Congratulations! Unlike most of the other archetypes, you’re already following your passion. From the time we were kids, we were taught to follow the safe path: Get into the right school, get the right job, get promoted up the ladder. Most people never truly ask themselves what they’re passionate about, and even fewer go out and do it.
Thus, the great strength of the Maestro is knowing exactly the right business to start. While others find themselves torn between conflicting ideas, opening an incongruent business, or starting multiple businesses that divide their attention, the Maestro focuses exclusively on one ideal opportunity, and does not suffer the doubts and anxiety that come from wondering if they made the right decision. If you’re a Maestro, the choice is obvious: you’re exceptionally gifted at your functional skill, you’ve been honing and practicing it all your life, it aligns with your passion, and you’ve long known that this is what you’re destined to do.
Making this choice from the beginning means you can avoid so many of the self-defeating traps that stall out other entrepreneurs, like pouring energy into an idea that just won’t work, questioning your skills, scattering your focus, or fruitlessly attempting to be all things to all people. You know that you’re a standout in your field, that you have a valuable service to provide your target audience, and that with hard work, commitment, and practice, there’s no doubt you can make it happen. This is an enviable position to be in. It saves you time, energy, and resources because you’ve immediately set yourself on the right path.
So where does the Maestro get waylaid? The mistake you make is avoiding the elements of business that you don’t enjoy, don’t feel confident in, and that make you uncomfortable. Sometimes Maestros are well aware of what they’re avoiding, and do so consciously, like a gifted musician who refuses to practice scales. Sometimes it’s a subconscious avoidance, with no real awareness of what those missing factors are. In either case, your business doesn’t get the traction it needs to gain momentum because one or more essential elements are being ignored.
It’s not that you’re avoiding work in general—on the contrary. The Maestro is constantly working. You perfect your website, create new products or services, keep current in your industry, and continuously hone your skills. all that is important, it prevents you from focusing on the area you most need to develop—for most Maestros, this area is sales. The reality is, it doesn’t matter how amazing the performance is if no one comes to the show.
Maestros tend to actively avoid the sales process. You find it uncomfortable and incongruent with your authentic self, so you work instead at areas you feel safe and confident in, areas you enjoy. If you’re aware that you’re doing this, you tell yourself that networking doesn’t work anyway, that you’re not a salesperson, that a beautiful website is what brings clients to you, that your work will speak for itself, that your Facebook ads will do the trick, and that it’s just a matter of time before customers discover you and understand your value. It’s a “Build it and they will come” mentality that attempts to justify your inaction and shift the responsibility elsewhere, and unfortunately leads to an empty client roster more often than not.
Without a sales process, you may also find yourself charging less than you’re worth, in hopes that a lower price will close the deal. You start to believe that clients just don’t appreciate your value, which over time can turn into serious discouragement. When you start thinking this way, you’re even less likely to solve your sales problem and more likely to procrastinate by “fixing” other elements of your business.
At its core, this avoidance is based on fear. And it’s understandable: It’s hard to put yourself out there, especially if you don’t have experience with sales or have been unsuccessful at developing a message you feel confident sharing. But it’s important to realize that “sophisticated procrastination”—devoting your time and energy to everything but your sales process—means that you’ll always be missing a fundamental element of success.
The good news is that solving this problem is relatively straightforward. Every other element of your business is in place. You’ve got a profitable idea with the skills to back it up, you’re following your passion, you’re a hard worker, and you’re dedicated to success. You know exactly how to help your clients, and you provide a top-quality finished product. There is no need to overhaul or even restructure your business. You’re in a “just add sales” situation.
Sales can be learned, just like anything else. You don’t need to be a natural-born salesperson, you don’t need to be an extrovert, and you don’t need the gift of the gab. You only need to acknowledge that you’re missing an essential feature of a successful business. Then, commit yourself to systemizing your sales process, through strategic networking and a planned presentation that speaks directly to your ideal client and demonstrates the outcomes you provide. You don’t need an uncomfortable “hard sell” personality. You just need to learn to talk about your business in a way that’s authentic to you, incorporates compelling stories of past client successes, gets right to the heart of the client’s problems, and shows them without doubt that you’re the one to solve them.
When it comes to what’s required for a successful business, Maestros have almost everything in place: nearly every note for the symphony of success. The one element that tends to trip you up—a sales process you’re comfortable with—is remedied once you acknowledge the problem and apply yourself towards solving it. Then sit back and revel in your sold-out performance.