The Invisible Business: Why It Hurts on a Deeper Level

Service entrepreneurs come to me because they want to be Brain-Sticky: they want
to be compelling, memorable and original in the crowded marketplace. Often, in our
first call, they are excited and prattling off the things they think make them different
enough: I really listen; I ask penetrating questions; With me, they take action; I’m
very intuitive; Clients can reach me on the weekends, etc.

This is when I have to play bad-cop.

To coaches who tell me that they’re intuitive, take people to action, and listen really
deeply, I say, “That’s what a coach does. It’s in the job description,” at which point,
the newer ones instantly deflate and announce, “I don’t think there IS anything very
special about me, then.”

The pain I hear in their voice runs deep.
When we’re in business for ourselves, there
is very little separation between “what we
offer” and “who we are.” If we aren’t offering
something special, things get collapsed and
we start thinking we’re not special. And there
is no fate worse for a service entrepreneur
than not being special. If we can’t separate
ourselves from our work, it’s safe to say we
can’t separate our egos from our work–and it is a bitter pill to swallow that
we may not be special enough to fulfill our mission and have an impact on the

From the moment we’re born, every one of us wants to be special. Even as teenagers,
when blending in is ‘in’, we want to stand out to our best friend, our boyfriend, our
teachers, our sports team. Every one of us dies a little every time someone we admire
or love overlooks us. It is the human imperative to be noticed, seen, wanted,
valued–i.e. recognized as special.

This doesn’t go away when we “grow up” and become business owners. In fact, the
need is often augmented then, put on display, if we’ve had a history of being ignored
and passed over. But for others, the existential human need to be different and special
still exists. And in business, it certainly exists. It is an absolute truism: you must
be special to succeed in your own business.

So, for those whose business identities lack the “stand out” factor, there is a double-
blow: their human fear of not being good-enough/special-enough is triggered as well
as the very real potential that they will fail in business.

And for those who are visionaries, this is acutely painful…and unacceptable. If you
are here to effect change in big ways and fulfill a mission bigger than yourself, you
won’t achieve it feeling small and insignificant like you did in gym class, or by
closing up shop.

The problem is, however, that the most prevailing branding and differentiating
advice out there is superficial and not long-term Brain-Sticky. If you’re here to make
change, you must stand out in a substantive way. No gimmicks and bling.  (And no
features and benefits, either.)

Return for Part 2 tomorrow, as I share the most commonly accepted strategies for differentiation and why they don’t go far enough for any service provider—but
particularly not for those with visions to change the world. Until then, give it some
thought: how has not having a solidly different business identity pulled
on your
in-bred human fear of not being seen, wanted, valued…special enough?

Does “Changing the World” Seem Too Big for You?

In my new business incarnation, I use terms like ”change the world,” “mission” and
“leader.” A colleague of mine, who’s been in business for years, told me she wants
to feel that she has a BIG PURPOSE, but her specialty doesn’t seem to be evoking it.
She does very helpful things for her target market, but she’s not sure it’s going to
change the world or make her a leader. Now, she hasn’t worked with me, and
that’s exactly what I can do with her, but because I know she’s not alone, I thought
I would share some direction about this.

Before we go further, however, let’s get this out of the way: if you are an expert on
earth at this time, chances are very good that you are here with a bigger mission
than you are now realizing. Millions are waking up to a powerful call to impact. If
you know that (as she does) but just can’t “get at the itch”—relax, it’s going to come.
If you don’t know it at all and you’re very happy doing just what you’re doing, no
world-changing needed, then–at least for now–this whole idea isn’t for you.
However, you could be attracting far more business with just a slight change
in perspective. (I’ll write more about that in an upcoming post.)

If you’re like my colleague and can feel it “in there somewhere,” don’t be scared by
the idea of “changing the world” and being a “leader.” They’re part of your new job
description and with help, they will feel entirely natural (and destined) for you. I
want to help you see that the whole process is akin to moving from the shore into
tepid water, rather than skydiving off Mt.Kilimanjaro.

The fact is, there is only one thing standing between you and changing the world
as a leader of change. Only one thing that makes “those who know and are doing it”
different from you, and that is: a passionate belief.

There is something you believe fiercely that you are simply not bringing to your
business. It’s not shaping your “Store Front” (business identity), or reflected or
discussed in your programs/information products/speeches–and it’s not pivotal
in your marketing.

That’s it. No big mystery. No huge hurdle. If you aren’t “feeling it”—it’s because
you’re not feeling a passionate belief. Which could mean you’re not feeling a lot of
anything—maybe your “winning formula” in life has been to be highly intellectual
and not feel. It does require feeling to change the world, for certain. And a
passionate belief is what will get you feeling. It is then woven into absolutely
everything you do as a business owner.

You see, changing the world doesn’t have to mean that you “have a dream” that
literally touches every person on the globe—though, aspire for that, I say! And
being a leader doesn’t have to mean standing on a platform that millions can see—
though…! It means that you have a belief you cannot contain inside your own
skin and you know it will solve a problem.

You have it. I know you have it. For years, I have worked with countless visionary
entrepreneurs (coaches, consultants, wellness practitioners, speakers, authors),
and in our work,every single one of them excavates a passionate belief—their
leadership message.
You can, too. Indeed, it is time.

Now, I’d be remiss if I didn’t point out that a passionate belief is all well and good,
but without strong internal conditioning, it will fall limp. A leader must call
herself to very high personal standards to actually lead and effect change. But that’s
for another time.

Right now—just live and breathe this question: What do I believe passionately?

Join me on a very special call Feb 23–A Time to Lead: Do You Dare? Read more

Inspired Leaders’ Academy Launches!






Do you feel an unrelenting, driving purpose to contribute to the empowerment
of the planet…and a clarity that that purpose should be manifested as a business,
not a hobby or volunteer cause…and a business that must succeed because your
is that important to the world…and because freedom, creativity and
autonomy is that important to your spirit? Do you have a powerful belief that
things in the world can be changed–and must be changed—and that we’re all
, at this critical point in history, to change them? And that YOU are here at
this critical time in history to help LEAD that change with a penetrating message
…on a much bigger stage than any you’ve stood on before? And…are you
determined to do whatever it takes?

Inspired Leaders’ Academy is your home: The Definitive Business School for
Visionary Entrepreneurs Changing the World.

It’s fitting to launch this new venture on Martin Luther King Jr’s official birthday.
He was, of course, one of the great inspired leaders of our times, and Inspired
Leaders’ Academy is dedicated to building a “special forces unit” of leaders
dedicated to empowering the world to higher ground…visionary entrepreneurs
ready to break the rules, thrive in a business, and change  the world their message.

I’ve built the Academy to be specifically designed for you–because as a business
owner called to change the world, there’s something you need to know: you are in a DIFFERENT BUSINESS than the vast majority of other service-based entrepreneurs
and so you must DO business differently. And it’s critical that you build or reinvent
your business inside  of a curriculum that understands that difference, or you’ll
spend years you can’t afford on the wrong track.

Your messaging is more important for you than for any other type of entrepreneur
out there…

At Inspired Leaders’ Academy, you build a business empire based on your one-of-
a-kind inspirational leadership message. The free training video on the homepage
explains not just how ILA is different, but it goes into the 5 ways you are different
from all other business owners, the 6 ways you must DO business differently, the
6-step “sales path” you need your prospects to walk in order for you to build a
thriving business that changes the world, and the 8-step path *you* must walk in
order to manifest that sales path. It’s a lot of  essential information. I hope you’ll
go watch it now.

Here’s to 2012 and the outrageous potential within you to change the world with
your message!!!

Do You Dare to Lead?

In some circles, I say that I am in the business of communication–
but the bigger truth is that I’m in the business of developing leaders
of change
, who, of course, must communicate with extraordinary
skill. Throughout most of history, leaders of change were confined
to the political, academic, religious and corporate stages. In fact, for
thousands of years, all power resided in these arenas, and the “little
person” had virtually no voice.

But as we see these industries crumbling, we are witnessing an historic
“changing of the guard,” as power moves back to the people. Daily,
leaders of change are leaping onto their own make-shift stages,
right there in the middle of a crowd. We have seen this phenomenon
spike dramatically in just three or four years, as YouTube, Amazon,
Facebook and iTunes stage new leaders every day. It doesn’t matter
their age, race, education or economic standing, new voices are rising
to the fore almost by the minute—confident, compelling and effective.
We can expect this sensation to reach a tipping point very soon, as
more and more people claim their power, their “internal authority,”
and lead us all in planetary change.

If you are such a visionary, congratulations. You’ve cleared the highest
hurdle of all: the concern that you are too insignificant to lead, too small
to effect change. Something became more important than your fear and
allowed you to sail over those obstacles.

If you have been hanging back, now is the time to do the same. Now is
the time to recognize that you came here to take the innate, hard-earned
wisdom and knowledge within you and heal others. You are a leader of

But listen: that role carries on its shoulders nothing less than our
collective future. The responsibility is great. But you were born for
the job, so that won’t trip you up. But here’s what might: your need
for approval is greater than your intent for change.
When you
could push the envelope, ruffle feathers, rock the boat, risk criticism
by doing things differently and leading “out of the box”—you will
instead stay safe within it. But unchanged  …and changing nothing.

You do not have time or the luxury any more to ask yourself, am I
a leader
? You are! The question is, do I dare to lead? Or is it more
important for me to follow…the tastes, preferences and safety zones
of others so they admire me? Not for my brilliance, but for keeping
them comfortable?

For the “New Paradigm,” Inspired Leader, the profound, inner
passion to effect change, to impact the future, is greater than the
need for approval. Indeed, the New Paradigm, Inspired Leader turns
away from all external authority and acts from his inner authority,
a power-center of certainty, self-trust and conviction that by its very
definition pulls him to think what others fear to think, do what others
fear to do and go where others fear to go.

The New Paradigm, Inspired Leader follows nothing but her
own truth, no matter how unpopular it may be–because she knows
what engenders change. And change is what matters. She is in
service to others; that’s what matters. She will do what must be done
to serve effectively, with power, impact and integrity.

The world is waiting for you; the stage is lit and ready. It’s time for
you to step up and raise your voice. The question is not anymore, am I
a leader
? The question is, do I dare to lead, and make some uncomfortable?
Is my intent for change greater than my need for approval?

If so, the mic is on. Go give ‘em your best shot.


If you dare move into the New Paradigm of Inspired Leadership…
one step may be the free Virtual Visionaries call Wednesday May 18.
You may sign up for that here. Another will most definitely be
Secrets of Impact & Influence: The 2-Day Event
, coming
to New Jersey, Sept. 23 and 24th. Watch for details!

Can Anyone Else Figure Out Your Message? And Do They Buy It?

48 hours ago, a group of very special people were taking part in the
2nd day of my public speaking training, Secrets of Impact & Influence.
I can’t tell you what they were doing–because that’s one of the secrets–
but they were under some pressure to put into practice everything I
had taught them the day before. I just love doling out pressure to my

Anyway, at a point later in the day, I was helping them look at the big
picture of where their presentation fits into their business–because
they were all visionary entrepreneurs with big messages that they want
to deliver. Here they were, learning how to be better than trained teachers
and absolutely better than 99% of presenters out in the word–but then

Since you have a message, too–and since the time has come for you
to come out of hiding and deliver it–I think it would benefit you, too,
to realize the necessary components of getting out there and successfully
spreading your word while also successfully building a business!

So, you have an idea of what your life-changing message is, and you have
years and years of experience, knowledge, wisdom and insight to share
that will change the world. What I have come to learn myself is that those
with big messages often get buried under the largeness of everything
they know–and have a very  hard time speaking about their messages clearly.

For instance, I can’t tell you how many people say to me, “Lizabeth, I have
so much content. How do I know what to put into a presentation?” They’re
buried…and that’s just pertaining to a single program. What about their
business at large
and trying to describe that in a succinct manner? It’s
just like their content: it’s too big, too unwieldy.

So, how do we speak when something is too big, very UNformed, and
consequently, very unclear? We ramble, go off-point, say things that
have no relevancy to our prospect–and we lose them.

The NUMBER ONE element missing from business clarity AND clarity
around what to put into a presentation is strategic thinking. I’m not
sure why, but most visionary entrepreneurs, with big messages and lots
to give to others, are putting out fires daily and NOT thinking out every
step in their business. They’re trying to make money today, right
now–and not planning how that quick-fix will fit into the long-term, or
even if it does fit in. Very often the class they create on a whim, or the
coaching offer they make just to make money for the month, has no
bearing on the big picture, and they are like hamsters on a wheel, having
to create something new to offer every month. It’s exhausting because
nothing they’re doing has roots. There is no strategy. 

Sounds familiar, huh? So, what can you do? You have to take a time-out;
incubate yourself for a critical period of time and take stock in where
you’re going and how you will make money. Not just for today, but for
always. What is the business model you should be developing that will
work for a good solid few years? That is determined by knowing how you
plan to disseminate your message, ultimately. Do you want to be a coach
only? Do you want to have a radio how with sponsors? Do you want to be
a keynote speaker? Or a trainer, like I am?  You must know who you want
to be at the “pinnacle of your success”–and then build your business model
from that knowledge…and yes, that often means revamping the business
you have had for years!

In this incubation period, you must also check to see just how market-
you really are. Do people want your message, really?? Or has that
been done to death? And if someone does want your message–who
wants it–and do you know why they want it so much? Do you know
what wakes them up in the middle of the night and what they fantasize
about? You must–IF you want to successfully deliver your message
to them.

Also, in your time of incubation, you need to know precisely how
you’re different from everyone else out there. How do you set your-
self apart  in dynamic ways that stand out? Here’s one idea, something
a little radical: stand out by standing on top of a proverbial mountain
top and shouting your “prescription for change in the world.” What is
your belief of what will change the world? (Not your business solution,
but a solution that transcends that; that is a universal truth.) And
here’s the radical part: say that in your marketing. Shout your beliefs
in your marketing. This will set you apart from all others without

Next, in your incubation period, you must come to understand what
your business thesis is. You know what a thesis statement is, right?
Well, you need one–a clear, concise one–for your business. What is
your contention, as the expert of your service? You have one, but I
guarantee you are not building your entire business around a strong,
well-articulated business thesis. Very few businesses do
this–and it is even rarer for the “inspired leader”-type to think this way.

So now, you have a business vision…you know you’re marketable
and why…and to whom, specifically…and what will have you stand
out from everyone else who does what you do…and you have that
“from-the-mountaintop” message…and the thesis statement that
your whole business stands on. Whew! You’ve put yourself into a
strategic pressure cooker!

NOW–and only now– you know HOW you should deliver
your message!
With all of that work, you know what your programs
and presentations should be. No more confusion about having too
much content. Suddenly, your business isn’t unwieldy, and you can
speak about it with crystal clarity and conciseness so people are
interested in hearing your message.

Personally, I believe that all of that strategy needs to be refined so
crisply and tightly that you could express any element of your
business in a single sentence, if asked. So, if someone says, “What
do you do?” You can answer–in a single, potent sentence. If someone
says, “I know someone who does that.” You can swoop in with a
killer sentence that shows them that, no, NO ONE ELSE does what
you do. Here’s how you’re different. And if someone wants to know
the tangible results they’ll get from working with you–you can
rattle them off, like bullet points, in a single sentence.

What you can describe in a single sentence, you fully understand.
What you canNOT, you do not.

I believe there are 12 questions that are always lurking in the minds
of your prospects. If you can craft compelling and pithy answers
to each of them–and speak those–you have the ability to convert.
Period. If you cannot, your conversion rates will be very poor. You
need to have your business identity so refined that you could balance
your business on the head of a pin. It is that clear. Is yours?

My mission is to ensure that visionary entrepreneurs succeed! That
they’re messages are truly received AND that they make money and
have a solid business model that works. I am devoting myself to those
who are changing the world with their messages because failure
is not an option!
They are needed too badly.

To that end, I offer a high-octane online program called “12 Sentences
and it starts next week. It is THE “incubation course” of all time and if
you are ready to birth a business that is powerfully set up to truly deliver
the messages and content you have–I invite you to attend one of the
3 free calls I’m giving this week, where you can find out what the course

Just click right here to sign up for the calls Tuesday, Wed and Thursday
this week.

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