Are you bitter that your network isn’t producing results? Angry that the people you’ve been networking with isn’t sending business your way? Tired of working long hours on your business only to see your bank account almost empty and your bills piling up?
The problem lies with you – yes, you. You have been giving too much away for too long and you’re now attracting brokeback entrepreneurs.
Who’s a brokeback entrepreneur? This is someone who operates using a frugal mentality, but refuses to spend any money to operate their business.
You’re a smart entrepreneur with an awesome product or great services. However, the only way you can start to reap the financial rewards you deserve is to rid your life of these brokeback entrepreneurs.
First, you need to spot them. Then, you need a strategy to avoid them, or if they’re infiltrating your life already, you need a plan to get rid of them. Here are my 7 tips based on what my friends tell me.
How to avoid them: Draft up an email that lists all the freebies you offer on your website. This will include links to your blog, articles on your website, your podcast and any other advice you freely offer online. Then end the email by saying, “If after reviewing my free resources you still have questions, you can rent my brain at $200 per hour.” You’ll never hear from the brokeback entrepreneur again.
How to avoid them: Use a website such as copyscape.com to monitor who’s copying your website content. Being proactive in protecting yourself will prevent the brokeback entrepreneurs from messing with you in the first place.
How to avoid them: You can’t. Instead, cut off the questions being asked by the the brokeback entrepreneur (without being rude of course) and invite him or her to contact you via email. When he or she does, follow my advice in #1 above.
How to avoid them: Keep your cool. Remember, price is to a brokeback entrepreneur as billions are to Trump, so they’ll never be your customer since they’ll never spend money with you. Instead, thank the brokeback entrepreneur for their advice, then move on to the next person. Don’t get into an argument with the brokeback entrepreneur. Chances are, when the brokeback entrepreneur complains to her or his colleagues that you actually tried to sell something, the brokeback entrepreneur will have egg on her or his face.
How to avoid them: Not all bartering relationships are bad. Instead, define the arrangement up front by writing up a statement of work. Detail the start and end dates, what’s included and excluded in the project, plus a timeline. Also, issue an invoice that shows the value of the work you’re providing, but has a $0 for the amount owing. Chances are, the brokeback entrepreneur will find someone else who isn’t taking the bartering relationship that seriously.
How to avoid them: Update your voicemail greeting to let people know when you typically return greetings. A typical turnaround time is 24-hours. A rule of thumb is to respond to your clients and prospects inquiring about your product or service that same business day. Typically, a brokeback entrepreneur is neither, so get into the habit of responding to networking contacts within 3-business days.
How to avoid them: If you want to be a millionaire, hang out with millionaires. If you want to have a successful business, hang out with people who have a successful business. If you want to be broke, hang out with broke people. It’s just that simple.
Leesa Barnes, Chief Divapreneur™, helps women start a new business or launch an idea on a shoestring budget. Through her coaching programs, speaking engagements and interactive workshops, Leesa is on a mission to help 10,000 women become their own boss by 2010, even if they lack the confidence or start-up capital to do so. Sign up for the Divapreneurs At Work ezine by visiting http://www.savialane.com and receive a F R E E ebook called “The One Thing 85 Women (and One Man) Used to Build a Profitable Business (And It Ain’t Money).”