When my kids were really little, I had grand aspirations of making a delicious, amazing birthday cake for my son's birthday. I wanted it to be 3 layers and decorated beautifully, so I could impress all of my family guests that were coming over to celebrate.
I wanted to have this amazing cake, but I also needed to get it done quickly. I bought a box mix (extra moist!) and baked my 3 layers. While they were still slightly warm, I stacked them all up and piled on the frosting.
It started to lean.
And lean some more.
I tried fixing it. I tried using the frosting as cement to fill in all the holes. I tried toothpicks. I yelled for Chris to help.
This cake was going down.
I wanted to cry. I also wanted to laugh. (It was pretty funny, after all.)
We had guests coming over in just an hour and I would have no cake for my son's birthday! (And that's why I wanted to cry!)
Looking around the kitchen frantically, I found a trifle bowl that I had received as a wedding gift.
Chris helped me dump the entire cake into the bowl. Again, laughter and tears were threatening to overflow out of me, at the same time. I grabbed the rest of the frosting and just dumped it in. I had no idea what to do, but I knew the cake would still taste good! I smothered a layer over the top and was able to write "Happy Birthday" in frosting.
(I was right! It did taste good. But it looked terrible!!)
Building a business is a lot like my attempt to make a grand, 3 layered cake.
We want it fast. We want it to be amazing. We want to impress everyone we know.
And sometimes? Sometimes we take shortcuts. My boxed "extra moist" cake was NOT the right consistency to layer a cake. I should have allowed the cake to fully cool. Maybe even waited a full day before decorating.
Have you seen the "Cake in a mug"? This is an even faster shortcut to cake! I tried it once and while it was fast, it was not delicious. The recipe bragged that now you could have cake in 3 minutes, whenever you wanted it! And yet, it was subpar.
I never made it again.
I see a lot of advertisements to business owners for fast, easy, slick funnels. I see technology such as Infusionsoft that promises easy, hands-off processes to move leads to clients. But what I've found is that this is a fast way to make your cake crumble.
You know what works? The good old-fashioned way. Making the cake from scratch. Taking time before adding the frosting. Your cake won't bend and break. It will stand tall and be the centerpiece of your birthday party.
In your business, it entails speaking to one client at a time. Listening to their needs and offering them a solution. It's adding your prospects to your email list and authentically emailing them once a month with a newsletter that is both real and entertaining. It's picking up the phone and making follow up calls to see if they are ready to purchase. It's keeping things simple--the old-fashioned way.
You don't need fancy funnels. You don't need a complicated system. You just need to serve your clients and show them that you truly care.
One new client at a time. THAT is how you'll grow your business.
I've done this time after time with two businesses. This isn't theory. It works.
And if you need some help? Let's talk on the phone. Just you and me. I'll take a look at what you're doing and help you see where you can improve. After all, my whole goal is to see YOUR business grow.
P.S. My daughter Abigail has shown me the "right" way to make a cake. She is calm and patient and she makes amazing cakes!
About the Author
Hi, I'm Jen Hickle!