The Authentic Business Quadrants: Pathways to Meaningful Income

You’re passionate about providing what you believe to be a much needed service. You put it out there… yet you’re surprised that not enough people buy. 

With such a great idea, why isn’t your business working… yet?
Over the years I’ve met many inspired, visionary, heart-based people who are missing a core understanding about marketing. A hard truth that’s important to reflect on:

It’s difficult to sell something unless people already want it. 

In other words, to make money, you’ll need to sell what they want, not what you want. 

Your income comes from other people. They eagerly give it to you… if you’re offering what they want.

“But isn’t that the job of marketing… to charm them with words and images into wanting what I want to sell them?”

That’s what conventional marketing wants you to believe. They want you to learn persuasion psychology, so you can charm/manipulate your audience into buying whatever you’re selling… even if they didn’t know they needed it.

I hope that we all choose a more noble path – to have a successful business without having to manipulate people or even to try to charm them with words or pretty pictures. To your true fans, the ones that are meant for you, your authentic self is already charming enough! 

I hope we all provide a product or service that our customers feel is much needed, without having to persuade them of it.

Consider the following diagram – the quadrants that describe possible pathways to an authentic business:

​When you begin your business you have a small warm audience – your friends and colleagues. If you need to make money quickly, you’ll need to sell what
they want you to sell them. 

How? By asking them. Give them a few choices of what services you could provide, and ask which option they think will sell best among people like them. The one they vote most for, ask if they know someone who would love to buy that service. (They might even say that they would!) 

Read more: blog posts about getting clients authentically.

The path to quicker income is to humbly start at the lower left quadrant.

At the same time, you can begin building your future Authentic Business by gradually expanding your warm audience. You can do this through authentic content marketing, or through netcaring and collaborations. Whichever path you choose (or both), being consistent in doing the actions will make you more skillful and increasingly more successful at it.

The more you grow your warm audience, the more you’ll find your true fans – kindred spirits who love your content and presence, and are open to buying just about anything you’d like to sell:

The danger I see from most heart-based entrepreneurs is that they start by selling what they want to a tiny warm audience. Essentially, they have a hobby, and struggle to turn it into a business, not realizing that there’s a journey involved: start humble by selling what your small warm audience wants you to sell. Then, as you grow a larger warm audience, you’ll have more freedom to sell whatever you want, and have enough true fans to buy it.

For the lucky few who don’t need their business to produce income in the short term, and can put their energies only into building a true-fan audience, they can take this alternate pathway:

​If this describes you, you are fortunate indeed!  You can stay with your passions, learn to use marketing to share your authentic presence and by doing so, grow a kindred-spirit audience that will eventually be happy to buy just about anything you’d like to sell, whether it’s your own product or someone else’s that you believe in.

My guess is that for most of you reading this, Path A (Quicker Income) is needed. If so, you need to master the art of aligning your skillset with what your existing network wants to buy. 

To read blog posts along these lines, go here: optimizing your offerings as a solopreneur. For a course that guides you step-by-step, check out CORE: Solopreneur Market Research.