How to Gain 100 New Customers this Month: Part 1
I ask you to come to this article, and everything you read about business, with an open mind. Take a moment to notice that your perspective of your small business is always askew—you’re simply too close to it, it’s personal, and you probably carry a lot of fear and negative “what if’s” around with you. That’s natural—especially in the handmade business.
But, just imagine you were making business decisions for a big brand. It wouldn’t be personal at all, would it? When we think about a big change or investment for ourselves, we typically think a grand thought, and then shrink back to where we believe we should be—the comfort zone where we feel safe.
“Behold the turtle. He makes progress only when he sticks his neck out.”—James Bryant Conant
I made a conscious effort in October to challenge myself. I created a goal, a big sweeping affirmation: “I have 100 new customers by October 31, 2011.” Never mind that my current new customer gain was about 10 per month, I had stalled out and I needed a boost. I was feeling frustrated and stuck, and when I asked myself, “what would make me feel better?” The answer was: 100 new customers right now. And so it began.
The neatest thing about a big, break-through affirmation like the one I created is that it blows a hole through your ceiling. In September, my belief was: I only gain about 10 new customers a month. And, UGH, that still feels frustrating. That’s snail’s pace. The bigger businesses I’ve chosen as role models are gaining a heck of a lot more than 10 customers per month, and I want a ladder to their league.
In October, I told myself—every day—that I have 100 new customers this month. I was excited about that prospect, and every day I was open-minded and opportunistic—looking for the chances to make my affirmation come true.
I’m going to tell you exactly what I did to gain 100 new customers, starting in the next post, but I wanted to begin here. Because honestly, it doesn’t matter what changes I made to accomplish this—it probably isn’t the answer you’re looking for, though I’m happy to share.
For now, I want you to think about your limitations. Where are you the turtle in the shell, afraid to stick his neck out? Is what you’re doing working? How close is your perspective? Are the new customers you want pouring in? Are the sales pouring in? Do you want more?
What would make you feel better about your business next month? Create an affirmation in the present tense that you can focus on each day of that month. Remove your limitations and open your mind. Until next time, Lisa