3 Phrases That Keep You Small

“The problem is…”

That used to be one of Julie’s favorite phrases.

Until her friend Kathy pointed out how good she was at pointing out problems.

Instead of solutions.

That phrase was keeping Julie small.

It was the way she thought.

And the way Julie thought appeared in her life with depressing regularity – knotty problems showed up all over the place.

In fact, some days all Julie could see was problems.

But she was so good at spotting them!

When you actually make up your mind to change your thoughts, your life changes.  Duh.

Julie got rid of that phrase in 8 weeks.

Her business doubled in less than seven months.

If you’re stuck at a certain level in your business, you’re keeping yourself there.

Here is a way to stop the sabotage and nudge your mind out of the ruts.

3 Phrases that Keep You Small

1. “I don’t have the money”

Sasha sobbed and whined for 10 years about what a great film she could make if she only had $5M.

One day she picked up a $200 digital camera, wrote a script, and shot her first web episode.

Last night she was a finalist for a Shorty award for best Web show.

She has been recently featured in 6 cool blogs here and in Europe for her web series.

She didn’t need the $5M.

She did need to say good-bye to her favorite problem.

Don’t throw money at your problem.

Throw your ingenuity, your creativity, your street smarts.

You will have a far more inventive brain, not to mention a more flexible, creative, and successful business.

2. “I’m too busy”

OK, this is painful.

You don’t have the time because you don’t want the time.

You’re scared of what might happen if you had it.

Either for traumatic reasons which are beyond the scope of this article, or because being busy is safe, and looks productive, so you don’t want to give it up.

John was suffering in his $200K business. He wanted to write novels, not run a business. And the daily trivia was eating him alive.

One day he ran out of the office and signed up at a gym.

He felt incredibly guilty. He worked out for an hour, and sneaked back to his desk.

At first, his employees guessed where he’d been and sneered. His family didn’t understand why he was “goofing off.” But he kept at it.

John had stumbled onto one of the golden secrets of time management: He began to manage his energy, not his time.

Six years later, he has outsourced most of his employee work.
His business hit half a million.
He’s published his third novel.
He takes time for lunch every day.
And he’s still working out.

John is acutely aware of what brings his energy up, and what saps it.

He is a black-belt at energy management.

And all the time he needed magically appeared.

3. “I can’t.”

I hate to tell ya, but this is code for “I won’t.”

There is someone out there with your exact same problem who said “I can…”

And they made it happen – wealth, love, super health, fame, you name it.

They said “I can” and did what it took to get there.

Because when you say “I can’t,” you are telling the world that you’re comfortable with your problems, thank you. You’re not going to budge.

Get your mind out of this highly dangerous rut – now.

Just say “I won’t” instead of “I can’t” and see if you cringe.


Time for that phrase to disappear – your life is waiting.

Nothing is impossible but the limits you set.  Nothing.

Are you in love with your service or your market?

Jo was the answer to an entrepreneur’s prayer.

Her business systems demolished the clutter and produced million-dollar profits for grateful CEO’s.

So why was she hurting for clients?

“It’s one thing to market what you want to sell,” she said with a resigned grin.

 “It’s another thing to market what they want to buy.”
What’s the answer?

Sell them what they want. Deliver what they need.

Some might call this manipulative.

Have you every tried to make a 4-year-old take a bath when she didn’t want to?

What did you finally do to get her in the tub?

  • Coaxing
  • Teasing
  • Wheedling
  • Telling her how much fun baths are
  • Offering chewing-gum bubble bath
  • Threatening her with only one bedtime story
  • Threatening her with no bedtime story
  • Declaring time-outs
  • Plea-bargaining…


Giving in and allowing her to finger-paint the tub while you bathe her.

Would you call those efforts manipulative? Or would you call them parenting?

You sell your 4-year-old what she wants. (finger-painting the tub)

While you deliver what she needs. (A bath)

Jo wanted to market her incredible series of systems. But no one wants a system.

The trap she fell into was

1) Jo fell in love with her service.

2) Then she tried to market what she loved.

She found herself painting incredible word-pictures of how great the systems were…Offering discounts, coaxing, painting dire pictures of bad systems…

And tearing her hair out because “No one got it.”

It finally dawned on Jo that she was not respecting her clients.

They didn’t want incredible systems.

They wanted more money, freedom, fun, and time.

Drilling down, they wanted:

To make more money without more people

To leave work at 6 instead of 10

To have happier repeat customers

To take long weekends

To (gasp!) enjoy their workday

When Jo started respecting her clients, her approach was completely different.

She used a silver bullet:

“Give me 60 minutes and I can tell you how to make more money with less people.”

She used a story:

“When I met Mark, he was working 12-hour days, struggling to meet payroll, and too busy to grow.  Six months later he brought in over half a million, worked 8-hour days, and took his family to Italy for 2 weeks.”

She spoke only to their desires: money, freedom, time, and fun.

She realized her systems were just the bus that got them there.

She began to enjoy marketing, because clients were coming out of the woodwork.

In two months, Jo had a waiting list.

And very happy clients – because she delivered what they needed most.

Are you in love with your service or your market?

Marketing what you want to sell might leave you very frustrated.

Marketing what they want to buy might make you more money.

As long as you deliver what they really need.

Try it. It works!

p.s. Disclaimer: I am not a parent, just an aunt. If I have offended anyone’s parenting style, I sincerely apologize.


How to Be The Answer to Your Client’s Prayer

Elizabeth was an expert teacher and healer.

Potential clients saw her as a great help.

Elizabeth wanted future clients to see her, not as “great help,” but as essential to their well-being.

But clients often don’t see you as essential unless you directly impact the bottom line.

“How can I stop being seen as the “help” – as in “I help men and women heal from cancer and chronic illness?” Elizabeth sighed. “People just don’t get what I do!”

If you provide a service where money is not the bottom line,how do you position yourself as a Trusted Advisor?

Or maybe even… the answer to their prayers?

You let your future clients know within the first two minutes that you impact their emotional or physical bottom line.

Their what?!

We all have several bottom lines.

If you need to lose weight, you’re very clear on your physical bottom line – it’s about 20 lbs lighter.

If you want to find your soul mate, you’re very clear on your emotional bottom line – it’s called “Happily Ever After.”

If you are critically or chronically ill, you’re very clear on your health bottom line – it’s pain-free long life.

The closer you are to your client’s personal bottom line, the more valuable you are to them.

Here’s how Susan, Jackie, and Jeff, all experts in their field, were presenting themselves:

SUSAN SAYS: “I help my clients lose weight and get in the best shape of their lives.”

YOU THINK:     “Go away so I can sneak another Danish.”

JACKIE SAYS: “I help women find the relationship of their dreams.”

YOU THINK:     “Gosh, I’ve never heard that one before.”

JEFF SAYS:      “I help my clients heal from cancer and chronic illness.”

YOU THINK :   “Great. You’re probably too ‘New Age’ for me.”

The problem for Susan, Jackie and Jeff was…

  1. Potential clients didn’t see their expertise as critical to their lives.
  2. They gave their audience no clue that they were the answer to a client’s prayer.
  3. They were therefore perceived as “Helpful” service providers.
  4. All three experts even used the verb – “I help.”

Here’s how Susan, Jackie and Jeff repositioned themselves as Trusted Advisors, or, the answer to a client’s prayer.

Susan:  “I just worked with Jennifer, who went from a size 10 to a 4. The new man in her life asked her if she was a model. 95% of my clients achieve their ideal weight in 6 to 18 months.”

Jackie: “85% of my clients are in a committed relationship in 12 months. I’m invited to so many weddings I can’t go to them all.”

Jeff:  “When I met Joan, the doctors had given up on her. She was too weak to get out of bed. 1 month later she was walking. 12 months later she opened her own business, and now she’s training for her first marathon.”

When your clients look at you… do they see a Helper? Or the answer to their prayers?

You either add to their personal bottom line, or you don’t.

That’s how clients see it.

So if you want to be seen as a Trusted Advisor… (and I’ve never met a professional who didn’t) let your potential clients know within the first two minutes how you add to their personal bottom line.

Don’t be one of the crowd.
Be the answer to their prayer.
Try it! It works!


Always Mention the Elephant Under the Rug

Kathy was a crackerjack sales expert who could teach anyone to sell.

When people asked her what she did, she told them:

“I show entrepreneurs how to start making money to the tune of an extra 4-5 figures each month.”

So why weren’t people signing up in droves?

Kathy loved sales so much, that she forgot…

nearly everyone she talked to hated sales…

and secretly hoped their marketing efforts would bring in the business…

so they wouldn’t have to “sell” – ugh.

Kathy was ignoring the Elephant Under the Rug, or the Big Objection.

We all have one.

It’s the Big Objection that your prospects are afraid of, and that keeps them away from you.

Because no one ever talks about it.

Here are some Big Objections:

THEY SAY: I show entrepreneurs how boost sales by 4-10K a month.

YOU THINK: Oh sure!  Easy for you to say!  I hate sales!

THEY SAY:  I increase my client’s business with mobile marketing.

YOU THINK: Your service would never work for me.  I don’t even know what it is.

THEY SAY: We show overwhelmed professionals how to simplify their portfolios.

YOU THINK:   What makes you any better than my investment guy?

THEY SAY: I sell a skin care cream that takes 8 years off your face in 12 weeks.

YOU THINK:  MLM!  (Gasp!)  You want me to pester my family and friends!

THEY SAY:  We increased visitors to a healthcare site from 3.6M to 6M a month.

YOU THINK:  I couldn’t possibly afford that.

What’s the solution?

  1. Find the top 3 Secret Objections all your prospects have.
  2. Mention each one casually as you talk to people.
  3. This lowers their anxiety, since you brought up the bogeyman first.
  4. Handle the objection before they have a chance to turn you off.

Kathy realized that if she talked out loud about how people dreaded sales, they paid much closer attention.

She began throwing in stories like these:

“When I met Julie she was afraid of those sleazy sales tricks she’d heard other people use.

“Now Julie has a whole new outlook on what selling really is. And she quadrupled her sales in 5 months.”

By deliberately mentioning “sleazy sales tricks,” Kathy…

  1. Acknowledges that she knows what her prospects are thinking.
  2. Demonstrates that it’s possible to quadruple sales without sleazy tricks.
  3. Neutralizes the fear that her prospects have of sales.
  4. Opens a much wider door to working with her.

What’s the Elephant under Rug in your Business?

What’s the biggest secret objection people have to working with you?

Mention the objection, neutralize it, and you will have far more engaged listeners…

who will be much closer to working with you.

Because they trust you a lot more.

Try it!  It works!

Eat Dessert First

EAT DESSERT FIRST:  Tell them your results and THEN tell them what you do.

The Primitive Brain will pay much more attention to you.

In the You’re So Brilliant, Why Don’t They Buy series, we discovered an interesting phenomenon.

Tell people the results you get first.  Then tell them what you do.

You’ll get much more attention.

Wake up the Old Brain with an amazing story, in other words – GET THEIR ATTENTION FIRST – and then tell them what you do.

It’s hard to do (try it!) because it’s counter-intuitive, but it can produce some amazing results for you.

Remember, you’re talking to a polite stranger (in person or on the net) and you’re also talking to a 450,000 reptilian brain that is secretly scanning you to see if you’ve got anything interesting to offer.  And it had better be good.

Kathy Eppley, of astoundyourself.com, gets pretty remarkable results with her clients.  When asked what she did, she said, “I teach people how to take bored, stalled, stuck and struggling and turn it into passionate, powerful six & seven figure profits, quickly and easily, so they can have more freedom, fun and security now.”

That’s a good answer, but there are a lot of words in there.  The only problem is, the Primitive Brain, which is the only brain that triggers decisions (see NEUROMARKETING by Patrick Renvoise and Christophe Morin) likes word pictures, beginnings, and endings.  It doesn’t like “the middle.”

What does that mean?  If you explain yourself in a really loooooong sentence, or if you use 3-4 sentences to explain what you do, the person may be listening to you with a polite smile, but their Old Brain has hit the snooze button.

That’s because the Old Brain doesn’t like “the middle.”  You know how someone’s telling a really good story and taking too long and you want to say, “Get to the good part!”

That’s how the Primitive, or Old brain works.  It likes short stories, beginnings and endings, word pictures, and high contrast.

So we took Kathy’s results and what she did and flipped them around.

See if you like the difference:

Kathy, what do you do?

Kathy:  “Let me give you an idea…  When I met Peggy she was scared – she had $67 to her name. At the end of 11 months she had made over $350K.”

Did Kathy tell you what she does?


But can you Peggy, broke and scared, and then making 350K?


Here’s the question:  Do you want to hear more?


Why?  Kathy just delivered a perfect Old Brain message.  It’s a short story, it has a scary beginning and a happy ending.  It has no middle.  It also has great word pictures – we can all picture broke Peggy – and it has high contrast ($67 – $350,000), another favorite of the Old Brain.

NOW that she’s got our attention, Kathy can tell us what she does, because we’re hooked.  We want more.

“So Kathy what do you do?”

“I teach women at the end of their rope how to transform a bored, broke and struggling business into passionate, powerful 6-figure profits, in 12 months or less.”

Furthermore, because she started with the story of Peggy, our defenses have been unconsciously lowered (the Old Brain loves stories and lets them right in.)  So, we’re far more likely to believe Kathy can do what she claims.

Giving your results first is strangely hard to do, because we are all so programmed to answer the question, like polite children.

However, it is far more important to capture the full attention, interest, and curiosity of the Old Brain FIRST, and then deliver your service.

Would you be as interested in Kathy, even though her message is really good –

“I teach women at the end of their rope how to transform a bored, broke and struggling business into passionate, powerful 6-figure profits, in 12 months or less.”

If she told you that first?

Or did hearing about Peggy prime the pump?

Work with the Old Brain. Speak to it, intrigue it, make it curious, give it what it wants, and you will be rewarded with far more focused attention than you are used to.

Try giving one sentence of your results first next time.  Let me know what happens.

Curiosity 10X

Curiosity is the single biggest factor your can possibly use in selling. Now you may freeze and think that I want you to sell your services or product whenever you speak.  Not at all!  I don’t want you to sell them on your services or product. However, I do want you to sell them on you.

I do want you to be remembered. I know how difficult it is for people to remember especially with the amount of information we are bombarded with today.  If you create curiosity interest and hunger for what you do this is fabulous. You are marketing yourself in a whole new way.  But I do not call this a sales technique because there is no direct selling at all. (So no worrying! )

Pattern Recognition

Human beings are about pattern recognition.  If you tell me you’re a realtor, or attorney, or network marketer, my brain immediately goes to work and in nano-seconds I have you pegged, and I think I know all I need to know about you.  Wrong.  The Speak Your Business system is designed for pattern interrupt.  Where you interrupt the patterns that have already been created – even before you open your mouth, – you are re-writing the script in their brain, and you’re taking control of the conversation in a way very few people do.

No One’s Listening

Communication.  In many cases, people meet, tell each other what they do, the pattern recognitions take over, and NO COMMUNICATION HAS TAKEN PLACE. Someone tells you she’s a realtor, you think…

  1. You know everything about what she does.
  2. You don’t need one, and
  3. You stop listening. You’re polite, you smile and nod, but you’ve stopped listening.

No communication has taken place.  This is a dangerous waste of time, it happens all the time, and the Speak Your Business system is designed to stop it.