Tag Archives: entrepreneur

Selling for sensitive people

I’ll be honest, I’ve never felt all that stellar at selling myself.
It’s always felt a little awkward and uncomfortable.

But the other day, that all changed.

This story actually starts back in January, when I was doing loads of Bring Out Your Weird Sessions every week. There was one woman I talked to, we had a great conversation, I told her about my program Weird Heart/Wild Heart, and then the high energy dropped. We chatted about it for a bit – she said she wasn’t sure why but her answer wasn’t a resounding YES! I told her to let me know if she ever figured out what exactly it was that was keeping away that yes.

A few months later she emailed me and said she had figured out… it was that I didn’t sound excited about the program.

Huh. Interesting.

And also confusing as heck because I am very excited about that program!! And it’s helped a lot of peeps organize their ideas, choose THE ONE to move forward with and make actual tangible progress in their biz. I know it works.

For the next few months, I didn’t really know what to DO with that piece of info, so I tucked it away. Until two days ago.

I was having a Bring Out Your Weird Session, we chatted for a bit, and then it came time to talk about my program. I decided to try something new… instead of waiting to feel out her emotions, I just launched into OVER THE TOP PURE EXCITEMENT! I amped myself up and got as excited as possible. I was excited, she was excited, and she signed up!

This might sound totally silly, it also felt a little silly, but it worked. I didn’t give myself a chance to be affected by any possible thoughts or feelings of the other person. (You’ll never really know what those thoughts and feelings are really about anyway.) I just tapped into how I felt the program could help her and went with it.

If you’re a super sensitive person, like me, then you know how easy it is to get overtaken by other people’s thoughts, feelings and emotions. But, I was so busy exuding my feelings about the program, there wasn’t room for anything else inside me.

Definitely don’t use this in a manipulative way, if you’re not actually excited to work with someone, and don’t think you’d be a good fit, let the person go on their way. Taking on clients that are not your ideal doesn’t work out for either of you in the long run!

But, if you are excited to work with them, for christ sakes, SHOW IT!!! And show it in an amplified way!

So, I’m interested to hear what you think! Will you try it? Does it resonate??

Tell me in the comments.

And if you aren’t actually excited about your programs, then it’s time to look at that and find something that totally blows your mind/rocks your sockies right off! (Btw, Weird Heart/Wild Heart is magic at guiding that discovery process and I have only TWO spots left until the end of August! At which point, I will be raising the investment, so if it’s in your mind, get in on it now! Go sign up or fill out this form and let’s chat)

Are you listening to the signs??

Perspective is a funny thing.

I’m writing this from my bed. I threw out my back this morning.

I’m vacillating between fits of tears that make me contemplate my existence and utter boredom.

I’m suddenly feeling very productive and would love to sit at my laptop and do all the work.

That’s definitely not physically possible at the moment.

So instead I’m typing this in a note on my phone.

(Side note: It’s surprisingly hard to dictate an entire blog post to Siri. The things you try to do when the things you can do are severely limited…)

Anyway, yesterday was a whole other story…

Yesterday all I wanted to do was lay around and relax and draw.

I forced myself to work instead.
At the end I felt accomplished but stressed out and seriously drained.

And today I’m on forced rest, body’s orders.

All I can think about right now is… what would have happened if I had heeded the message I got yesterday? Would I be laid up today?

Maybe, maybe not.

But what I know for sure is that I definitely *could* have been not so hard on myself yesterday.

I could have honored what I really wanted to do.

All that push to get shit done seems quite unnecessary right about now.

I could have paid attention to the signs and taken a breather, been kind to myself. Trusted my impulses.

Despite what conventional society would have us believe,
our bodies know best. And so does our intuition.

Life moves in cycles and not all of them can be/should be/need to be go go go.

I know, it’s so hard to break that way of thinking especially when we’re attached to social media all day seeing what everyone else is doing.

But it’s the damn truth.

We all have permission to take our time and listen to the signs. And to draw whenever we want. (or whatever your version of drawing is) 

Thanks for the lesson, back! 

And in honor of this revelation, I’m offering a special SAD BACK bonus with the new home study version of Be Drawsome!

So for the next 24 hours (until June 21st at 4pm est), you get a FREE 30 min private session with me where we’ll dig in to one of your drawings and your drawing process and see what wisdom it has to share with you! And lemme tell you, clients have had some EPIC shifts in their non-drawing lives because of this experience.

It’s super fun to discover what it all means 🙂 and it’s even MORE fun to see that pesky pattern you’ve been grappling with shift. For good.

Yes! Drawing can really do that! It’s not just frivolous fun, it’s useful fun!!

Check it out and sign-up here!

Here’s what one person had to say about this process:

I was having one of those days when I needed to get a lot done for my business and I felt SO BLOCKED. Usually I drink more coffee or waste time on Facebook, but I decided to jump on one of Mara’s Drawsome exercises and it totally changed my whole day. I watched my mandala come alive on paper and I realized that I had a big unresolved resistance to finishing projects. As I put the finishing touches on my art piece I felt really calm and reenergized. It stirred up a lot of creative juice and I had a blast laughing with Mara. I was able to finish my newsletter and even came up with ideas for my next launch. I’ll be doing this again for sure!

– Lily Starling, FillYourHolisticPractice.com

My existential crisis and remembering who I really am

This week has been ROUGH over here at Mara Belzer HQ.

If only there were some place we could order a dropper full of confidence and clarity! Take 4 drops 3x a day and you’d be set 😉

Mine would probably be made from the energetic vibration of the tears my three year old self shed five lifetimes ago when that dog bit my foot and I ended up with a marking on my first chakra.

Alas, being an entrepreneur is super painful sometimes and blocks can be tricky. And the only thing you can really do is just wade through the thoughts and feelings while attempting to keep the collateral damage to a minimum.

For me that means calling on my arsenal of friends and coaches and handholding otters so I don’t float out to sea.

AND completely getting away from my business and doing fun stuff until I am *actually* having fun.

Yesterday, between fits of hysterical crying, I went to my storage unit to look for some watercolor paper. I’ve been nomadic for the past two years so looking for stuff in there is like sorting through a time capsule.

I found my old sketchbooks from art school. They reminded me that I’ve had a propensity towards the weird since… forever.

gimme
snail watching tv
Here's a drawing I did of a slug watching tv.
house cat
Here's my interpretation of a house cat back from when I was really into house music. Over on the left you can see evidence of my obsession with label makers.
gimme

I also found the snakes which you can read all about in my post about the snakes.

gimme
Snakes!
gimme

This trip down memory lane helped me see that my life is much bigger than any existential crisis.

Life flows in waves and sometimes when you’re at the bottom of the wave, it’s hard to remember that pretty soon you’ll be back on top of the world, having a grand ole time, and feeling stronger for that dip.

gimme
Here's my three year old self from this lifetime enjoying the heck out of toothless smiles and nature.
gimme

Ok, so… the next time you find yourself in an entrepreneurial rut, you have permission to take a break and do something that reminds you of who you really are.

Because you are SO MUCH MORE than the number of clients you have or amount of dollars in your bank account or number of likes on Facebook.  <– click to tweet that!

You are amazing with or without.

gimmespace!


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16 things to try when you aren’t getting clients

I’m not gonna sugar coat this,
IT BLOWS when the clients are nowhere to be found!

You’re worried, you’re stressed and and sadly, the easiest thing to do – getting frustrated and angry and sad – doesn’t really seem to do the trick when it comes to moving things forward.

Nope, it’s time to do some troubleshooting to figure out what the hay might be going on.

Here’s 16 things to try when business is slow and all you wanna do is help some folks and pay the bills:

1. Give up! Ok, so you don’t have to GIVE UP, give up. Just give up the struggle.

Let yourself off the hook. Get out from under all that pressure you’ve been putting on yourself to SUCCEED at the numbers game. Close the laptop, take off the headset and go do something that has NOTHING to do with work. Woo alert! When you give up, you’re getting out of your way and giving the Universe/God/Goddess (or whatever you believe in!) a chance to work some magic in your favor. Even if you don’t believe in this, just give it a chance, you might be surprised at the results!

2. Are you having FUN?! No one says to themself, ‘gee, I’d sure love to find a coach who’s miserable and hating life!’ People want to hire people who are happy and having a good time. Work fun into your daily routine.

3. Are you feeling desperate? Get yourself to a place of feeling FULL and SATISFIED. Do whatever it takes. Even if you only have three days until a bill is due, a new client could come into your life in a matter of seconds or minutes. You just never know.

4. Change your measurement of success. If your success is based on the numbers game (number of clients you’ve got or dollars in your bank account), you’re likely feeling pretty crappy about yourself when those numbers are low. The uber competitive, capitalistic, age of the individual has left us tying our worth to numbers. It doesn’t have to be that way. You get to make up your own definition of success and tell yourself whatever story you want about what it means.

5. Are you being consistent with your marketing? Consistency is so so important. People encounter so much every day, they aren’t likely to remember you unless you’re reminding them frequently that you exist and what you can do for them.

Creating content also reminds YOU what you’re all about and what you can do for people. And keeps you creative, fired up and evolving.

6. Does your business exist in your head? Sometimes, it might *feel* like you’re doing a lot of work for your biz because it’s always on your mind, BUT, if that’s the only place it is, nobody knows about it! If you’re always contemplating your ideas, or running them by people for feedback, but never taking action to make them real, it only exists in your head.

Get those ideas OUT of your head!

7. Are you embarrassed to send people to your website or sales page? Do you hate the name of your program so much you never want to say it? Do you have a hard time talking about what you do? This WILL create a huge block in the flow of your biz! If you hate what you have out there or clam up whenever someone asks what you do, and secretly don’t want anyone to see it or ask about it, then they won’t. It’s that simple.

Love all the pieces of your biz and yell about it from rooftops! People get excited when you’re excited!  <– click to tweet it!

If you can’t do this, you need to take a look at whether you’re *actually* into what you’re doing.

8. Do people understand the value of what you’re offering? Do they get what you can do for them and what’s in it for them? If people don’t get how what you can do for them will make their lives more awesome, they aren’t going to invest in it.

9. Are you barking up the wrong tree? People buy what they WANT, but not necessarily what they NEED. And, they have to be ready for it. If someone says no or not now, move along and find people who are ready for what you can do for them. Get off the crusade of trying to convince people they need it. They very well might but you can’t force them into it.

10. Are you being the person your clients need to be in order to by your thing? Our clients mirror us. So, if people aren’t buying, for instance, take a look at your headspace and actions to see if you’re exhibiting this same behavior.

Are you holding back in some way and not wanting to confront a personal demon? Are you sitting on decisions or telling yourself you can’t afford something? Are you worrying that hiring someone won’t help you with what you need?

All of these thought patterns will attract other people with the same ones. Take the risk or leap you want your potential clients to make.

11. Are you hiding? Are you saying what you want and how you want to say it? Do you have pictures of yourself on your site? People buy when they feel connected. They want to see your face and hear your personal story.

If you said ‘yes, Mara, I am’ to this one. Ask yourself again – AM I REALLY BEING MY WEIRD SELF?!! Take a risk, I promise people will NATURALLY be drawn to you when you’re being your self, no matter how WHACKY that is!

12. Is the language you’re using approachable and understandable? Write how you speak and use words and phrases your clients ACTUALLY use to describe their woes. People will be all – YES! THAT’S SO ME!! Stay away from generic jargon that everyone uses but can mean different things to different people. Step into your power… become your authentic self… you get the idea 🙂 Get original and honest with your copy!

13. Is there a tricky mindset at play? Will having more money or more clients be in direct conflict with a hidden belief you’re hardboring? Here’s two I’ve uncovered in the past year:

  • Having more money would mean I would have to make decisions about certain things in my life. Decisions I didn’t want to have to make. So, keeping myself broke was keeping me from having to make those decisions! Convenient, right?!
  • Having more clients would mean being responsible for people and potentially letting them down.

Ask yourself: Who would I have to be to make money? What would having money mean?

14. Work on your money story! There’s so much packed into this one. We all have a past with money that dates back way farther than we can remember. Do some work to help you dig that up and get to know what’s going on there.

If you’re broke and always telling yourself you can’t afford things, you will continue down that path unless you change something. Try making a tiny shift in how you look at money. ie – Pay your bills with gratitude and appreciation by making a list of all the things this service enabled you to do. Or, look at not buying something as a choice rather than because you can’t afford it. It’s likely that you could sacrifice your rent to pay for something you wanted but you would rather have a home than a $500 pair of boots. That’s a choice! Feel empowered by your priorities instead of controlled by them.

15. Get rid of something! I’m sure you’ve heard the saying ‘nature abhors a vacuum’ – well, that shit is damn true! Try it out and watch what happens. It doesn’t really matter what it is… actual stuff, using a gift certificate you’ve been saving, cleaning out the fridge. Just do something and get it off your to do list. This creates flow where things are blocked.

Just be aware of what’s coming your way. Sometimes we’ll get sent something we don’t want as a test to see how committed we are to our true goals. Stay strong and hold out for the thing you really want!

16. Do you really want to be doing this? Are you really actually excited about it?! Get prepared for this one because the answer might be NO. And that’s OK.

What would you rather be doing instead? Is it a different offer or whole other business altogether? Be honest with yourself. Even if you don’t know how to make the switch right now, you will figure it out. You totally deserve to be doing something you love and getting to be YOUR WEIRD SELF. Believe it.

Tell me, which one(s) resonated the most with you? Do you have any specific things you like to do when you’re feeling all blocked up in the client area?

gimmespace!


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How being yourself in your business can get you the sale

It was 4am when I left my friends’ apartment in the West Village so I decided to cab it home to Brooklyn.

The driver was this tiny man and as soon as I got in his cab, he threw a handful of bangles at me and exclaimed “Try them on, see which ones fit!” And then started blasting Bollywood.

And I was thinking… oh dear, this man is a wee bit nutty.

He proceeded to serenade me while driving like a maniac through lower Manhattan.

And then, right as he got on the bridge, he started waving around a fist full of snakes. SNAKES!!

And then I was thinking… WHAT THE HALE IS GOING ON?? This man is absolutely nuts. I might die in this cab.

It took me half way across the bridge to realize the snakes were wooden. (seriously, they looked real!)

When we got off the bridge, his insanity continued. Including attempting to peddle his wooden snakes out the window while we were stopped at a red light and yelling at me for talking on my cell phone.

I made it home in one piece and as flabbergasted as I was by the whole thing, on my way out of the cab, I bought an insanely overpriced $10 snake from him.

I mean, I had to… RIGHT??!!

This is the snake.

Before this experience, I had zero interest in wooden snakes. But $10 was a small price to pay for a commemorative keepsake of tiny man’s wild ride. I probably would have even paid $20.

Had this been a completely normal, quiet and respectful cab ride that ended with him asking if I wanted to buy a snake, the answer probably would have been no.

But because he spent the entire time I was in the cab setting up the sale by adding a value to the snake with his performance, he turned a normally meaningless dollar store toy into a treasured keepsake. There’s a lot we can learn about branding, marketing and sales from this guy’s antics.

He took something common and whatever, a cab ride, and transformed it into a unique and memorable experience just by adding his own breed of flair to it. And because of it, was able to tack an extra $10 onto his fare.

This approach can be applied to any business.

What aspects of your personality can you bring into your biz that would get your clients buying anything you wave infront of their face?

Tell me in the comments below or over on Facebook

(Acting like a crazy person is optional but if that’s your thing – totally rock it!)

If you’re wondering how to take YOUR wooden snake from EH to OUTRAGEOUS, sign-up for a Bring Out Your Weird! Session where we’ll get you seeing value where you’ve never seen it before.

My treat! (yes, that means it won’t cost you anything!)

Alter egos.

This concept of an alter ego has been appearing in my travels.

First it appeared in a thread on a workshop forum. One of the wonderful ladies in the workshop shared her alter ego. She’s a talented poet and I absolutely LOVED her name. (Maybe she’ll grace us with her presence in the comments)

Then it appeared again in my horoscope for the week:

“Modest and chic, you tend towards the understated, but this full moon prods you out of your shell. Let your secret wild side emerge in the spirit of legendary Capricorn David Bowie and his alter ego Ziggy Stardust. Embrace the summer’s neon pink trend and rock it like it was your sign’s signature neutral hue.”

I’ve always been a little turned off by the idea of the alter ego. It seemed like people trying to be something they’re not. And that felt fake.

I hate fake.

But the more I think about, the more I realize that if you it feels good and right, then it’s not fake. It’s a real part of us.

We tend to use all the stuff we’ve experienced to make up the person we’re being. A lot of it we picked up when we were kids and have gotten so used to it, it’s become the normal us. That me has some pretty solid ideas of what I can and can’t do. What I am and am not. Sometimes those are limitations, sometimes they’re pieces of my personality that I like.

But being someone other than who I normally am is kind of scary. It would be so much easier if someone came along and was all “I give you permission. Let’s get CRAZY!”

Having an alter ego seems like that person – a short cut to funneling out a hidden part of me that doesn’t include any of my self-imposed bullshit. It sounds awesome and I’m intrigued.

I’m summoning you, alter ego… who are you? Let’s hang out.

Do you have an alter ego? Tell me who she (or he) is and how you two met!

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Experimenting with self-imposed structure and schedules

I’m what you might call a free spirit.

I’ve never been one for strict schedules.

I don’t like parameters.

They’ve always made me feel boxed in and under pressure. And, I’ve discovered that feeling pressured is my number one creativity killer.

Forced creativity was the hardest part of my former profession of being a graphic designer. Graphic design is what I would call a reactionary profession. A client comes to you with a specific design need and you create it for them based on their timeline.

This process was really stressful for me.

So, when I started my own business, in lieu of structure, I opted for more of a follow the bouncy ball approach. The ball being creativity. Happily chasing after it until the bounces got smaller and smaller and the ball eventually stopped. This approach seemed like living the dream of true creative freedom.

Each new idea started with me throwing the (proverbial) ball at the ground as hard as I could and bouncing along with it until it stopped. At which point, I would pick up the ball and bounce it again.

But, I’ve come to realize that my new focus – marketing mindset work – is what I would refer to as a visionary approach. In guiding others through the blazing of their own trail, I’m creating from scratch. I’m not just following along. I’m leading now, instead of reacting. I’m responsible for throwing the ball. I also have a choice in how and where it bounces and what happens when it starts to slow down.

I’ve been sticking to a reactionary schedule in a visionary setting, thinking that’s where my creativity thrives. But, sometimes the ball bounces off the ceiling and hits you in the face or scoots under the fridge and you just don’t feel like chasing after it. This leaves me in pain, disoriented or with a total loss of momentum.

I’ve started to get curious… can all of that discomfort can be avoided if I choose to catch the ball and start the game over before things get out of hand? Do I have more control over my creativity than I think? Will building a structure for my time create a space, backed by intention, for creativity to flow into?

This deep curiosity to see what happens when I assign blocks of time for specific tasks has led me to fill up my calendar with colorful boxes that tell me what to do, when. Will this approach unleash epic creativity and productivity? I’m itchin’ to find out! Stay tuned for my report on how it all pans out.

How do you set up your schedule and why? What are the pluses and minuses?

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Thoughts on money as energy

The beautiful and talented Nakia Angelique posed this question to her Facebook community:

I hear this often, “i don’t really need to make a lot of money, just enough to do this and that and take care of…”.

So, that’s cool, but consider this, let’s say $30,000 a year would do ya.
Why not aim to create $300,000 and give away $270,000? #broadenyourperspective

This topic is so very front and center right now, especially in the face of more and more people waking up to what’s really going on in the world. Read: corporate greed.

But, if heart-driven people had more money than they needed to survive, then they would get to support and enable even more heart-driven people, places, and things. Think about it for a minute.

In the mean time, here are my thoughts on where this mindset comes from…

I think this idea that having a lot of extra money is *bad* comes (in part) from the scarcity mindset. “If I have more than I need, then I’m taking away from someone else.” That concept comes, in part, from money being backed by gold and other finite resources – if you didn’t have it, you didn’t have wealth. But, what if we look at money as a banked amount of energy – you put forth your energy in a specific way and someone gives you money (their banked energy) in exchange. On the most basic level, we all have a bottomless store of banked energy, meaning that each person on this planet has the potential to earn an infinite amount of monetary wealth as well.

Now, in *real* world application, there are tons of roadblocks of various kinds that keep that loop from cycling freely – what we tell ourselves is possible, health problems, self-doubt, various modes of government and religion – the list goes on and on… but, what if stripping these roadblocks away is as easy as just believing that it’s possible. We wouldn’t have to know how, but just believing would invite that benevolent energy that’s greater than us to come in and figure out the HOW.

In the comments below, tell me how you feel about making more money than you *need*

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