After years of reflection, missed steps, and killing so many ideas before they were ever taken, I realized my expectation was a mechanism to keep me safe, not help me flourish.
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[00:00:00] Kathryn Thompson: After generating over a million dollars in sales and selling one of her businesses with a single email, your host Katherine Thompson, takes an unconventional approach to marketing and sales. So if you are ready to tap into a more powerful way to be seen her and a sought after entrepreneur in your industry without having to spend endless hours marketing your business and chasing clients, you are in the right place.
[00:00:26] Be The Sought After Entrepreneur podcast is here to help you ditch the cookie cutter, one size fits all approach to marketing, and use your unique energy to effortlessly attract the most aligned clients. When you do this, you can. Time marketing your business and more time doing your soul work and enjoying the richness of your life.
[00:00:46] Welcome to Be the Sought After Entrepreneur podcast, and here's your host, Katherine Thompson. Welcome back. Super stoked that you're tuning into this week's episode, and I cannot wait to dive into today's [00:01:00] topic because if you listen to last week's episode, I shared with you how to really stay in that creative flow when you're writing your marketing and sales content and copy, and how to not basically choke hold or stifle that creativity because you're trying to fit yourself into some formula or process or system.
[00:01:22] To writing your marketing and sales content and copy, which ends up just stripping away your voice, in my opinion, and really dilutes who you are and your personality. And so I shared with you in that episode how to do that. But one of the things that I know I struggled with as an entrepreneur was this need to put undue expectation on how I thought things were supposed to look and what ended up happening.
[00:01:50] I pulled the plug on a lot of ideas. I also have an entire, not probably five or six programs or courses inside Cajabi, which is [00:02:00] where I do a lot of my trainings and teachings. If you're not in the online space, The online course creation world, this might sound foreign to you, but if you are or have taken any sort of online courses or whatnot, you'll understand that I have a library of unpublished offers sitting in Cajabi, or I created them, offered them once, and then burnt them to the ground, and.
[00:02:25] I did a lot of self-reflection on why that had happened and why I kept repeating this pattern of never allowing myself really to let things fly for the longest time. Pulling the plug right before things got really freaking good and maybe you can resonate. Maybe you're like sitting there going, oh my, Is she inside my Teachables or Cajabi or thinketh?
[00:02:50] Is she in my business right now? Because I have this list of ideas that I want to execute and I've just been sitting on them, or I tried to launch this product [00:03:00] and it never got the traction. I. Thought it was gonna get, and so I killed it off. This episode is all about helping you manage your expectations when it comes to running your business and putting ideas out into the world so that you don't kill off a really cool freaking idea that's going to take off and it's expectation in my opinion.
[00:03:24] That kills most ideas. I remember when I first entered into the online space, I had taken my first online program. I hired a couch to show me how to do it, and it was very logical, brain driven, and very methodical and calculated. Now, I needed the structure and absolutely loved the structure, but what ended up happening was I got so much in my head about what I needed to do in order to create the success, for example, I needed to have 300 people go through my challenge if I actually wanted to hit my quota of, you know, five or 10 [00:04:00] people.
[00:04:01] And what ended up happening was, is I was in the midst of a launch, midway through the launch, and I hadn't even met that 300 people. 300 people had not signed up. For my challenge. So I pulled the blog on it because I didn't think it was gonna produce the results that I ultimately wanted. And in my brain, I was like, this is a waste of time then, right?
[00:04:23] I'm gonna put in all of this work and I'm not going to get the outcome that I expected. So I killed it, and then I sat there for eight months trying to niche down and clarify my message and clarify my offer, and I spun and I spun for eight months before I launched again. And I held a webinar and I promoted it and I put it out into the world and I ran ads to it, I believe, and I think I had about a hundred people sign up [00:05:00] way better than the challenge I had done eight months prior.
[00:05:04] And I showed up live to deliver this webinar and I was so excited and four people showed up and I had, two of them were friends and two of them I had didn't know and had never heard of before. So I sat there delivering this webinar and I remember getting off of that webinar and I'm not a huge crier, and I remember getting off and being so emotionally exhausted, number one, from pushing so hard for two weeks to promote this webinar.
[00:05:32] And to have four people show up. And two of them were my friends for like emotional support more than anything. And I remember getting off that webinar and literally breaking down and crying because I had put in all this effort and in my brain I was like, it's over. Like, you know, it didn't work again.
[00:05:50] Okay, back to the drawing board. What are we gonna do here? And what ended up happening, someone gave me a really powerful advice in that moment. Um, a coach of mine had. , [00:06:00] you know, it's not over unless you say it's over. Right? You can pull the plug now or. You can say to yourself, no, I'm going to still try to make this work.
[00:06:11] And what ended up happening was is I had four beautiful souls decide way after the webinar, way after the launch, so to speak, that they wanted to enroll as beta members into founding members into my first program. And it was just such a beautiful experience because I think in that moment I really realized and learned.
[00:06:32] This undue expectation we put on things can really choke hold our. But also prevent us from experiencing something maybe that we didn't expect. And that was a really big turning point for me because up until that point, I had been running my businesses from expectation. If I do this, then I expect this.
[00:06:54] If I show up in this way, , I expect this in return, which is a really tough [00:07:00] place to be because it doesn't allow you to actually receive maybe something out of the blue. And what's really beautiful is, is that when we can open ourselves up two. The possibility of maybe something even better happening or lessons needing to be learned.
[00:07:17] I know it sounds so cliche, but we can walk away from that and build on that. And I think this is just my experience. I came into the online world really believing the messages that were being sold. I knew I wanted out of the brick and mortar world, and I was looking for a bit of an escape. And if you've been following me for a while, you've heard this, right?
[00:07:38] I. Looking to escape the current reality I had created, and I was buying into everything that was being sold to me, which a lot of the messages were make X amount of sales in 90 days, right? Become a millionaire overnight. Like all of the things. And I'm a pretty logical and rational human being, and I don't necessarily buy [00:08:00] into all of that stuff, but I definitely did.
[00:08:02] And I thought, oh, I could make this. Success happened basically overnight. And when I entered the online world, I had no audience. I had no offer, no webpage, no social media, nothing. And as you know, you need people to talk to and connect with and have conversations with. If you want to sell what it is that you're selling, that is marketing and sales, right?
[00:08:25] Is being able to connect with people who could benefit from whatever it is that you're putting out into the world. Whether it's a product or a service. You need some type of audience to talk to and have a conversation with. And I had none of that, but I had this expectation that it should just happen over.
[00:08:43] Because that's what was being sold. And I kept looking at my mentors and the people in the world that I was looking up to as what I wanted was what they had created, but maybe had taken 10 years to create, or 13 years or five years, you know, I [00:09:00] was comparing my day one to their day, you know, 10 years, 15 years, whatever it was.
[00:09:06] So, Expectation to me is one of the biggest killers. And so what ended up happening after that webinar, I launched my first program. I had four beautiful women in there. I learned and garnered a lot of information and lessons learned and what I wanted to teach, what I didn't want to teach. And then I turned around and I hosted another challenge that coming summer.
[00:09:30] So, and I, again, it, everything has built off of, built off of, built off of what I've done. But that doesn't mean I haven't burned things to the ground because of this expectation. I think after about six months to nine months of actually launching, I had this idea that I'd be further along than I was in my journey.
[00:09:51] And again, killed a lot of ideas for me and killed a lot of businesses for me, and burned a lot of things down to the ground. And [00:10:00] the reason why I'm sharing this with you is because. There is this expectation that we put on ourselves, whether it is, I feel like I should be further along in my journey.
[00:10:10] Like so-and-so made 500,000 in two years. Like, why I've, I've been doing this for two years and I'm hustling really hard, like why can't I be so-and-so? You know, there's this comparison that ends up happening, this expectation, well if that person can do it in two years, why can't I? Which isn't a bad thing to strive for to some degree, but, , it can really hinder.
[00:10:34] what we do and when we pull the plug on things and I really want to talk about when to, like how to know the difference and really specifically when it comes to marketing and sales content and copy, because this is my area. And so often I'll have people come into my world and they'll say, it's not working, Catherine.
[00:10:54] And I'll say, tell me more. Tell me more what isn't working? And they'll say, well, you know, I put this idea out into [00:11:00] the world. , nobody paid attention. And I said, well, how many times did you put it out? Well, I, you know, I put it out a few times in my stories and I'm like, well, you know, you probably need to put it out a lot more than that for people to perk their ears up and pay attention.
[00:11:16] There's a lot of variables that go into whether a message or marketing or sales lands, right? Is the offer appealing? Is it articulated in a way that's really landing with your people? All of this takes time. . All of this takes action in order to create clarity, and oftentimes I think there's this expectation that we can just sit on our house and come up with the perfect, you know, offer articulation and the perfect, you know, avatar and all the things, and we're working in our workbooks.
[00:11:49] And I've said this for a long time. I did it for eight months. I thought if I sat there for eight months, I could just come up with the perfect avatar and the perfect offer, and then the minute I was ready to roll it out into the world that people [00:12:00] would just come running. Right? It's, it's so naive to think about because my message has evolved over time.
[00:12:10] Because I've worked with people and because I've talked to people and because I get on calls with people and have conversations with them, and I actually spend a lot more time listening now, right? Than than meddling in my world going, how can I come up with a perfect thing to say that will land and resonate with my people?
[00:12:28] Now I'm like, how can I get out and have more conversations with people whether they buy from me or. Again, right when we're attached to that outcome and have this expectation of if I have 10 conversations with somebody, I should be able to convert, you know, 50% or 30%, or whatever the ratio is. It already creates a very different undercurrent to what you're doing.
[00:12:51] There's this expectation that you're putting into the ethers, and your people can feel that, [00:13:00] but you're going in with maybe a different lens on when you're talking to people, right? Maybe you're going into it with this essence of needing to prove that what you do is valuable instead of just listening to what these people have to say.
[00:13:14] That is how I came up with, you know, I come up with a lot of the content that I create is I listen to people, but I also really share my own lived experience, which resonates with a lot of people, and again, doing it from a place of value versus a place of I need to sell, right? This expectation that we put on all of the content that we're creating, what do I need to say?
[00:13:39] To sell what it is I'm selling versus what do I need to say today that's going to be of value to really move people to take some type of action in their life, whether it's to buy your thing or just a permission slip to go and do the thing they've always wanted to do. And that's a just a very [00:14:00] different essence, right?
[00:14:01] So how to know when to pull the. Or stick it out. Um, I read a beautiful book, years and years and years and years ago called The Dip, and it was all about this, right? Like, are you just like in a dip that's going to, you know, skyrocket it up? Are you just in a cul-de-sac where you're literally spinning in circles?
[00:14:21] And that to me is the difference, right? Are you just gaining momentum in your business? Are you giving yourself enough opportunity to gain the momentum? or are you getting to a certain point after maybe some negative feedback or putting it out for the first time and it not really landing and going, ah, that didn't work back to the drawing board?
[00:14:44] Or are you literally just spinning in circles with the same thing over and over and over and over again without maybe trying to do something different or it's just actually a dead end, right? That's how to know the difference. If you've launched something the first time and it d didn't [00:15:00] necessarily go the way you expected, maybe you didn't get any sales, maybe you had five sales.
[00:15:05] Right? Is putting things into perspective of like, that's how momentum happens, right? Is is in forward movement, um, and moving things along and. Along the path or up the path, however you wanna look at it, and not pulling the plug because one micro opportunity didn't go the way that you thought it was going to go.
[00:15:26] Nothing goes as expected. Again, really freaking cliche, but it's so true. Nothing goes as expected. You can have the best plan in the world, which is why I always sort of laugh cuz when we started our brick and mortar, um, you, you have to put together a business plan if you want to get any type of financing, right?
[00:15:46] And we would sit there and we would do our like two years, three years, five years projections. And it's kind of a joke in a lot of ways because yes, you can assess viability of a company that way, but or a business. Or a business idea for sure. But it's [00:16:00] also just projections. Like, this is what we need to hit if we want to make any money.
[00:16:06] Sure. You can put that projection out there. And then how much do I need to sell in order for it to be viable? Sure. But again, does it ever go that clear cut? It never does, and the beauty of it is, is oftentimes I'll set sales projections just in my business as an aim or a goal that I'm moving towards.
[00:16:27] And it often always drops in in totally different ways. Like I can have my eyes set on this experience I want to create for people, and I'll be like, okay, this is what I want to put together. And then all of a sudden out of nowhere, I have all these other ways of working with people that I never thought.
[00:16:44] I didn't even have on my radar. Um, so that's also a really beautiful way to not allow like the creative ideas to sort of go by the wayside is like, have this vision of what you want and have [00:17:00] this openness to allow that vision to come to reality. In a way that is maybe unexpected or not getting so hung up on.
[00:17:11] Well, you know, when we're three months in and we haven't hit our targets yet, so therefore the business idea must be down the tubes. Like if we would've looked at it that way in our brick and mortar, we would've been closed by Christmas. You know, we were open in July. By Christmas, you know, we saw more expenses going out of our business than was actually coming in.
[00:17:31] And again, from an expectation perspective, I was freaking out because I had never run a business before. And although I come from a family of entrepreneurs, I was like, is this normal? Like is this normal to see all of this expenditure going out in the first six months? It absolutely is. It is totally because you're in a growth phase, right?
[00:17:52] So when you're in a growth phase in your business, Yeah, your, your expenses. , there's a lot of expenses, and especially in a brick and mortar where there's [00:18:00] capital and equipment and inventory and all of that, that has to be paid for, right? So you're in this growth phase where yes, your expenses, there's a lot of expenses versus maybe what's coming through the door, and I had no idea.
[00:18:13] Again, in six months you could easily pull the plug. But I don't think, as entrepreneurs, we talk about this, right? I don't think we talk about the first two years of business. And the growth that has to happen and the investments that have to be made. And maybe you're breaking even. Or maybe, you know, yes, you made 200,000 in your business in sales, but you know, 50% of that went to expenses, or 60% of that went to expenses.
[00:18:38] Like there was a big learning curve for me in the business world to really set my expectations aside. And even with the brick and mortar, I still walked into the. world and started my online business with this level of expectation, um, that things should happen quicker or things should be happening in a different [00:19:00] way.
[00:19:00] Or if I wanted to see success, I had to do it this particular way. I needed this many people in my world. I needed an audience of this size. . And again, I just think that kills any ounce of receiving in a different way that maybe you didn't, didn't, didn't expect. And, and it also creates a lot of people pulling the plug.
[00:19:20] So back to the marketing and the sales copy and content, I always say that your marketing and sales, it is. Is an ecosystem and that it's not one email or one social media post, or one podcast episode, that's gonna be the thing that you know, gets everybody to buy from you. It's an entire ecosystem, and when you're asking people to be in your world, , you have to create value within that ecosystem for them to even wanna stay.
[00:19:47] And this might look different for a product-based business, right? Product-based business might be a little bit more direct selling, but if you're an online coach or consultant, there's a lot more nurturing that needs to happen. In your world through your [00:20:00] content to build people up, to create the value, create awareness for what you do, build that trust and connection, which for a lot of us, we don't spend, I know this was me, right?
[00:20:10] This like entitlement, when I first started my business was like, I'm gonna put something out there and I expect you to buy, which is this very entitled energy like, How dare me, you know, like how dare I expect people to buy from me after one social media post or you know, three emails or just coming into my world for the first time.
[00:20:29] Like that expectation creates that entitlement as well. Again, an undercurrent that your people feel and when you can literally release that and when you can literally remove that. , you stop pulling the plug on shit that's really phenomenal. That's gonna take off and really help people. But two, you can really decipher very quickly, what, where am I staying in a dip and then gonna work my way out?
[00:20:54] Or, what is a cul-de-sac, right? What is this spinning that? You know? Maybe it is time to [00:21:00] pivot, maybe it is time to change course. And that's gonna be different for everybody. And ultimately, you at the end of the day know you will know the difference on an intuitive level. Is this a time to pivot and take a hard left when everybody's going right.
[00:21:14] Do I need to create new product development? Do I need to come at this in a different way? Do I need to elevate and change what I'm doing to meet current market demands? Or you know, like, am I pulling the plug on this or. Do I just need to ride the freaking wave right now and enjoy it and not expect that things are gonna happen in a certain way at a certain time, or whatnot.
[00:21:39] One of the other really cool things that I learned along this journey was comparing. What used to happen and comparing, you know, one launch in my business to another or one promotional cycle in my business to another, I would compare them. I'd be like, you know, last year in our brick and mortar, like last January, we were way [00:22:00] busier.
[00:22:00] Like what happened? Why, why aren't we as busy as we were? And I would compare, and then I'd go into this like tailspin of like, oh, the business must be, you know, going down the twos. Like, do we jump ship? Do we sell it? , what do we do here? Or, or am I just creating drama outta nothing? . And again, another really brilliant mentor of mine had said, you know, you can't compare the two seasons are different.
[00:22:23] Cycles are different. Markets change. Um, environments change. Lots of things change. And we saw this coming outta Covid, right? Like during Covid, O V I D when we were locked up in our houses, you know, craft boxes and all these things did really well. Things that were keeping us busy at home. Zoom, skyrocketed, you know, all of these things.
[00:22:45] Skyrocketed because of what was happening outside in the world. And then when, you know, COVID ended, let's just say, and restrictions were lifted, you know, outdoor supplies, biking, all of these things started to [00:23:00] skyrocket again. People were out doing things. You restaurants started to do better, so you can't look at.
[00:23:06] one event and one launch and compare the two. And I did that, right? I was like, oh, last launch I had way more people sign up and way more people invest. And now this launch, I did the exact same thing. I rinsed and repeat, and it was different results because it's different seasons, different times, different environments.
[00:23:25] Maybe buying patterns have changed. Again, having some perspective really, really helps. To ground you from ma making knee jerk reactions in your business. I was having a conversation with a really good friend of mine, a bis bestie in the dms on Instagram, and I literally laid out a timeline for her. I said, in two weeks, L give your ad Facebook ads two weeks to just do their thing.
[00:23:54] And then when you have up like, you know, a hundred people that have come into your world, , [00:24:00] then let's have a conversation if things don't seem to be working. But what ends up happening is, is after a day or two, it feels like it's been two weeks, and we're like, oh, things aren't working, and we see money going out again.
[00:24:14] We're investing in, in money, going out, and it's like this anxiety that can take over because we have this expectation of things working maybe quicker, right? I would compare my brick and mortar and what happened in that world. So much to the online world, and they're just very different worlds. You know, I was used to having people come through a door every day in my brick and mortar that I could have a conversation with, and it's very different in the online world, right?
[00:24:40] So that transition in and of itself, and that comparison in and of itself can literally squash. Your business or your ideas, because you're putting this expectation that the business, the brick and mortar, should be the same as the online and they're just two different worlds. So I was having this conversation with one of my biz besties, and I just said, [00:25:00] two weeks.
[00:25:00] I don't want you pulling the plug on this. Sit with it for two weeks. And sure enough, the exact timeline at. , you know, 70 people had come into her world. I said around 70 to 80 people coming into your world, you're gonna start to see an uptick in what's happening. You're gonna start to create momentum.
[00:25:18] Boom. Exactly what happened. Two people signed up to work with her, and she has other calls booked in the calendar and yet, I see so many people pulling the plug while you before that and not really allowing their business to gain momentum. So it's like, can you stay the course? Can you really start to tune in and go, is this, am I comparing this to something else?
[00:25:42] Am I putting undue expectation on how this should turn out? Am I making a knee-jerk reaction in my business when I don't really have the data or information? To make a solid decision. Data's really important and being able to look at that, [00:26:00] especially if you're an emotional decision maker and an emotion runs rampant with you.
[00:26:04] Um, I know I am. I love to have the data there to just look and go, okay, is this profitable? It is profitable. Cool. Right? It's working. Yes. Maybe we can bring the costs down a bit. Maybe we can, you know, improve a few things. Maybe we can optimize it. Sure. sometimes our feelings and our emotions, at least for me, um, don't really tell the full picture.
[00:26:28] And I noticed this big time again with the comparison between brick and mortar and online because I was in relation with people all day long. Every day I had someone to talk to all the time. And then in the online, , it can feel very lonely sometimes because you're not in daily conversation with people and you're not having that, you know, daily conversation of somebody walking through your door and that human to human interaction, which is what I desire and really crave.
[00:26:56] I love to have conversations with people. I love connecting with [00:27:00] people, and so I was comparing how I felt in my brick and mortar. to my online business, and I was starting to tell myself that things weren't working because I wasn't experiencing the same type of emotion and feeling that I had in my brick and mortar.
[00:27:17] So, . What I'm trying to say in a very long-winded way, and through my story and through sharing, working with other people, is that oftentimes we pull the plug on these really beautiful and brilliant ideas or plans or businesses or we don't allow ourselves to reach that full potential with the business.
[00:27:38] We don't allow it to really grow and scale and take off. Because somewhere in our ecosystem and and world we're, we're telling ourselves this story that it's not going the way we thought it was going to. It's not happening the way we thought it was going to happen, and therefore we need to quit. Pull the plug.
[00:27:56] Start over. And what I [00:28:00] want to share with you and just reassure you is is that number one, There is a big difference between being in a dip and being in a cul-de-sac, and you will ultimately know the difference intuitively, and that is not something that's mind monkey going on in your brain. Like if your brain is telling you things aren't working, then we know it's the brain running rampant for you.
[00:28:24] Right? So it is about just taking a pause and a step back for a moment and really zooming out and looking at the big picture. And, and not hyper-focusing maybe on the one launch or comparing even two launches or comparing sales cycles or promotional cycles where you're like, you know, these last four months have been really slow.
[00:28:46] Is this an actual downward trend that's going to kill the business? Or is this just a blip in what's happening and we're gonna take see an uptake again? So again, , getting support on [00:29:00] this and having somebody in your corner that can literally help you steer the shit forward when you want to. jump overboard is really, really important.
[00:29:10] A sounding board, a coach, a mentor. It's what I do so often with the beautiful clients I get to work with is know we're staying the course. And it takes a really special leader and a really special coach and mentor and consultant to be able to do that because when you're working with visionary leaders and entrepreneurs, Uh, you're usually both very strong.
[00:29:33] I won't say strong-willed, but you're both like, this is where I want to go and this is how I want to get there, and it's not working the way SA said, I want it to work. And you have to be able to really stand true and own your badassery in that to be able to say no, or stay in the course. You've gotta stay the course on this one because, If you're trying to people please or all of that sort of stuff, it doesn't really work.
[00:29:59] So [00:30:00] anyways, with that, I just wanted to, I really wanted to record this episode to help manage expectations and to really remind you that, you know, Your ideas and what you want to bring to the world, and maybe what you've already brought to the world and maybe what feels like stagnant or plateaued, just might need, you know, a little bit of MPH or.
[00:30:25] A slight pivot or maybe testing a new way to market and sell it for it to, you know, continue to go on that upward swing that maybe you're just in a bit of a dip right now and not the cul-de-sac. So with that, again, I just really hope that you are. Out there doing the things that you wanna do and that you aren't pulling the plug on these beautiful ideas, and you're really giving yourself an opportunity to let your ideas fly and flourish.
[00:30:54] And I cannot wait for our next episode because I'm bringing back on a very special [00:31:00] guest who has created a really cool and unique way to personalize. Your messages and cards and packaging and whatnot for your audience. And you know how much I value personalization in everything that I do and how important I believe it is for brands to.
[00:31:21] Really showcase their clients and customers and potential customers, how important they are to them and how much they value them. And so I cannot wait to have Rick Elmore on the show to share with you his novel and unique way of handwritten, uh, notes for your customers and your clients. So without further ado, don't forget to subscribe to the show so that you don't miss when that episode drops.
[00:31:44] Cheers. Thanks for listen. We'll see you right back here next time. You can also find us on social media at creatively owned and firstname.lastname@example.org. Until next time, keep showing up as your authentic self.[00:32:00]