Imagine you drive an old beat up 1972 Ford F100 truck, but it usually starts everyday.
You really want to buy a shiny new Ford F-150. You’re qualified for the loan but you just haven’t gotten around to pulling the trigger.
For people like me like it makes sense to man up, find an F-150, and buy it. It’s new, it looks better, feels better, and it has the new car smell. Ahhh!
Everyday you drive the old F100. It smokes, sometimes it breaks down on you, but you’ve driven it for years and you’re used to it.
This is what so many of us do with our marketing. You get comfortable in your box and it becomes harder and harder to step out it even though something better is out there.
The fastest way to “better” isn’t necessarily in taking a course, reading a new book, or copying one of your competitors.
It’s using your creativity and accessing it through your imagination.
Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “the imagination and the senses cannot be gratified at the same time.”
Gratify here means to indulge or satisfy. When you try to fix a life or marketing problem with the senses (looking around, reading, listening to videos and podcasts, etc.) it’s too easy to miss the boat because your imagination isn’t active, it’s passive.
On the other hand when you use your imagination you move from reacting to creating.
Steve jobs said, “creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while.”
The prime times to access your imagination is first thing in the morning, last thing at night, during meditation, or getting in the shower.
You can also access it driving, moving your body (dancing, hiking, exercising, etc), cooking, all sorts of other ways.
Find a way that works best for you.
And don’t forget Napoleon Hill’s words in Think and Grow Rich. “The creative faculty becomes more alert, more receptive to vibrations from the sources mentioned, in proportion to its development through use.”
When I first started coaching I began with artists.
But once I expanded to just about any kind of business I started feeling a little itchy. Impostor syndrome started knocking at my door like Jehovah’s Witnesses and I felt like I wasn’t enough.
Who am I to tell some plumber how to market his biz and get more clients?
I stumbled upon Oprah Winfrey’s interview with JK Rowling on YouTube. Before Rowling wrote Harry Potter (you knew I couldn’t make it to the end without a Potter reference, right?) she was fighting depression. She was in a bad relationship, just had a baby, and was living on welfare.
She said the only thing she knew for sure was she could write a story. And she did.
I thought to myself what is the ONE thing I know beyond a shadow of doubt? And then it hit me…
I KNOW storytelling and how to be fun and entertaining.
So that’s where I started! I built my business around that and showing people how to get their messages to stand out.
Then I moved into copywriting and doing other things. And guess what?
Impostor syndrome and all sorts of other, as Kody Bateman would say, “stinkin’ thinkin’ showed up.
That little voice that tells you that you aren’t enough never goes away. You quiet it down so you can easily ignore it but it hangs out with you seemingly forever like relatives you wish would go home after Christmas.
On Jerry Seinfeld’s Netflix show, Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, Jimmy Fallon made a comment that blew me away. He said before the curtains rise and his show starts a voice tell him he’s not enough.
Or something is going to go bad.
Or isn’t right.
I thought, even as long as he’s been in show business, he STILL has to ignore that damn voice.
Recently, you know what I’ve started to call that voice? “Dis Bitch.” When I have too much negative head chatter I think, “Dis Bitch is trippin.”
Want a more polite way to say it? Author Steven Pressfield calls this voice, “The Resistance”. If you’d like to tell your Resistance to GO TO HELL, I have something you may be interested in.
This week I’m opening enrollment for Attractor Factor BootCamp: The Spiritual and Practical path to the Money for Creative Entrepreneurs.
It’s four lessons over four weeks and if it does not transform how you attract clients and money you don’t have to pay anything. But it if does you can pay at the end and receive two coaching sessions with yours truly to help you implement and stay on course.
I thought I had to do what the gurus said. I took ME out of my marketing and replaced me with a USP, fear, scarcity, and looking at metrics. Focusing on SEO and fine-tuning my elevator pitch made for some really good Sundays… Not.
Those things are ok. They’re useful even. The problem was I realized they were the opposite of what I needed to do. As I focused less on what “they” told me to do I started enjoying marketing and promoting my work again. And, it got easier.
This is why I’ll be introducing my new boot camp soon. I’ll be sharing with you what worked for me and shiz-nit that you need to get rid of and avoid like the plague.
When I stopped freelancing and started my own company I was determined to succeed. I devoured every book, course, video, and blog post I could get my hands on. I learned tons but my results were sketchy. Not to mention most of the new marketing techniques I was using felt like a wool suit that was two sizes too small.
Eventually I developed my own sales and marketing style. It was different than just about everything I came across but it worked and (most importantly) felt right. I knew I was on to something but I didn’t know why.
That is until I heard Megan Macedo talk about the Business Paradigm (BP) and the Artist Paradigm (AP). Megan’s paradigm busting philosophy set my mind on fire. She helped me connect the dots as to why some content was amazing for me and why some was about as useful as my old Sony Walkman.
Paradigms, Shifts, and What To Do When They Break
First, what the hell is a paradigm? In Joel Arthur Barker’s book Paradigms: The Business of Discovering the Future, he said a paradigm is a set of rules and regulations that do two things: It establishes and defines boundaries; and it tells you how to behave inside the boundaries in order to be successful.
“A paradigm, in a sense, tells you that there is a game, what the game is, and how to play it successfully.” So, when you ‘shift’ or break a paradigm, you have a new game and new rules.
This means if you’re trying to get your coaching business going, or if you sell courses, or want to take your biz to the next level, you need to know which rules to play by.
My goal in writing this is to give you the tools to:
Play a bigger game!
Earn more money.
Turn your clients and prospects into fanatics.
The Business Paradigm
When most people start a business they instinctively use the Artist Paradigm. The problem is gurus, most schools, and just about all companies follow the rules of the Business Paradigm.
Macedo said the rules of the traditional Business Paradigm say:
The thing that counts is the work you get paid for.
Your number one job is to serve the market and build the business.
The guiding question is, “What will generate a profit?”
Maybe you’ve heard some of Business Paradigms greatest hits? BP people love to talk about:
How rich you’ll get.
Often while using over-blown used car-salesman like hype! I don’t mean to rag on the Business Paradigm but… Well, maybe a little.
Scaling and those things DO have their place. And honestly Business Paradigm tactics are the safest way to build your business. That’s why there’s so many experts selling you their products.
For Linkedin marketing you need this…
For Facebook marketing you need that…
For Facebook Messenger marketing you need this…
Products like these are OK but this type of approach is ALL REACTIONARY. Internet gurus will have you buying their apps, books, and courses FOR-EV-ER! It’s like Groundhog Day but the money in your checking account keeps getting smaller.
The Business Paradigm is based on setting up a system so you can get away from the work (hire a manger, contractors, employees, etc.) and build the next thing. Or go hang out on an island with Tim Ferriss. The Artist Paradigm is the exact opposite. It’s about getting deeper into the work.
The Artist Paradigm
In the Artist Paradigm, Macedo’s rules are:
The thing that counts is your real work, your art, the work you care deeply about that only you can do. Questions about which parts of that work you can get paid for are important but they come later.
Your number one job is to serve the work and build a body of work you can be proud of.
The guiding question is not “What will generate a profit?” The guiding questions is, “What’s worth doing even if it fails?”
How many coaches do you know that coach just to make a buck? I’m sure they’re out there but I haven’t met any. The coaches I know do it because they know something that can help people and they want to share what they know.
This is true about most artists and skilled producers like photographers, consultants, make-up artists, marketers, trainers, web developers, etc. Most photographers I know didn’t turn pro because the world needs more photographers, they did it because they love photography.
For years I wasted time focusing on Business Paradigm stuff and NOT building a body of work to be proud of. For a while I was consumed with…
What will make the biggest profit?
What does my market really want?
What’s my exit strategy?
I’d built it, little or nothing would happen, and then I’d start over. I felt like a dog chasing it’s tail—with NONE of the satisfaction. Creating a product and building my business around it didn’t work for me. Instead I focused on my message, passion, inspiration, and desires FIRST, and then went after my audience.
Some of us are naturally suited more towards one paradigm than the other. For example I think Las Vegas real estate developer Steve Wynn is an excellent leader. He’s creative and he’s got epic vision and good taste. He’s also a Business Paradigm guy. What he does is wonderful but I’m not built like him.
My DNA is 100% Artist Paradigm! The AP is more fundamental and it’s more aligned with creativity and the laws of nature. AP leaders that I model are people like Stan Lee, Walt Disney, Oprah Winfrey, and Hugh Hefner. They had a vision for a change they wanted to make, then they spent much of their lives making it happen.
The Artist Paradigm guide to getting your shit together
1. Your work is 100% selfish. You do it for YOU and your own curiosity and desires. I draw everything from superheroes to bikini models and I read marketing stuff everyday. I do it because I love doing it. Not because the market needs more of it.
2. Your marketing starts with you and your story. How did you get here? It doesn’t have to be a big and awe-inspiring rags to riches tale either. Copywriter John Carlton said this could be as simple as three sentences.
You just need: The set up, the action, and the resolution—and you can expand on them later. This is important because anyone can copy your site or your product or service but they can’tduplicate your story.
3. Be bold and clear about what you do and the problem(s) you solve. Are you a Weight-loss Coach or do you help women over 40 lose 20 pounds or more? Simplify it and make it so clear an 8 year old would know what you do.
4. Stand for something. The marketplace is overcrowded and very noisy. Communicating what you stand for sets you apart from all the clones and wanna-bees out there who are trying to be everything to everybody.
For example look at The Oprah Winfrey Show. Oprah’s goal was to bring light into her viewer’s lives. She knew that would never happen while she was doing shows on the KKK and husbands who cheated on their wives… So she changed! And whether it was her talk show, book club, or cable network her goal remained the same.
Standing for something matters because it connects you to your audience on a deeper level. It will attract like minded people who will love your message and want to rally behind it. And then when you connect it to your service or offer, it takes the hard selling out of the equation.
Simon Sinek Was Right
Simon Sinek’s famous TED talk, How Great Leaders Inspire Action is must-see TV—his presentation has over 57 million views! In his talk he explains why some leaders and companies inspire and form bonds with customers and why some don’t.
At the heart of Sinek’s message is this: People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it. Your WHY is bigger than WHAT you are selling.
“The reality is, strengths can be copied. It’s true for your company, and also for you. Products can be replicated. Benefits can be improved upon, secret formulas uncovered, winning systems beaten. People can outdo your strengths. But nobody can outdo who you are. Your personality is the only aspect of your work that nobody can copy. People can copy your product, your pricing, your actions, your recipe or program or formula. But they can never replicate who you are. Who you are is the greatest differentiator you’ve ever had.”
― Sally Hogshead
It’s easy to look at industry juggernauts and think they had it easier than we do today. Oprah didn’t set out to own a network or have a book club in the beginning. She only had her WHY and she was using Artist Paradigm thinking…
“What do I care deeply about and what’s worth doing even if it fails?”
She wanted to inspire people so that decision led her from being a news anchor to hosting AM Chicago. Which led her to the Oprah Winfrey Show, which led her to starring in the movie the Color Purple, which led to…
One brick on top of another, on top of another, on top of another…
What work do you care deeply about? If you could choose a movement or right a wrong, how do your skills, beliefs, desires, and your personality make you unique to do it?
And once you start on this path something strange happens… Marketing gets easy! You send e-mails and people talk back to you and buy stuff. You stop getting ghosted for strategy sessions and appointments. People come to you!
I would love to tell you that the Artist Paradigm approach is the express elevator to wealth or success. It’s not. Honestly, it may take a little longer! But the difference is, your success is nearly guaranteed.