How the online business dogma is killing entrepreneurship

How the online business dogma is killing entrepreneurship

I want you to visualize yourself on retreat with me.

We are in an exquisite location, preferably on a beach somewhere.

It’s a small group of business owners — probably about 12 of us. 

Business owners that are similar, and yet different than you. 

We have spent the day caring for our nervous systems, frolicking in the ocean and having deep conversations around what each person is leveraging their business intentionally, to create the life that they want. 

These retreats are where life altering decisions are made. 

We have just eaten a gorgeous meal — light, fresh, plenty of healing foods and now we are settled onto a couch with some dark chocolate. 

I’ve got sparkling water, and we are going to go even deeper into conversation. 

This particular evening’s discussion is around how online business culture is killing entrepreneurship. 

And specifically, how slick marketing is derailing you from your goals.

Because what we have here is an over saturation of experts in a microcosm of the world, which has the effect of making people think this is the way the world works and it’s not. 

There is an entire frontier beyond your echochamber on the internet. 

Over the last few months, I’ve been sharing more of my thoughts and ideas openly, with you, my listeners, instead of reserving these conversations for my clients, women in The BRAVE Society, and colleagues. 

And when I say colleagues, I mean other coaches and consultants in the small business space who don’t do business in the online business world.

I’ve been sharing more for a few reasons:

  1. I’m genuinely concerned about the harm – and I will add, the unintentional harm that is happening when business owners consume trite content meant for marketing purposes get consumed as business education.  Smart people forget how smart they are when they come online, and blindly trust the marketing messages.
  2. I’m concerned for the vast amounts of people flocking to the internet with hopes of starting a business that allows them more freedom and income than before, only to be met with complicated, overwhelming tactics, and brainwashing that takes them very far from their values, ideals and strengths
  3. I believe the online business space is killing entrepreneurship, and it’s most definitely eviscerating critical thinking, individuality, freedom of choice and replacing those things with judgement, fear, scarcity, and shame.

There are blatant falsehoods that are being perpetuated in “good content”, memes and shareable graphics that are being bandied around as if they are fact, by people who have little authority to speak on such topics.

It’s easy to believe these falsehoods, because of the way they are positioned with pretty graphics – maybe they give you a chuckle,  or they are telling you what you want to hear.

Or in most cases, you just don’t know.

One of my biggest pet peeves is the use of the word CEO by people who have never worked in an organization with a CEO, never worked for a CEO, never coached or developed or trained a CEO.

People who don’t understand that CEO is a very nebulous term, and that there are many CEO archetypes or roles within that generic catch all title.

For example, are you a founder CEO, growth CEO, turnaround CEO?

Are you a super shitty and toxic CEO, because those exist too.

Oftentimes these require VERY different skill sets and CEOs don’t always OWN the company.

CEO’s often step down when their skill set is no longer needed. 

Not every business owner or entrepreneur with tremendous business acumen and innovative ideas wants to be a CEO.

So to characterize a CEO with any specific sets of behaviors, like we might see in an instagram graphic, is factually inaccurate.

Now, before I get too on a rant here, let me share my belief around TRUTH.

Just because you have data doesn’t make something true.

As a former researcher, someone who worked on social science research teams researching everything from the impact of spousal violence on children to the most effective competencies for private bankers to measuring the efficacy of 360 feedback or the efficacy of feedback at all — I can tell you that you can massage and manipulate data to say anything you want it to say.

Yes, you can let that data guide you and infer things from it, but it doesn’t make it true in every and all cases.

We can make assumptions based on the data but we have to be aware that we are making an assumption or generalization.

While many of my teachings and beliefs are evidence based and researched, that doesn’t mean they are true in all cases.

AND, I’m way more concerned with speaking MY TRUTH.
The things I know to be true for me or what I have seen true for my clients.

Not so that you take what I say or this podcast episode as THE TRUTH but as MY TRUTH and in speaking my truth, I inspire you to speak YOUR TRUTH. Because we need your perspective.

We need to hear your truth.

What might be true for you, may not be true for me.

As you read these social posts and use them to educate yourself, especially posts that are framed as “it’s either this or that” – , ask yourself is this 100%?

Is this true in all situations or for all people?
What is the purpose of “this or that” type posts?

The purpose of this specific podcast is to provide a different perspective on what we are all consuming on the internet because if you’re spending a lot of time there or using it as a source of business education which many of you are — that’s not a bad thing.

Curiosity and learning are critical for business owners — I want you to understand how you are being brainwashed to believe things are problematic when they aren’t.

I also want to speak to those of you who feel particularly judged and shamed for your choices, or how you run your business ,or whatever success you are or aren’t experiencing right now.

Regardless if it’s 2020 related or not.

I’m NOT speaking to those of you who want to celebritize your businesses, or who have bought into the concept of making 7 figures passively while you work 5 minutes a week.

This probably isn’t for you if you’re obsessed with the online business guru’s and are working 80 hour per week tweaking your funnels and recording highly stylized 5 part video sequences and obsessing perfectly implementing some guru’s 4 step this or 7 step that. 

Now, those may or may not have a place but your humanity, empathy and ACTUAL CREDIBILITY matters more.

This is for the sophisticated business owner with loads of actual experience who wants to profit well from doing their most important work in the world. 

This is for those of you who are curious as to how you can build tangible wealth and more importantly NET WORTH over your lifetime while you feel like you’re living your best life.

You want more than enough money to provide for your family, make a difference in the world, and not have to make choices based on where your next client is or isn’t coming from.

I watch too many people with serious skill sets get eaten alive in the online business space by focusing on learning all the new tactics instead of focusing on what has always worked in business. 

You’re told you’re doing it wrong, you’re not digital enough, you’re too corporate, you don’t know how to speak to your ICA, your messaging is WRONG,

I know this because I was told all of these things. When I entered the online space and started to take in the free advice or business coaching from internet marketers, my confidence tanked. 

Standing in a sea of frauds, I felt like the fraud. 

They must have it all figured out and me, with 20 years of actual business experience must have it wrong.

Why did this happen? How did this happen?

I’m going to show you how the content you consume impacts your emotional state, goals, and profitability. And I’m going to implore you to think more critically about who you follow, the messages you take in and who you learn from.

The best way I can sum up the problem I’m seeing right now, primarily on Instagram, is categorization.

“You are either this or that” posts –  One portraying only negative characteristics and the other side only portraying positive characteristics.

I’ll give you two real examples:

One image compared solopreneurs to CEO’s. The take away was that being a solopreneur is bad and being a CEO is where you want to be.

But here’s what we miss in the categorization: being a solopreneur is a great thing. I know tons of successful solopreneurs that are incredible strategic thinkers, and have crafted highly profitable businesses that allow the person to create real tangible wealth for themselves.

I love the solopreneur business model,  especially if the solopreneur has an amazing right hand administrative person and makes great use of technology.

Plenty of solopreneurs over the years have scaled, yes you can scale a business as a solopreneur to multiple six figures with VERY VERY VERY low expenses, potentially generating more profit than a 7 figure or multiple 7 figure business.

Solopreneurs take sabbaticals, usually have a variety of different ways they make money that are incredibly fulfilling to them, they make fantastic ad hoc team members in larger companies or partnerships with other solopreneurs.

Paul Jarvis wrote the book Company of One from this perspective, a book that I highly recommend even to the CEO’s I coach who are running big businesses.

This is the primary reason that I teach frameworks and NOT formulas or a specific system; because the frameworks you learn and implement when you are working with me either in The BRAVE Society or in my mastermind, will fit any size business. 

My frameworks are meant to be tailored and customized by YOU. 

What a framework does is ensure you don’t have a blank page. It doesn’t give you the page to a playbook.

The BRAVE Society is designed for business owners — you can be a solopreneur, freelancer, micro business — a micro business is a business that has probably under 10 employees/contractors and is in the multiple 6 to low 7 figures in revenue.

Being clear on what type of business you want to have is monumentally important, and the danger of letting someone else inform that decision WILL impact your emotional state .

If you want to be a solopreneur and are being told solopreneurs are always frazzled, don’t have a delegation mindset, and are stunted in growth, this leaves people feeling not good enough, lonely, isolated and that will drive you to pick a different goal; perhaps a goal that might not be right for you and in choosing that goal, it will cost you money.

When I think about the investments I’ve made in my business, they were incredibly risky. 

Like the time I made $35K one year and then invested $30K in a mastermind the next year. 

Not only is that risky but that came with a lot of privilege. 

The privilege of having money in savings and a partner who could cover some of the bills, in addition to all the privilege that had gotten me to that point. 

However, I was investing in what I saw 3-5 years down the line for me which was to be running a larger company. 

Why? Because that’s where my strengths and passions lie.

My big dream is to be like Marcus Lemonis from the Profit, where I invest in businesses that are underperforming and I go take them over, make the big decisions, find creative revenue generating solutions, make efficiency improvements and yield crazy amounts of profit.

This is why I love working with people like you. 

I get to be a sounding board, a partner, and help you make decisions that will lead to epic revenue growth, greater efficiency and ultimately LOADS of profit with minimal debt.

And all of that starts with identifying what kind of business you want to run, and finding the right resources to help you do that at ANY SIZE. 

Your wealth isn’t dependent on making 7 figures in your business. 

Your wealth is dependent on you making the right decisions and investments to create profitability, and then knowing what to do with that profit…and the answer isn’t plowing it all back into your business.

Here is another graphic I saw on the ‘gram which is similar to the solopreneur to CEO graphic, but pissed me off way more, if I’m being completely honest.

The comparison was Coach in the negative light, and leader in the positive light;  implying your goal is to go from a Coach which this genius associated with a freelancer, to a leader which was associated with someone who makes money primarily from courses and memberships.

I’m going to be real honest — this is toxic and untrue.

I know many coaches with 1:1 coaching practices, (and if you’re not a coach but have a 1:1 model this applies to you as well) that are making BIG money.

The money you make as a coach isn’t a function of your title, but a function of your skills, abilities, value you bring, and the transformation your clients receive from working with you.

Unlike what this person suggested, you are NOT being paid dollar per hour and there is a tremendous amount of efficiency to be applied to 1:1 work that does help you scale.

In addition, I know MANY coaches who are also LEADERS. 

Leaders are NOT defined by their title, occupation, how much money they make or how big their following is.

Here is the next categorization that is doing harm:

If you run a business that is under 7 figures or under $500K then you are broke, not wealthy, burned out and exhausted with a fuck ton of mindset BLOCKS. I don’t personally believe in blocks, I believe in hurdles.

If you run a business that is over 7 figures — everything is perfect and there is no struggle.

This is a false dichotomy. It’s horseshit. Poppycock. Balderdash.

There are challenges, hurdles, obstacles which all create opportunity to learn and grow at every level. If you don’t have challenges, if you aren’t making mistakes, if you aren’t failing then you aren’t succeeding. 

The very definition of entrepreneur “is a person who organizes and operates a business or businesses, taking on greater than normal financial risks in order to do so.”

Also, the way revenue is talked about in these contexts are oftening saying “you are your revenue”,  which is untrue, and again damaging to your mental, emotional and financial well being.

And I’m going to give you one more categorization or false dichotomy:

Relationship selling is negative, bad, exhausting, not enough to bring you the leads you need and you want to be automated, bringing in tons of cold traffic, and use sales psychology.

Listen, it depends. 

It depends on what you’re selling but what matters more than anything is how you feel comfortable selling.

But to think that any sale happens outside a relationship isn’t going to get you very far.

 I know a lot of shy people – not introverts per se because that’s another myth perpetuated on the internet that introverts are shy –  who flock to the internet because they think the answer to their sales problem is the click to buy strategy.

But if you’re waiting around for someone to click to buy, you might be waiting a long time.

The answer to loving sales and becoming a great salesperson is training and gaining actual sales skills.

I’m a huge proponent of strengths based leadership but if sales is your weakness you need to train it. As a business owner, your first title is commissioned sales person.

Here is what I want you to take away from this — YOU CAN RUN ANY KIND OF BUSINESS YOU WANT AND YOU CAN DO IT WITH EFFICIENCY, PROFITABILITY, NO DEBT ALL WHILE BUILDING YOUR NET WORTH, being a parent, having a life, with all the tech or no tech at all. 

As a matter of fact, the more you step into what is right and true for you, make the decisions that align with what YOU want and not what you’re consuming from others, THE MORE MONEY YOU WILL MAKE AND WILL WAY MORE EASE.

The BRAVE Society is specifically designed for 4 types of people:

  • Business owners who are looking to be profitable, efficient, and master revenue creation at any level. Your next revenue goal is $250K. I will say I personally work much better with business owners who have either been in business for 3 or more years OR who are transitioning from working for someone else to working for themselves but they have a credible resume.
  • You are looking for frameworks and models that will help you evolve your business in alignment with YOUR values and desires.
  • You need a cash flow friendly investment because you have bought all the courses, the $30,000 branding package, or invested in a coach who disappointed you and you need a place to heal financially, mentally, and emotionally.
  • You’re curious about what it’s like to work with me and you’re interested in working with me 1:1 or in our mastermind that opens once a year in the fall.

Important links to share:

Listen in on CEO Debriefs and Get 10 BOLD Questions for your own debrief.

The BRAVE Society

Follow Tara over on Instagram

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