synchronistic strategy for makers part III - this customer belongs to someone else

Now this valuing ourselves part is something we have to think about before we start "standing still" and attracting customers -

without it we will be attracting the wrong customer.

And running a business with the wrong customers will run us right into the ground.

(yes, buried up to our necks with biting ants chewing off our eyelashes - it ain't pretty people)

We cannot please them, we cannot find them, we cannot figure out what they want - because they are not our customer. They belong to someone else.

This valuing ourselves thing often shows up in our pricing, but not always. If we think other people do not value what we do, maybe we are not giving them a reason to. Maybe it's because our makings are not up to snuff or maybe it is because we are not allowing other people to be part of the process.

I used to write about my Polarity Locket - "I simply solder a hook to a car part" - although I have never used a soldering iron in my life and this was never what I did. It seemed the easiest way to explain it in my listings. I had this all backwards. Easy is never going to get us passionate customers, who will find us while we stand still.

(this doesn't mean our process has to be hard; this is about our message - our message can't be easy - this didn't work for us in high school and it won't work now)

When someone printed a story about me on their blog and wrote "Cat simply solders a hook to a car part" I got really annoyed ... with myself. I knew exactly where she had gotten her verbage and exactly what it said about my self-value.

For a while I went crazy, not realizing at first I had just flipped the same self-worth coin to the other side. I started saying "I clean, drill, cut, braze, grind and seal to prevent rust" the car part.


What a snorefest and I had missed the point entirely.

If customers were going to be passionate partners in my business - if they were going to buy in to my message, which the right people were ready and really wanted to do - I needed to get this right. Eventually I did (but it's a process).

It takes a lot of energy to look for people to serve. The world is like Facebook now - we are all looking at different things. The days when everybody tuned into the same program on Friday night are gone. We can't reach everybody.

We don't want to be running around looking for some way to catch someone's attention because even once we have caught their attention (our attention spans are miniscule these days, most people will never even read this far into this post) and convinced them we are the ones who have what they are looking for we are exhausted (grab a cookie and your snugli)!

So when a customer tells us they are not completely satisfied with our product, policies or pricing we are more than willing to satisfy them. We have gone through so much to get them this far toward  a purchase we are ready to compromise - the truth is, we are too tired to fight. Thinking we will lose the battle to win the war we let the customer win this little skirmish - especially since we know all we went through to get him this far in the first place.

But, if we value ourselves and our business (and have put the proper time and energy into our products, policies and pricing in the first place) we will be more apt to hear that little inner voice, the one that speaks for our instincts, the one that says "whoa girl, slow down, be careful, this one would be more trouble than he's worth - maybe this customer belongs to someone else."

Now this doesn't mean that we write our policies in granite - that we don't change when we need and want to - of course not - the entire point of being small and nimble is well, being small and nimble. We can change on a dime. We just want to be sure that we are not undervaluing ourselves in the process.

Forget competition (think cooperation). Forget "I have to grab this customer before someone else does" (our right customer won't need to be grabbed, she will come to us happily and in fact if we try to grab her - she will probably be someone like me who bruises easily and she will tell 2 friends who will tell 2 friends). Forget "money is money" (if we don't like big corporations - think Monsanto and Bank of America here) doing anything for a buck, we shouldn't be either, change starts with us.

These things don't work anymore. The energy has shifted on our planet - we have moved from the masculine 1 energy of "me" into the masculine/feminine 2 energy of "us". This is why all the old structures are crumbling - there is nothing holding them up anymore. If we build our business on the old paradigm we will be in trouble, too.

Also our businesses are alive (not in a corporations are people kind of way, but in the same way everything is) and just like our own bodies naturally release what is toxic and naturally distribute what is tonic - our businesses will, too, if we keep things instinctual.

Back tomorrow with part IV - "so what is this standing still part again, my feet hurt"


DancingMooney said...

It sure is nice to know you had to figure some of this stuff out the hard way too, because sometimes it seems like a no brainier, except when we finally figure it out, years later! LOL ;) I love your biz card, and I love that you've modeled things around Olive too. Kisses to the pooch. ♥

Catherine Ivins said...

I know - that hindsight thing - kills me!! xo - have a great weekend!