When What You’re Doing, Isn’t Working

This was originally an email to my personal list, but I received such great feedback, I decided to share it with everyone!

I hesitated to write this because on the surface, it sounds so douche-y “Here, let me tell you why your business isn’t working right now…”

At the same time, I am in the trenches, everyday, coaching people who are in all the stages of not-going-so-well to crushing it, and I’m starting to see some definite patterns.

I’m writing this at 5am in the morning, sitting in the dark on my bedroom floor, waiting for my curls to dry.

Seriously, it’s so much work being a woman sometimes. I can’t blowdry my curls or I’ll look like Monica from Friends, which means when I have to be somewhere at 8am, even though it only takes me 15 minutes to get ready- TOPS- I have to shower about 16 light years before that to have my hair dry in time.

Wondering where I’m going? To lead a 3 day explode-your-brains-on-the-table mastermind event.

This means that right now, I have some time to kill, and I thought I’d use it writing out the crap I see people doing that does.not.work.


1. Not having a story…correction, a good story

Story is everything. You need to be able to capture your customer’s attention, and keep you and your business front of mind. There’s really only one way to do that, and that’s through the context of a story. High drama, tension, humor, conflict, love, and victory (or even defeat).

And if you don’t have an exciting story, you have two options. Take something small and boring, and make it exciting. Or…go do something nuts so you have a good story to tell.

The other day, Alex and I got in a huge fight.

It was over the smallest thing…does that ever happen to you?

We were at a garden center of all places, looking for some front porch hanging flower baskets.

I could tell Alex wasn’t very excited about this adventure, but he was tagging along, if for no other reason than to be the peanut gallery reminding me that I have a lot of ideas that I start and don’t finish.

“Remember the lemon tree you said you would take care of? The herbs in the kitchen window? The tomato plants in the back yard? They are all dead. Julie you can’t buy real flowers anymore. You just kill them all.”

It went something like that.

Of course, I don’t like being told what to do, so I tried to explain that front porch hanging flower baskets are TOTALLY different. That I would water them every day. Pick off the dead buds. Replenish them throughout the season.

That’s when it happened…
He walked away…but not before giving me a nice Romanian eye-roll. Not a cute little half-mocking, half-joking roll.
An annoying, super condescending, I think you’re an idiot and don’t stick to your word….eye roll.

You want to know what happens next don’t you? Well…not for today. My point was to show you how I started telling a very compelling story using the most boring Saturday afternoon errand ever. Don’t tell me you don’t have stories. You do.

2. Your stuff…sucks

Yes, it does. People aren’t buying it because it sucks. I used to be afraid to say this. Until I realized (and more importantly, believed)…

Your stuff….is not YOU.

You don’t suck.

Your stuff might.

That course, book, program, idea, funnel, blog, etc… it might suck yes, but it isn’t you.

Think about nature. The apple tree bears hundreds of apples a season. Some suck. They have worms and bruises and deformities.

The tree produces fruit and some of it is awesome, and some sucks.

But now imagine what would happen if the tree REFUSED to let the sucky apples fall off the branch.

Aside from NEVER being able to produce an apple in that spot again, it would also attract bugs and worms and other parasites that would eventually destroy the whole branch, and then the tree.

Your bad product or idea is not a reflection on your whole being.

The apple tree doesn’t give one f*ck about the bad apple. It drops it and keeps going.

The only way your sucky stuff is going to hold you back, is if you refuse to let it go.

3. You are unwilling to show up

I have this bonus course inside of Create Your Laptop Life called Sign a Client in 30. It’s a 30-day course to help people find clients if they are funnelbuilders, copywriters, designers, etc.

And really…it’s 30 creative ways to force people to SHOW up.

“Oh I show up!” people say to me when they can’t find clients and ask me for help.

Do you?

I usually push back. Tell them if they were really showing up, I’d be sick of their face on social media.

Sure enough, they go back to Sign a Client, and actually DO WHAT IT SAYS. They show up, and like magic…they find work.

People are the currency of business. If you are not in front of them, they won’t know. They won’t buy.

It’s about as true as any law of physics I learned and then conveniently forgot in high school.

4. You mish-mash strategies before even executing on a proven one that works

I never got this.

People take a little bit from one methodology, a little bit from another, and another, and another.

Then it doesn’t work and they feel so disillusioned.

Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of DIFFERENT methodologies that all work, but just pick one and use it. It’s when you try to blend them together that the marketing magic and psychology that makes one method work, makes the other one not work as well.


You don’t get the right to mish-mash strategies until you first execute on a proven one that works.

Do the damn webinar funnel, like it says.

Do the self-liquidating offer funnel, or the 2-step.

Or any of number of strategies that you see working everyday in the marketplace.

Do them, and give them a chance to work. Don’t quit on them when they suck at first. That’s to be expected!

Once you’ve cut your teeth, feel free to get creative.

If after a REALLY good effort, something isn’t working, it probably means your funnel was trying to sell something that sucked. Or you didn’t have a story. Or you didn’t show up.

Or…it might be that….


5. You got obsessed with your product, instead of CREATING and SELLING an offer

Some of you have stuff that doesn’t suck at all. In fact, it’s really really good.

And you figured that being really really good was enough.

It isn’t.

Successful business owners become OBSESSED with the SELLING of the thing, not the thing itself (quoting Russell Brunson).

You’ll know when you’ve become obsessed with the selling of your thing, instead of the thing itself because you’ll be more focused on:

  • Your stories
  • Your customers
  • How to create an irresistible juicy offer
  • How to get inside and discover what people REALLY truly want

6. You’re in a market that doesn’t care

This is so painful, but it’s true. Sometimes you’ve built something that people just don’t care about…or at least, they aren’t willing to pay for.

Be like the apple tree. Drop it. Keep going.

It’s not that people don’t care about you. Try not to make it personal.

You will find something that clicks, as long as you let it go, and keep going.


7. You refuse to invest the money into the skills or strategies you need to get it off the ground

Some things just need money. Seriously.

They need juice and energy and momentum.

They need skilled strategists and ads and traffic and #allthethings.

I’m all for bootstrapping your business, but we’ve gotten lazy in this online world.

People back in the day needed to get business loans. BIG ONES. It was a gamble, but it was the only way to get the momentum and supplies and people needed to open up a shop, restaurant, etc.

You sometimes need MONEY, and when people aren’t willing to spend it, it becomes a hamster wheel of uselessness.

Guys, that’s really it! Those are the 7 biggest reasons I see things “not working”. I’m sure there are others, but we’re 1400 words in and my hair is on its way to being dry. I need to get up and go now!

Last thing…

I can’t imagine there is ANYONE who hasn’t read Dot Com Secrets or Expert Secrets yet, but just in case…if you have not bought them or read them or devoured them like I have….go do it. Right now. Read Expert Secrets FIRST!! These two books will teach you SO MUCH about marketing, and about what works and doesn’t work.

And…if you think there’s something that isn’t working in your business, and it isn’t one of these 7 things, leave a comment and let me know!

xx Julie