This is a guest post by Marisa Shadrick. She is a published author, award-winning international speaker, Ray Edwards Certified Copywriter, and You Are the Brand Certified Coach. She is also the founder of Copy Connection, an online membership that helps you turn ordinary writing into compelling copy, and the host of the Resilient Faith Online show, a podcast that tackles both the internal and external challenges of entrepreneurship.
Having an online business doesn’t always mean a laid-back life. Entrepreneurs work long hours to build a business. The vision to create consistent revenue with more freedom motivates them to work harder to achieve it.
But here’s what they don’t realize.
Believing Success is Inevitable by Working Hard Can Lead to False Security
I’m not suggesting working hard isn’t important. On the contrary, it’s truly a superpower. Sometimes, certain projects require bouts of energy, but it’s temporary.
However, for others, it becomes a regular practice. Somewhere in their past, they’ve heard everything will be fine if they work harder. Show up more, create more, and post more echoes in their psyche, becoming the mantra behind the day-to-day grind, believing that working hard is a panacea to a life of prosperity and happiness.
Yet, working hard doesn’t guarantee…
- Freedom of time
- Consistent income
- Debt-free living
- Early retirement
You can fall into the trap if you’re not careful. I periodically assess my drive with this simple formula.
Profit – (minus) Time and Resources = (equals) Freedom… or another all-consuming job!
The snare is subtle and gradual. It’s time to challenge the status quo and transition from the daily grind to strategic work.
Working Smarter Begins with Thinking Differently
Has this ever crossed your mind? If the solution isn’t complicated, I haven’t earned the revenue.
This one belief kept me overextended.
If you believe complexity equals compensation, that’s an unhealthy perspective. I spent excessive hours complicating my back-end processes, programs, and services because I undervalued myself. As a result, I hit the ceiling with a full calendar that almost led to burnout.
Here’s what I realized.
- If you provide value and transformation, you’ve earned compensation.
- Compensation may vary, but the value is proportional to the transformation, not an hourly wage.
- Simplifying a process and increasing prices doesn’t mean you didn’t earn it.
On the contrary, your skills, experience, and knowledge have a unique value. So serve well, and don’t undervalue yourself.
3 Golden Keys to Unlock Powerful Momentum Without Burnout
If you’re a business owner, you’re concerned about generating monthly leads, growing your email list, and turning your knowledge into revenue.
I used to think longer hours and working over the weekend was my only option, but entrepreneurship is less about building and more about tearing down.
When we tear down self-reliance, frustrations, insecurities, and thoughts that don’t serve us well, we find margin and the capacity for strategic work.
Golden Key #1: The Power of One
In the movie City Slickers, Curly, played by Jack Palance, understood the power of one. This old cowboy with a gruff exterior is the trail guide for Mitch Robbins, a tourist played by Billy Crystal. Mitch was going through a midlife crisis. Curly reminded him to find his “one thing” to help him move forward. Mitch had to discover the one thing that made his life valuable.
The “one thing” for your business is your brand. It’s your unique edge of influence.
You undoubtedly carry a message, but “you are the brand.” Yet, when it comes to creating a clear representation of who we are, we struggle.
Imagine your knowledge recorded in books that fill a multi-level library.
- Some books are volumes, others are large textbooks, and a few are small paperbacks, all in proportion to your knowledge. Every shelf, every floor, holds thousands of books.
- It’s all there, your acquired knowledge about art, sports, mechanics, cooking, gardening, relationships, parenting, and more.
- The trick is finding which book to share. What’s the title? What information would you see within the pages of this book?
The answer lies in the questions your audience is asking. The process may feel messy, but it leads to one significant milestone–brand clarity.
Your brand becomes a plumbline for building an authentic business unlike any other, and that’s the power of one.
Golden Key #2: The Power of Storytelling
So much of what we do online begins with our story. It reveals our intent, motivation, and reason for creating a business.
Our story helps others live their story.
We live in a diverse world, but our pain and struggles are the same—love, fulfillment, and happiness are universal emotions. Storytelling helps us connect heart-to-heart.
Looking back, I realize past wins originated from storytelling. It helped me…
- Write and publish international articles.
- Win a six-month international speech competition with over 30,000 contestants worldwide. I became one of the top 100 speakers in the world with an opportunity to speak at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas.
- Grow my copywriting business using narrative marketing.
Stories help educate, inspire and entertain audiences.
But why is storytelling effective?
People don’t listen to stories; they feel stories. A US Berkeley article addressed the mystery.
- Storytelling simulates a large portion of the brain when the narrative is processed, creating a deeper emotional connection.
- Storytelling helps form relationships with strangers.
- Storytelling releases a series of “feel good” hormones in the brain.
When your brand includes stories, these hormones are associated with the brand creating a natural connection. Look around throughout your day, and you’ll find the power of storytelling at work.
My family loves to watch weeks of LEGO Masters, Dancing with the Stars, and America’s Got Talent; they get frustrated when I show up for the finale and predict the winner with 100% accuracy.
The one with the best story always wins.
So what’s your story? Mike Kim has a helpful post to help you create the three stories that sell in your business: your founder story, your business story, and your customer story.
Golden Key #3: The Power of Simplicity
Building an online business may seem easy until you face the inevitable…
The “Reality of Execution!”
The reality of execution is a term I coined when we underestimate the work needed to produce expected results. It may look something like this:
- The unexpected complexity of integrating technology into a project
- An unrealistic window between creating and marketing the project
- A surprising amount of writing needed to promote the project
On top of that, costly ads, complicated funnels, and tons of copywriting can overwhelm most.
But what if you could simplify the process and create consistent revenue?
In the book, You Are the Brand, Mike Kim explains that relationships are rocket ships in a chapter dedicated to partners.
Your relationship with a partner offers perceived value and becomes a gateway to accelerated growth. You’re no longer speaking to a cold audience but to an engaged audience—no stranger danger barriers.
One strategic guest appearance on a podcast, blog, summit, or workshop can transform your business overnight.
Your post-appearance follow-up can include a simple stack:
- Calendar Scheduling Tool
- Zoom Meeting Link
- Stripe URL Link
You don’t even need a sales page when you first start. (I know. This copywriter just lost revenue, giving you that time-saving tip.) Instead, schedule calls, have conversations, be helpful, and validate your offer.
Your Golden Keys Are Valuable Business Assets
If you haven’t realized it, your work is an extension of your heart and not your head.
Your brand and stories are essential, but you must also build a network. Every person in our network, whether clients, prospects, peers, or partners, deserves to be respected and well-served. Start a conversation and think of ways you can serve them unconditionally.
To quote Rick Warren, It’s not about you. Nothing is more rewarding than being part of someone’s growth and transformation. Your investment of time creates lasting friendships, helps elevate your brand, and builds business momentum for a fulfilling life.
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