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The Four Things Most Entrepreneurs Need:
I find that there are three things most of the entrepreneurs I meet need. Maybe you can relate to this:
First is Empathy: Hell, being an entrepreneur can be hard. We can work so hard and take failure or rejection so personally. We can work so hard for so little money.
Second is Context: They need a map to help them understand where they are. They need to understand where they’re strong and weak. They need a clear diagnosis that helps make sense of their symptoms. All they know is that some things just aren’t working. But they don’t know why. They’re lost and they don’t know where they are. They need someone to help them understand where they are and why.
Third is Options: Once they feel heard and understand where they are - they need to understand the various options for getting to where they want to be. This is where more information, reading books, listening to audios can be helpful. It’s a general level of solutions. From this they can begin to pick and choose what feels relevant. This level is about learning the language in a certain arena. They start learning the general principles of marketing, some of the core strategies and tactics and maybe even hear a lot of examples.
You can start to feel really powerful, like you now know how to navigate the terrain. You walk a bit taller. But at a certain point it becomes clear that the more you learn, the more you know you don’t know. You become increasingly aware of where you’re still ignorant. And you start to suspect that you need more than just guidance.
Fourth is Guidance: In many ways, this fourth level is what they were really after when they were looking for options. At the end of the day, they can get too many options. So many that they feel overwhelmed and immobilized. “Overwhelmed by insurmountable opportunity” as Pogo said. I find that most people are silently begging to be led. They’re craving for someone to take their hand and walk them from where they are to where they want to be.
They don’t always want this guide to make the decisions for them (though often they do), but they do want someone who can not only explain the options but also give them their best advice and opinions on what would be best. And guidance can only be done one on one - in a personal relationship.
You just can’t get guidance by reading a book or listening to some audio or watching a video. That just becomes more information. And more overwhelm. In fact, all of these levels are more powerful when it’s person to person. You can get a general level, a surface level, of all of these through books and online - but working with a coach or mentor will be, obviously, far more powerful.
After they’ve absorbed enough information (and for some people it’s more than others) a question begins to surface: “How does this apply to me?” They understand that it works - and why - but they are still struggling to make that principle fit into their business.
But you need to go through these four stages in order. You’ve probably experienced this where someone tried to give you guidance without any real empathy or diagnosis and it felt awful.
If all you do is get empathy - you’re still stuck.
If you get empathy and context but no new information - all you know is what’s wrong but you feel lost about how to solve it. A lot of flailing about can happen here.
In terms of empathy - I hope this ebook provides a little for you.
In terms of context - there are two diagnostic tools (‘The Horrible Hundred’ + and ‘The Radical 180’) you can use to give you an overview of where you are.
In terms of options and information - there’s a lot here to start you off.
In terms of guidance - I’m afraid this ebook won’t be of very much help at all. Isn’t that rotten news? Ah well. It’s a start.
In fact, let’s start off with one of the core principles I base all my marketing and marketing coaching on.