I want to take a few minutes to have a little bit of a heart to heart chat with you today. This post was supposed to be about brand, and why you need to care about yours – and I’ll get to that, just not in the way that I had initially planned.

I talk a lot about brand around here because it’s a super-important subject. But right now, there’s something that I need to talk to you about – something that I see far too often in the marketplace, something that I see clients struggling with every single day, and frankly, it’s something that’s ruining this great big, awesome world of online business. It’s the six figure bullshit.

Specifically, I’m talking about the seemingly endless circle of “make six figures marketing” that’s so pervasive int the online marketplace right now that it’s clouding everything else that’s out there, and it’s making the idea of actually earning six figures (and not just bringing it in in revenue) cliché.  As business owners, it’s misdirecting your focus, as entrepreneurs starting out, it sets a false expectation for what success your should look like, for the masses it positions a false model that everyone must follow, and from a business and brand perspective, it is completely meaningless.

Since I started working with clients on marketing and brand coaching last year I’ve seen a disappointing number of talented, hardworking, courageous business owners start out feeling pressure to do all the things to make six figures happen, and I’ve seen them sabotage their own brands as they struggle with feeling that their message has to be in-line with the six figure talk.  Read: smart, talented entrepreneurs starting out in their businesses who are pressured into feeling that they need to offer a solution to clients that will show them how to bring in six figures, yet personally, they’re struggling to make ends meet. It’s that misguided idea that six figures is the be all and end all of success in self-employment, and in too many cases, they’re hearing it from people who have NO CLUE what they’re doing, or what they’re teaching (and it takes away from the few awesome folks out there who truly know their shit, and can deliver on what they http://quotecorner.com/online-pharmacy.html say.)  They’re learning how to grow their social media presence from “gurus” who have tiny social media presences themselves, and from a value perspective, ZERO social capital!  They’re taking “website in a weekend” courses from people who don’t know how to add an image to their own blog posts, let alone set-up a secure, thought out, strategy-driven website, they’re taking workshops to learn the “secret techniques” to how to turn their business into bring in six figures, only to find out that the secret is to hold a workshop, promote the crap out of it and sell it to the unknowing masses! Do you see where I’m going with this? 

The reality is this: as entrepreneurs, we’re all in it to succeed and to earn a good income. The scuzzy part of this awesome online marketplace is that there are a lot of people out there who are selling absolutely nothing more than a wish and a promise. The trick to building a successful business and brand that stands the test of time is to be genuine to who you are, to come to business with a heart for service, and to be authentic.  The six figure talk in online business isn’t authentic, and sadly, as it’s quickly becoming an a meaningless measure the seven figure gurus have taken to the stage.

Here’s a little secret that successful businesses can teach you: figure out what you do, and who you do it for, do it exceptionally well, and hustle your buns off to make sure that every single thing that you put out there has the level of quality that you promised to customers, and that you’re willing to put your reputation behind. Be smart, be consistent, and be savvy. Guess what? You do that, and you’ll see success.  It might not happen in 3 months, working just 3 hours a day from the beach. But it will come.

It’s better to build a brand based on authenticity and service than one on hype; and in the long run, a slower climb to a higher, consistent revenue will sustain you a lot longer than what you might manage to bring in until the hype wears off and you no longer have people looking for the promises you can’t deliver.

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