In the new economy unfolding before you, it’s your ideas that are highly valued–not your time.
The fact remains your clients and prospects have an abundant choice of alternatives to you. There are far too many competitors in the marketplace today. Being good, even great at what you do is not enough to differentiate you from the slush pile, and get your business to the next level–where you’re compensated for your value.

Fast and cheap.
As an early-stage entrepreneur, it’s important to remember most clients will place a low value on your time–and a high value on theirs. Consequently, these are the clients who get things done fast and cheap. The bottom line is you’ll only get the gig if you’re the fastest and cheapest. In a commoditized market, any price will be perceived as too high. You’ll always be vulnerable to lower cost providers, and have little if no power influencing the procurement of your services.

Only two things release you from the bondage of trading your time for money–
–       the level of demand for your available time.
–       the financial value people place on your ideas.

Time is finite, valuable ideas are infinite. Entrepreneurs, who can sustain their focus and attention on creativity and innovation in how they bring value to the marketplace, will be the beneficiaries of all the new economy has to offer. Those who stay stuck in a commoditized market, billing their time by the hour, will doom themselves to order-taker status.
Get yourself free at last from the hourly rate mentality.

We are at the very beginning of a new global economic order. In the wake of this transition, we are witnessing the destruction of old systems and structures. For many businesses and the people they employ, the effects have been nothing short of devastating.  As the dust settles from this disruptive reset, and in the midst of all this uncertainty, they are many entrepreneurs who are thriving!  Proof that prosperity doesn’t care about the economy.

Would you like to know what makes these creative businesses rock, and how you can get your scene to rock at the next level?  Here are some ideas that may help you reframe your thinking so you can break free from the physics of running your business by the clock:

Do what really matters to you, and really matters to some people.
In order for you to sustain the energy required to innovate remarkable value for your clients, you must engage yourself in only those ideas, activities and relationships that really matter to you. The lines between work and play must be dissolved.  Passion, and the emotional labor that naturally comes with it, are prerequisites for thriving in the idea economy.

More importantly, what really matters to you must serve a specific group of people–not everyone. Your expertise must be highly specialized in what you love and serves the higher emotional needs of others in the marketplace who are just as passionate about your thing as you are. The days of the generalist are over.  Where ever your passion lies, get famous for it!

Good is the new slush pile.
Nowadays, everything and everybody is good. Good enough. Your talent and expertise is the ante, merely the price of admission. Many people can do what you do–some even better! Become highly valued for your thinking and your contributions of value– not through your skills at implementation or managing process. It is the only way for you to break free from the restrictions charging by hour sets on your income and the size of your future.

Be really different. Make a real difference.
Properly positioning the value you represent in the minds of clients is the source code to your financial freedom. You must invest in building your personal brand, and have it represent something genuine, remarkable, and highly valued from the alternatives in the marketplace.

Make a difference (and create opportunity) by providing your value to those you wish to serve first. Share your expertise–don’t sell it. Most of all provide more “use” value to your clients than they are paying you in cash. In other words, whenever your clients value the benefits they experience working with you more than the value of the money they are holding, you’ll have made a difference.
Stop writing proposals, start making them.
Writing proposals is for suckers. How many times have you written a proposal for a client-to-be and then you wait, and wait, while your client shops around looking for a better fit at a lower price? Stop writing proposals and start making them.

Your proposal is the expertise you share in conversation with your prospective client about how best to solve their problem. After you’ve had the opportunity to assess how best to solve their problem, simply explain in a deeper conversation, what course of action you’d suggest, explain the financial investment required of them, and then say ”if we have a deal, I’ll have my office send you written confirmation of our conversation and we can begin immediately”!  Your proposals are the words coming out of your mouth–not something that gathers dust languishing on someone’s desk!

Create once, and then reap the rewards again and again.
Many solo professionals build their practice/business around solving the same kinds of problems for different clients. Their relationships are consulting based, not transactional. If this is true for your business, you probably have tremendous expertise that can be leveraged and offered to many clients at the same time, indefinitely. Your specific expertise can be made available in forms where many more clients can benefit from your value while you are drinking wine in Paris.

There has never been a more profound opportunity for you to exponentially increase your impact, influence and income than right now!  Ideas are the currency of the new economy. Build your brand around what you love, share your knowledge for the good of all, and create high value for others first, and you’ll never fill out a time sheet again!

Think about how you create value, and in what ways you might be selling yourself short.

Editor’s Note: This post is a small taste of the concepts and ideas we will engage ourselves in during a year-long series of four 2-day White Hot Center Quantum Leap Workshops beginning in March 2011. Right from the beginning, you’ll have greater clarity and confidence to define a compelling vision for your future– and set the foundation to achieve your goal of taking your business to the next level in an easy, relaxed, and joyful way. If you are interesting in attending and would like more information, email me directly!

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