there are almost always tears, hugs, and tons of gratitude for the experience, even if it was painful at times.
So what the heck does this have to do with your business?
Well, just like the “What Not to Wear” contestants are walking around in ill-fitting, unflattering clothing, many solo-professionals are working in a business that doesn’t “fit” them or support them in their quest for success. Unfortunately, just like the “What Not To Wear” contestants, sometimes they’re just too close to the problem to even see it.
So how do you know if your business “fits” you or not?
Here are some of the symptoms of an ill-fitting business. See if any of them fit you.
- You feel like you’re “doing everything right” but it’s still not working and you’re not reaching your goals
- You’re struggling to get clients and make money
- You’re not having fun
- You find yourself not really getting out there to make things happen (you may be staying busy working in your office but not really getting out there and making offers to people)
- You lack confidence
- You’re doubtful about whether or not you can be successful in the business
- You’re doing things that are uncomfortable and that you do not enjoy
- You don’t feel like you have the words to clearly communicate what you do for people
- Prospects aren’t saying “yes” to your offers
- Business feels “hard”
- You’re frustrated
- You feel discouraged
- Sometimes you even feel like giving up
Conversely, when your business fits you perfectly, here’s what it feels like:
- You feel totally confident about your business and your ability to be successful
- You’re excited and energized and can’t wait to get out there and make things happen
- You feel authentic and congruent and find it easy to talk to others about what you do, in fact you don’t even feel like you’re “selling”
- You stand in a place of personal power, knowing without a doubt the difference you can make in people’s lives
- You know how to communicate what you do and you’re totally comfortable marketing yourself and your services
- Prospects are responsive and say “yes” to your offers
- Selling feels easy and totally comfortable
- You easily attract clients and make money
- Your clients are getting great results and you love working with them
- Ideas flow and the right people and opportunities consistently show up
- You’re reaching your goals
- You know there’s no one else out there who does what you do, in the way that you do it
- You feel unstoppable
The differences between a business that doesn’t “fit” and a business that does are pretty dramatic.
You’ll see the difference in your numbers (e.g. clients, sales, money) and in how you feel about the business (e.g. confident and excited vs. fearful and uneasy), and in how much you enjoy working in, and on, your business.
The good news is, if you find yourself in a business that doesn’t fit you, it’s very possible that with a few alterations, you can quickly turn it around. Just like Stacy and Clinton take those “What Not to Wear” contestants and transform their looks and their lives with some shopping advice and guidance, and hair and makeup that make the most of their best features, you have the power to take charge of your business and transform it into a business that makes the most of who you are and enables you to be successful and happy as a result.
The first step is identifying what doesn’t fit and getting rid of it.
On “What Not to Wear” Stacy and Clinton go through the contestant’s entire wardrobe and throw out everything that isn’t “serving” them (e.g. doesn’t fit, is the wrong style, size, or look). They even have the contestant try on several outfits in front of a 360° mirror so they can really see how they look – most are very surprised!
You can do the same. It’s called looking into the “Reality Mirror.”
This is about sizing up where you are in your business (how many clients you have, how big your list is, how much money you’re making, how you’re spending your time) and comparing where you are, to where you really want to be. Once you discover the gap, you can start making some strategic decisions about what needs to change to create that perfect business that fits you to a “T.”
Your goal should be to have a business that is an authentic reflection of who you are, that is comfortable and enjoyable, that you feel totally confident in, and that attracts exactly the right clients. Because those are the signs of a custom-designed business that fits you perfectly.