If you're struggling during the weirds (my new name for the pandemic, coined by The Staying In Podcast), I have a piece of solid advice for you: focus on something bigger to become resilient.
I've seen that having a bigger vision for myself has helped me navigate this time because I'm not giving up on the plans that I had for 2020. I have also seen this manifest in each of my clients, they don't want to let go of their businesses and their lives, because those businesses? They help people.
So how exactly do you stay strong and focused during the weirds?
Start to build resiliency in your business and in your message.
There's four ways that you can start doing this:
- YOU choose the story that you want to tell yourself about the current economy.
- Create a message that is NOT about you, but about US.
- Build your business on EMPATHY and relationship building rather than bro marketing.
- Don't think about what you do as selling and marketing, but about HELPING.
Right now, I want you to be spreading your 3 Word Rebellion and better yet, I want other people to be out there spreading your message, and you're going to do that by building resilient businesses.
I promise you can create a business that feels recession proof, you live in abundance right now. Until next week!
Listen in or read through the transcript below
Resources mentioned in this episode
One of the things I've realized as we are navigating the weirds, which is what I've started calling this time, we are in the weirds and yes, if you are a fan of the Staying In Podcast with Emily and Kumail, I stole this phrase from them because I feel like the weirds is the perfect phrase for describing this time. It's better than the new normal or anything else. It's just the weirds and one of the things I'm learning is how important it is to have something bigger to focus on. Whether that's having a bigger message, a bigger goal, a bigger vision to focus on.
And I feel like we have been in the weirds for about a hundred years right now, and I know we haven't, it's only been like six weeks. It just feels like a hundred years. And to me, having a bigger message, like a 3 Word Rebellion has been good for me and I've seen how it's been good for my clients as well. I've also seen how having a bigger vision for myself has helped me navigate this time because I'm not letting go of my 2020 vision, even though we are in the weirds and I see my clients doing the same thing.
They don't want to let go of that bigger vision they have for their business and their lives, and I know it's tempting to say, oh, well, that can never happen now, we’re in this pandemic, we're in this recession, but don't let it go. Yeah, you might have to slow it down, but you can still go after it. You can still take little steps every day to achieve it.
And I think one of the keys is to start building resiliency during the weirds and start building resiliency in your business and in your message.
And that's something I want to touch upon in this episode because for me personally, resiliency has been a key theme in my life because of how I was raised.
I was termed as a psychologically resilient child. Resiliency is the ability to mentally or emotionally cope with a crisis or return to your pre-crisis status quickly. And psychologists always talk about two different types of children. There are orchid children and there are dandelion children.
And if you've ever had an orchid as a plant, you know that those are very difficult plants to take care of. If you over-water them, they die. If you give them too much sunlight, they die. They are not hardy plants, and so if they're not in the right conditions, they die.
But dandelions, oh boy, those are tough plants. They will come back from almost anything. With our businesses, we really want to create a business and a message that is resilient, that can bounce back from anything. So what do we need to start building that resilience muscle in our business?
And as always, I'm just going to put this disclaimer out as I do in every podcast episode: this is from my own experience. Please take what you need and leave the rest behind.
So here's what I'm thinking are the elements of building that resilient business.
The first thing that I'm seeing is that you have to choose the story that you want to tell yourself about this economy.
Today, right before recording this, I had a business owner DM me on Instagram, and ask me a question or just say hello or tell me your aha from this show, but she just asked me about the interview I did with Natalie Sisson and she said that she wanted to feel good about marketing and selling right now. But then she read this article on Medium about how marketing and selling is basically gaslighting right now and how we should be moving into a post-capitalism world and thinking about what that should look like and how we shouldn't be marketing and selling and how we should really be focusing on post-capitalism.
I'm going to go on a little bit of a rant here about post-capitalism and before I do, let me preface this with, I think capitalism is jacked up in its current form. Capitalism definitely abuses people and its current power structure. Especially Black and Brown people, women, LGBTQ+ people, people who do not have a lot of access to resources.It's jacked up and nothing typifies that more than the whole Paycheck Protection Program that we just saw where hedge fund managers and Ruth Chris got money that was for small business owners, and that the whole fund was tapped out within 14 days, 95% of small businesses didn't get access to those funds, but big publicly traded companies did.
So yes, capitalism is a mess, 100% but this is my fear when I read things about post-capitalism and why I actually have had to remove myself from a program that I was in because it became so much about having this post-capitalism discussion instead of like, how do small businesses navigate this time, the weirds that we are in, that I couldn't take it anymore. It was not great for my mental health.
Right. So. This is what I fear when I hear this post-capitalism conversation. These discussions about not marketing and not selling right now, it's getting into the heads of people who are running their business in a very ethical way, who are not abusing the system, and these are the exact businesses that you and I want to see survive.
We want them to survive and thrive during the weirds, but when they're inundated with these messages about, oh, you shouldn't be selling right now, and we should be thinking about the post-capitalism society, they're not going to sell. And when they don't sell, they're not going to survive. And that is not great.
So I really believe to build resiliency, we have to choose the story we're going to tell ourselves about this economy.
So there is that post-capitalism narrative right now that selling is bad and marketing is bad, and you shouldn't be doing it right now. Or you can author your own story. And I told you in the episode where I talk about the F word, the free word, how I view the economy right now,
I view it as you and I are the economy. When someone buys my services, when I get to help someone with their 3 Word Rebellion, with their messaging, with helping them get the word out about how they serve the world, and they pay me for that service, then I get to spend that money you know, paying my podcast producers, paying people who help my business, paying the local economy going, you know, while getting takeout from restaurants, like I get to circulate the money in the economy and that makes them, that makes the economy stronger. I also tell myself the story that this is the richest and most abundant time in my life that I am well resourced.
Those are the stories I'm telling myself. So you get to choose the story that you tell you, so make the decision about what story you're listening to, and it's fine if you say to yourself, okay, that's Michelle's story, but that's not my story, or that's somebody else's story. That's not my story. But make the decision.
Okay. So with that, my post-capitalism rant is now over.
The second way I think we can build resiliency in our business is having that bigger message that is not about us to focus on during this time.
You all know, if you've read the 3 Word Rebellion book, then I am a big fan of politics. Although I was not a Bernie Sanders supporter during the 2020 primary, I was an Elizabeth Warren kind of gal, I did really appreciate Bernie Sanders’ slogan, “Not me us,” because it really is about us. Your business is not about you. It's not about the solution you provide. It is about your clients, it's about your audience. It's about the us.
And what I've noticed with my clients and with myself is that those of us with a bigger message with a 3 Word Rebellion, with a message that's focused on the change that we want to create in the world, we don't need to pivot our message all that much in the weirds. We have more room to play our messages and about selling more on LinkedIn.
Our message is like Michelle Evans’ Profit Without Worry, that's still relevant today as it was in 2018 when we came up with it, right. It doesn't matter because that message is about the change she's creating in the world. When we have that bigger message, we can focus there. We can create more offerings underneath it, and when we really care about our people, it's allowing us to really step up into our own leadership because we're creating a place of belonging. We're creating a place for people to come to us in these weird times and ask questions. People ask me questions in my DMS because they know I will respond and answer.
It is our time to lead and it's because we have these bigger messages that people are responding to, that they will see you as a leader. So building a resilient business means having that bigger message to lead with, and frankly, I know I'm biased about this, but this is a great time to start over working on that and start dreaming up your own 3 Word Rebellion that you can lead with.
The third thing I'm seeing right now about resiliency and building your business is empathy and relationship building over tactics and bro marketing.
And if you've been listening to this podcast and, or have been implementing a fraction of what I've been telling you, you are in a far more resilient place than the rest of the businesses out there because you and I have been talking about building relationships, taking your audience on a journey. We have been talking about the tactics and the bro marketing and why that feels scammy and sleazy and why it's not the best way to market and sell. And guess what, in the weirds, it is definitely not the best way to market and sell, but relationship building and empathy are, and they always have been, but I think it's more top of mind than ever.
And it's really funny because I was having a conversation with a friend of the pod, David Fisher, he's a sales trainer and he's always been about relationships and empathy, and he was talking about how all of these sales trainers are coming out of the woodwork and saying like, it has to be all about empathy now.
Empathy, like really understanding how your customer and client and prospect is feeling and feel how they feel. It's all about empathy. And he's like, oh my gosh, it's always been about empathy, listening to others, understanding how they feel, and going there with them and understanding like why it sucks for them, and having conversations about that and giving them ways to feel better and feel better now that is never gone out of style.
You know, the pendulum has swung the other direction for so long with all of them. Bro marketing tactics and scarcity and urgency and FOMO and fake authority and all of that crap that we forgot that being human always wins. And that when we let people make decisions and when we show up for them, they want to do business with us.
And so those tactics don't work now, and I don't think they're going to work for quite some time. I mean, the pendulum always swings the other direction, right? But thankfully for a while, being human, showing empathy, listening, and feeling, that is going to help you build a resilient business.
And finally, I want to leave you with this one piece of advice and then a tease for next week.
The final tip for building a resilient business during the weirds is don't think about it as selling and marketing, think about it as helping.
Next week you'll hear my interview with one of my friends, one of my favorite people on the internet, Ash Ambridge. Ash runs a company called The Middle Finger Project, and she was literally one of the first people I discovered on the internet over eight years ago. I have been a fan of Ash’s ever since, and I was thrilled to interview her for the pod.
But one of the things she said is that we shouldn't ever be thinking about selling or marketing or promoting. The best way to think about what we do is just helping people, helping people with our talents and our skills. We are helping people with our products and our services, and since we don't use any of those shitty internet marketing tactics, and since we are building relationships, all we have to do is ask people if they want our help.Do you want my help? This is how I can help you, this is how much it costs, and hey, helping people just feel as a whole lot better than, hey, buy this now and you can only have it for the next 27 minutes, and if you don't buy it, it's going away forever and let me add a bonus.
No, just help. It feels better. It feels easier and it feels more resilient because here's the deal, I want your business to thrive. I want your bad ass to be out there selling and circulating money in this economy. I want you to be spreading your 3 Word Rebellion and better yet, I want other people to be out there spreading your message, your 3 Word Rebellion, and we're going to do that by building resilient businesses.
We do that through choosing the stories we want to tell ourselves about this economy, deciding not to listen to other stories. We do that by being empathetic and building relationships instead of relying on shitty tactics. We do that by spreading messages that are about the change we want to create for people. We do that by helping and getting paid for the help our services and products provide.
That's how you build a resilient business. That's how your message is recession proof, and that's how you can feel abundant and even rich right now. So stay safe out there. My rebel friends, stay resilient and keep helping people with your business.