A good salad is nutritious and healthy and it also tastes good.
A good salad is pretty easy to make, but it does require one non-negotiable:
If your lettuce is dilapidated, the tomatoes are soggy, the radishes are flavorless, and the arugula is gooey then you won’t end up with a good salad no matter what you do.
Does that mean that bad salads don’t exist? No, in fact, they are everywhere. Many restaurants serve a flavorless salad on the side, add a lot of dressing, and hope you don’t notice.
O.k. Caroline, but what does any of this have to do with running a business? I don’t own a restaurant!
I’ll tell you:
Your business is the salad. When you have quality ingredients, making the salad and making it taste good is easy. The salad is fresh and crispy. The tomatoes are sweet and pop in your mouth. The arugula has that exciting bite. The feta cheese is creamy and tangy.
But when the tomatoes are soggy and the ingredients are stale, you’ll need to add a lot of Thousand Islands Dressing to make it taste like anything at all.
In the world of business, Thousand Islands Dressing is things like:
- aggressive sales pitches with lots of red arrows and fake count-down timers (count-down timers can be helpful, if they’re real)
- joining endless groups to give people free advice in the hope that they’ll hire you
- being on the “right” social media platform
- doing a very expensive website re-design
- adding endless bonuses that expire at midnight
- posing on yachts and posting those pics to social, to “prove” how successful you are
- a very long list of prices expressing the “value” of everything included, adding up to thousands of dollars, but you can buy it all for just 49.99
- not helping people get clear on what you offer, but instead trying to scare people into buying, by telling them that the sky will fall if they don’t (even if the sky will be just fine)
- doing lots of crazy sales that leave you feeling resentful
- discounting sessions and giving away your time for free in the hope that someone will be interested
- endlessly chasing after people even if they’ve indicated they aren’t interested
- trying all the latest marketing must-haves: the funnel scripts, the must-have copy, the fancy design, the webinar formula, the paid ads and the daily facebook lives
- working for free in exchange for promised exposure and future clients
Are you tired yet, reading through that exhausting list of quick-fix tactics?
Your non-ideal customers won’t notice. They weren’t there for the salad anyway. They wanted steak and the salad was just an excuse so they could tell their mom they ate their vegetables.
But the right-for-you clients do notice. They were hoping for crispy and healthy and something different, but instead they get smothered in oil and sugar.
So, what are the quality ingredients?
These are your qualities and services that go deep: they go to the heart of who you are.
- The skills you could do in your sleep.
- The goals that you know – deep in your bones – you’re here to make happen.
- The combination of qualities that your clients can’t get anywhere else.
- The viewpoint you can’t believe other people think is unusual (because it’s so obvious to you).
- The gifts that make what you do, so uniquely you.
If you find yourself feverishly running to try the lastest business dressings, chances are, you don’t have a salad dressing problem (and deep down, you know it). You have an ingredient problem. You’re not clear on what you really want to be doing, what you really need to be offering, and why it really matters.
So you’re running around trying to find the perfect enticing sauce, when in fact, that is not going to attract your right clients at all. You end up with people who don’t really want what you do but it was cheap, or easy, or they liked all the attention. They went for the salad with all the dressing, even though they wanted steak. Just so that they could say they had some salad too.
Your business is the salad. Don’t cover it in dressing. Get quality ingredients instead.Click to tweet
This doesn’t apply to starting businesses only. When you’ve been around for a while, you still need to revisit your ingredients from time to time. Maybe it’s time to swap the tomatoes for some asparagus. Or add some bell peppers instead of carrots.
Having a quality business doesn’t mean that your ingredients will never change. It means that you make sure the ingredients are right, before you worry about adding sauce. Chances are, when your ingredients are right, you don’t need sauce. Just a little olive oil and lemon will be all it needs.
Need some help finding your quality ingredients? I love helping sensitive people get to the core. Set up a Biz Clarity Call with me here and we’ll get you back on track.