For some time now I’ve have taken issue with the advice given small business owners on social media platforms under the guise of motivation and advice. Sadly, much of this advice being spewed forth by many of these so called experts is, in my opinion, nothing more than hype to grow their popularity.
But in order to balance my opinion and for research purposes, I have spent over 20 hours of listening to the audio version of the books of some of these more popular gurus and to be honest, my opinion hasn’t changed. Listening to how we need to crush it or 10x our activity, because if we don’t, we’ll never achieve our goals, is a little much.
We all need motivation
Now granted, we all need motivation at times and Covid-19 has certainly increased the need. The ongoing pressure and changes has certainly amped up the challenges and anxiety of running a business. This increased strain can be draining and after a while can leave us feeling a little lost, worn out or just fed up.
Covid-19 aside, many of us entrepreneurs have been there over the years. Most of the time it’s nothing more than a speed bump after a prolonged period of grinding it out. You see, successful entrepreneurs are for the most part pretty positive and optimistic individuals. We have to be, considering what it takes to survive, let alone thrive. That’s why resilience is such a key characteristic of those that are successful.
But even with our higher dose of resilience coupled with a higher than average positivity and optimistic outlook, sometimes it’s just not enough, the tank is empty and were done. It’s what I like to call a “Poor Me Day”! It’s a day where we feel sorry for ourselves and wonder what the heck we got into and is it worth it? It doesn’t matter how long you been in business, Poor Me Days can happen to anyone.
The thing is, successful entrepreneurs don’t stay down long, hence the name Poor Me Day, not days. Now on the bright side, a Poor Me Day can be almost like a mental reboot, where it clears your mental cache that has accumulated bits of negative experiences over a period of time. And much like your PC, this cache needs to be cleared every once in a while. So having a Poor Me Day is ok, because once cleared, we can get back to doing what we need to do.
A witty meme doesn’t cut it when you advice
As I mentioned earlier, I do understand the need for motivation and sometimes it is the tonic we need to jolt us back to reality. But reading a pithy meme on Twitter, Facebook or Linkedin, unfortunately barely qualifies as motivation.
Motivation is supposed to help us to reset our compass and get our head screwed on straight again. Reading a witty meme or a quote that is misattributed to some personality really doesn’t quite cut it.
Digging into a book or listening to an audiobook has usually done it for me. It gets me thinking. My preference is for the audiobook, especially when read by the author allows me to get a truer sense of their message and their personalities. As a bonus, I can listen to them just about anywhere.
However, what I find disturbing by the two top personalities who’s audiobooks I have just listened to, was the messaging and the tone in which it was delivered.
Let’s start with the messaging. The last thing you want when you’re down is someone telling you that you’re not working hard enough. Telling you that you’ve got to up your game and do a lot more, otherwise you’ll never make it and you’ll be nothing more than average. Or if your not prepared to give it your all, sacrifice everything and put in longer hours in order to dominate, you’ll never achieve the success you want. Really? You call that motivational? I call it bull. But unfortunately that’s the underlying theme of these books.
As for the tone, I found them to be a little too “in your face”! It’s been my experience that what most people need when they’re down, is a calming voice or message instead of someone screaming at you telling you that you’re inadequate and you’re not putting in the effort.
Nothing more than sound bites
Listening to these audiobooks let’s you hear the sheer arrogance of these authors that may not be conveyed when reading the text. I will say, if you can get by all the chest beating that you have to endure, there are a couple of nuggets of good advice, but unfortunately, there’s far more hollow advice that it makes me wonder how they’ve become best sellers.
Much of their advice really is nothing more than sound bites and lack any sound executional details. Although, I’m pretty sure I’m not their target market, it does make me wonder who actually drinks their Kool-Aid? Considering, that there’s just so many better motivational or educational resources out there that offer much better advice.
Does it help to move your business forward?
The good news for most is that many of these resources are free if you have a library card. Although they vary in selection, many libraries have digital libraries that you can download e-books or audiobooks that run the gambit from sales, marketing, social media and so on from a variety of authors.
The only minor downside for some may be that you have to do a deep dive on a subject by reading or listening for a few hours. But let me tell you, no one book will have all the answers, but many will tell you how instead of just saying you should.
So the next time you come across one of these social media posts, take a second to assess it’s true value. How does it help you move your business forward or are the authors just looking to increase their followers and likes? The choice is yours.
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Get More LIFE Out of Your Business
You shouldn’t be the hardest working person in your company.
Many small business owners find that even after the struggling start-up years, they’re working too many hours and still managing every aspect of their businesses.
Greg Weatherdon has been there, done that. As an entrepreneur, he learned not only how to get a business to the point of running smoothly, but also how to reduce the number of hours he worked, delegate more responsibility to his employees, and take longer vacations while his business chugged along like a well-oiled machine. And now he is providing the secret to success.
Do you suffer from any of the following?
1. Business ownership isn’t living up to the dream.
2. Endless workdays.
3. You can’t find good people.
4. Profits are less than expected.
5. You can never take a vacation.
You’re not alone. But there is a solution. As Greg demonstrates, with some time and effort, you really can Get More Life Out Of Your Business.