Standing Out

Map to Success

Looking to create a successful business? Here is the ultimate map to success. No subscription, download or payment required.

Map to Success

Map to Success

If I asked you to meet me in Santa Fe, about an hour from where I live, what’s the first thing you’d do? Pull out the trusty GPS and enter your coordinates, right? Voila, instant map to success!

That’s just about as different as can be from the road trips of my childhood. Long gone are the days of mom sitting in the front seat with a Thomas Guide, giving my dad turn-by-turn directions. Which he promptly ignored. And then drove us to the exact wrong place. Which would then lead to the inevitable argument over whose fault this was. Fun times.

There is one commonality, however, between the road trip of today verses the one of yesteryear. Both journeys start with a map. A guide.

Only the most intrepid travelers would hit the highway and say, “Let’s just head north and see what happens.” I have had many great travel adventures that started that way. But never when I needed to be in the right place at the right time.

What’s Your Destination?

So many of the businesses I work with don’t have a map. Many of them don’t even have a destination. Other than, maybe, financial freedom.

Their map to success is roughly as follows: Option 1: Run a Successful Business. Option 2: Play the Lotto. Option 3: Marry a Millionaire.

This my friends is the wrong way to start a successful business. No destination, no timeline. That’s pretty much a recipe for, “Good luck, let me know how it goes.”

When that plan, or lack there of, doesn’t work, entrepreneurs then spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars on e-courses and digital products that promise the secrets to success. But my friends, these products promising the secrets of success can’t work, if you haven’t already defined what success looks like.

Products promising the secrets to success can’t work if you don’t first define what success looks like.

A Free Map to Success

So, right now, I’m going to save your thousands of dollars in e-course download costs.

Because here is the ultimate map to success. No subscription, download or payment needed.

Do something you love. Put a value on it. Tell everyone about what you do and why you do it Ask them to join you on your journey.

Rinse & repeat. Easy, peasey, right?

Need a little more info? Here’s your customized map to success.

Your Customized Map to Success

Highway Marker #1: Define Your Destination

Define what you want from your business right now. This month. Not ten years from now. “I want to sell XXX services at $1,500 in the next 30 days. Or, “I want to sell XX products at $50 each in the next two weeks.” You many not make your goal, but I promise you one thing. If you don’t have a destination, you definitely won’t get there.

Highway Marker #2: Create a Core Product

Now define the product or service from Highway Marker #1. Today. This moment. Don’t worry about the messaging or uniqueness. Don’t spend time on research or courses. Just offer a service around something you know a little bit about. Create a Core Product that feels like something you’d like to do for a living. Or teach for a living. If you MUST do research, go to Upwork and scan the available jobs to see if there’s something interesting in your niche.

Highway Marker #3: Create a Clear Value Proposition

Clearly define one specific benefit and one specific outcome your service will deliver. Make sure this is something people will want. You usually can’t go wrong with, I’m an expert and I will save you time or I will make you more money. Or I will help you figure out what you’ve been doing wrong.

Don’t worry about catchy phrases or “authenticity” or uniqueness or clever marketing images. Just make sure people understand what you do. What the benefit is. And why they should work with you. Write your pitch (yes, you can use to AI to help you edit your pitch), but try to keep the pitch in your voice.

Yay, you’re now in business! With a solid map to success.

Highway Marker #4: Refine Your Map by Testing Your Product

This is also called pre-sales. Which really means sales.

I know, I know, sales sucks. So what? Get over it. If you want to run a successful business, you’re going to have o get good at sales.

If it helps, think of sales as nothing more than you helping people make their lives better.

How to do this? Every day for the next two weeks, put on your sales hat. Think of yourself as a master sales person. Believe it! Now contact five people every single day. Tell them you’ve started this service. Ask them if they know anyone who might be interested in this service. If they have suggestions or advice or questions, welcome the opportunity to meet with directly so you can ask them what they think. Also go out in public and meet strangers at least once a week. Have face-to-face conversations. Go to a PTA meeting or a Chamber of Commerce meeting or even meet real live strangers at the grocery store to get their feedback.

Also, get good at Introducing Yourself

Not only will meeting people help you build your sales confidence, their advice will help you refine your product and your pitch.

Highway Marker #5: Collect Customer Data

You may not be planning to start a newsletter yet, but one day you will need one. Its a much better path to riches than hoping you win the lotto. So start collecting data now. Keep track of meetings, responses, and follow up items. And keep promises. If you say you’ll follow up with someone in two weeks, do it. If you say you’ll forward a link. Do it.

Highway Marker #6. Gain Experience

After contacting 20 or 30 people, you’ll start to find clients. They might not be exactly what you had in mind, but that’s okay. Do the work. Do it well. Really, really well. Over deliver on what you promised.

Then take stock. What did you love about the work? Hate? What do your clients need more of? Less of? These learnings will help you refine your offer.

Highway Marker #7: Demonstrate Your Expertise

As you gain work experience, also collect testimonials and reviews from your happy customers. Refine your pitch to include these testimonials. “I offer XXX expert service, which my clients have called ‘a time saver.’

Highway Marker #8: Rinse and Repeat

Keep going. Do the previous procedure over and over again until you feel comfortable in your own skin.

Notice, I didn’t talk about building a website, posting copious content on social media, or spending time (and money) on “proven success methods” like digital products. You didn’t need anything other than your offer, your pitch, a gift of gab, and regular activity to get your business off the ground. So keep doing what works and ditch what doesn’t.

Highway Marker #9: Create Your Next Map to Success

Now that you’ve commenced your self employment journey, you will start to make some money. You will begin to get a sense of what you enjoy doing and what you don’t. Now that things are clicking, it’s time to build your next Map to Success.

What’s the next destination? More money? Better reputation? More products and services? Your own digital products and services?

I’ll talk about all those in future How to Be Brilliant newsletters. If you’re not already signed up for my newsletter, do so now at How to Be Brilliant.

Get More Tips on Standing Out

Sign up for my newsletter, How to Be Brilliant to receive weekly tips on marketing, branding, and the art of ️‍🔥 standing out. ️‍🔥.