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Three Things You’re Working Hard At That Won’t Produce a Dime

by Cheryl Cook

I’m often asked what it is that keeps business owners from generating (enough) revenue in their business. Speaking from my own experience and that of the many entrepreneurs I’ve worked with, it’s one simple fact. It’s working on everything EXCEPT for what folks are willing to pay for. Make a check mark next to the ones you resonate with.

Working Hard

As new entrepreneurs, we work on doing all the things we think we’re supposed to do. Yet, we focus on lots of activity that no one is ever going to pay us for. No, I’m not referring to that product you thought would be a best seller (it still could be).

I’m referring to going to every networking event out there but being so busy there’s no time for follow up. I’m referring to getting organized so when you do get clients you’ll be ready, and working so feverishly on your to-do list that when asked how you’re doing, you can only reply, “I’m so busy.” I’ve said it. My clients have said it. And, undoubtedly you’ve uttered these words, too.

Folks don’t pay for busy.

People Focus

I’m a people pleaser from way back when. I love helping folks. It was only natural as a new business owner that I focused on what other folks needed. I checked my email, my phone, to see if any new requests had come in. As soon as they did, I responded.

I was so focused on responding to their requests, following first one agenda and then the next, that by the time I could focus on my own agenda, on what would bring me closer to my goals, poof, the day had expired.

Folks don’t pay for the wrong agenda.

Problem Solving

I excel at problem solving. I actually honed my skills in solving problems that didn’t yet exist. What was the right processproblem solving the business would need to respond to and nurture all those potential clients? What system would I need to handle all the orders once they began flowing in?

While those issues may need to be addressed at some point, unless you get your first client and the next and the next, those potential problems will never need solving. And certainly, they don’t need to be solved first.

Folks don’t pay for solutions to non-existent problems.

Sweet Spot

Working in your sweet spot is where it’s at. That’s where the saying ‘do what you love and the money will follow’ likely originated.

In the beginning, I was working in other folk’s sweet spot rather than my own. I would work for hours to create graphics that folks in their sweet spot would have created in 30 minutes. No matter how much improvement I demonstrated, my best work in an area that was not my sweet spot was not going to generate revenue no matter how much time I spent.

Folks don’t pay you to work in someone else’s sweet spot.

Minor Tweaks

Business owners who aren’t making enough in their businesses need only make a few minor tweaks to see different results. Yes, it may take what some call hard work, but it’s not about just being busy.

productivityFocus on being productive.

Change your focus from following the agenda others have for you to following your own agenda.

Focus on achieving your goals.

Being a problem solver is exactly what folks are looking for but only if you’re solving their problems.


Focus on solving your clients’ problems.

Spend the majority of your time in your sweet spot. The thing you find so easy to do you almost feel guilty accepting payment for it, is where you generate the greatest value for your clients.

Focus on serving from your sweet spot.

Access Cheryl Cook's Success Institute online training "Transform Those Time-Sucking Habits into 7-Figure Success" for more in-depth time management techniques. 

About Cheryl Cook