My 3 Most Effective Business Tools: Sales, Storytelling, Systems

As a leadership and business coach, I’m often asked how to get clarity in people’s life or work. Variations of, “How do I find clients?” “How can I figure out my purpose?” “I know I’m smart, but something’s off; it’s just not working. What should I do?”

Sometimes I fire off an answer because it’s clear. Other times I’m clueless because the reality of building a business – or taking on a new project or switching careers – is very different than what people expect. Most times there’s no clear answer.

Most times all you have are risks, mistakes, & lessons you continue to stockpile as you take one step to the next.

In today’s video, I share 3 effective business skills I’ve stockpiled. Click to watch.

If I look at my own life when I built Fear.less Magazine, worked with Seth, or built my coaching business, it’s been one unconventional, messy, weird path. I’ve taken many risks, sometimes based on intuition, advice from mentors, or from business trainings, some of which worked, and others that bombed. I’ve had to discern what worked and why, and decide if I could repeat the results or get creative to do it again.

There’s no one right answer or clear path to pursue a career that fits YOU.

Most people don’t like hearing that. When I first started, I didn’t like hearing it either!

But there ARE 3 skills that’ve stood the test of time and led me to results over and over again. I talk about them in today’s video. These work whether I’m pitching myself for speaking gig, selling programs, writing a blog post, or identifying mentors. I was surprised when they kept working, because at some point, I gave up hope of a formula to this “business thing.”

And there is no formula, per se. What there is are transferrable and effective skills that work no matter what job or industry you’re in; not only for online or coaches, but for life.

In my exploration, these skills made the difference and got me results, and to be honest, I’m still learning. I’ve practiced and have gained some fluidity, but I’m still on the path to mastery.

If you look at your life and what you’re up to – whether you’re running a business, working for someone else, or making your dreams happen, these skills will benefit YOU specifically. I use them every single day in my life and business.

Skill #1: Sell with Confidence, Integrity, and Personality.
Selling is hands down the #1 most important skill. If you don’t sell, you have a hobby, not a business. Took me years to learn that.

The way to feel confident in sales is to take the focus off yourself and put it on the other person.

Stop all the, “What do I sound like?” “Do they think I’m nuts?” “They must know I have an agenda!” Drop YOU-centric thinking and worrying about how you look because it totally stops you from being present.

Instead, be USEFUL. Your “agenda” should be, “How can I make a difference in the next 30 minutes?” Be useful, whatever the end result. My #1 goal is to help people feel limitless; they shouldn’t leave the call the same way they came in; they should think powerfully about who they are. Honestly, I don’t mind if they don’t work with me because most people are not a fit for me and my work.

Once you detach from the “sale” you can be REAL.

Perfect does not sell; being yourself does.

So be messy, make mistakes. You don’t always need to know the right thing to say if you genuinely want to help. Commit to more than just the “sale,” and the selling part gets easier.

Skill #2: Tell Powerful Stories that Connect
Attention is our most important currency. When someone gives you their attention, be grateful. When you read these posts or watch my videos, it means something to me. People are busy, they only make time for something real that connects with them. That’s why tapping into your stories is an advanced marketing skill. It’s how you connect to others that allows them to trust you and ultimately buy from you, if that’s your goal. My “strategy” is to get personal and tell the truth – mistakes and all. Initially, I was scared to be do this, but then the ONLY thing I could do consistently was be myself so it stuck. Now I have a brand that may not be polished, but is real and hopefully, relatable.

People trust you. They listen and connect to you, even your screw-ups. Don’t you do the same?

You buy from people you trust and like. If you’re messy, don’t worry; make your mess your message.

Skill #3: Create Systems and Structure to Feel In Control
Even if you have ambitious goals and work hard, a lack of structure will derail you from achieving them. I had no constraints and moved loosey goosey from one task to another for years. This only made me feel like I couldn’t hack it. But I could! I ultimately did it with systems.

Systems give you a structure for your business, and provide focus.
They constrain you so you can actually sell and make progress, instead of stress-eating Cheetos and watching Hulu on a Monday afternoon. They help you stop reinventing the wheel and free up precious time and energy. Worried about where your next client’s coming from? Get a system for lead generation. Worried what to do each day of the week? Create a marketing system. Need peace of mind? Build a morning routine for your sanity. Not having systems makes life harder than it needs to be. With systems you know what to do, when, and most importantly WHY you do it.

Don’t stay thinking you can’t hack it. Because you can. You most definitely can.

Let’s choose freedom in 2017.
xx Ishita