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I own two marketing agencies and our average client is paying us anywhere between 1,700 and 15,000 a month in reoccurring cost. Now, they see the value in this and our actual ability to maintain a client over a course of several years is extremely high. However, over the last six months, we decided we want to make an impact for smaller businesses who couldn’t afford our services.

Three times we’ve tried to come up with a DIY type solution where we could give them the expertise of a full stack marketing company and actually have them do a little bit of the work. Now, we thought, “Hey, this is a great way to make a major impact in a small business owners’ life.” If they take these steps and apply them, they can go from small independent frustrated business owner to small happy business owner or medium or larger. We can help them scale, we knew we could move the needle, we also knew they couldn’t afford our prices.  So we spent countless hours, full weekends, our whole staff diving into this solution and after our third time, we’ve hit our head against the same wall over and over and over again.

You see, the small business owner, for them, the price even though it was actually a tenth of the price we were charging everyone else, they actually thought it was too much. In fact, they would email us or call us almost on a daily, if not weekly basis. Where our high end agency clients were only contacting us maybe once a month, just to check in, because they knew the work that we were doing, the work that we were doing for them was helping their business.

The small business owner just didn’t have the vision, they didn’t have the clarity of scope and that’s why they’ve remained at that playing level. You see, we’ve tried over and over again to beat our heads against the wall to help these people. Because we wanted to give back. We were passionate about what we wanted to do. And yet, each and every time, it seemed like we were trying to put a square peg into a round hole.

They wanted the full stack solution. They really didn’t know what it was and frankly, maybe we didn’t do a great job communicating it. Maybe it was the wrong audience. Now, this isn’t everybody we brought into this DIY type atmosphere. We’ve had a few flourish and they are going to excel and we’re happy for that. But for the most part, this has been one of the biggest headaches of our business in the last year, and I’m sorry to say that I’m wondering now, if the possibility, now I’m going to ask you to try this on, I’m wondering, how often in other areas of my life, if I’m trying to put a square peg in a round hole?

So. I’ve tried this before in the area of relationships. There are a couple of friendships that I’ve been trying to salvage over the last couple of years. You see, they keep telling me, they want to grow. They keep telling me “Doug, I want to uplevel. Doug, what do I need to do? I want to save my relationships, what book should I read?” And I give them books, I give them audio, I talk to them, I listen to them as a friend, not as a coach, that’s not my role here, but each and every time they go ahead and sabotage what they’re doing and I love them and I want to see them keep growing. But I’ve learned over time after beating my head day in and day out with these people, that I’m really trying to put a square peg in a round hole in that relationship.

They’re just not looking for the same thing I am. They’re calling me up just to complain. Just to vent, just to put the monkey, the problems on my shoulders and hope that I’ll carry the weight for them. That I’ll somehow solve their relationships, and when they call me and ask me about their business, and ask me what they should be doing, and they’ll ask for my time, they’ll ask for me to work on their marketing, and as a friend, I want to help them, that’s just who I am, I’m just loyal to the core.

I want them to exceed, I want them to succeed and exceed what their own standards are. However, over the course of the years, I’ve just realized that’s just not who they are. That’s not what they’re built for. So I look at other areas and I’m going to ask you, what’s the possibility, just consider for a moment, where in your five to thrive are you trying to take a square peg and put it into a round hole?

You know, we all do this over the years, but right now what I want you to do is grab your journal. Write out your five to thrive, your mind, your body, your soul, your relationships, and your business and look at those, and look at your goals and look at the path. Look at the past 90 days or maybe … This is the end of 2017, so it’s a good time to look at the past year. Where have you tried to take that square peg and jam it into that round hole over and over again? Like me?

Like me, as a business owner, really just wanting to help the smaller guy, help pull somebody up, and help do it in a massive scale, so I’ve been beating my head. I’ve lost time with my family, with my little one, spending time in my office on my whiteboard, just writing things out, trying to make it better, so that the mom and pop, the guy down main street, the small business owner, could actually have the tools necessary to go ahead and have rapid growth.

But yet, what I didn’t realize is they weren’t ready for it. They weren’t ready to actually do the work necessary. They wanted me to do it all for them. They wanted to put the blame on me. On their environment. We talked about this in other Daily Growth Hacks where I’ve talked about some of these business owners that I’ve been talking to. They’ll say, “You know, it’s the area I live in Doug, it’s not me, it’s just this town that I live in.

The funny thing was, if you recall in the previous Daily Growth Hack, I talked to three business owners within 72 hours who told me that it was there specific area that was the issue, not them. Right? How can all three of these people blame their geography, and say their geography is so unique, it’s the only reason they can’t grow.

Over time, you got to look at yourself in the mirror, and I got to look at myself in the mirror as a business owner trying to innovate products, trying to bring solutions to the market place and trying to help people. Just out of the kindness of my heart and try to give them the value and do it at a massive scale and realize, “Hey, maybe I’m trying to put a square peg in a round hole, and maybe that I just … I should let the cream rise to the top and when that cream rises to the top, they can afford our agency level services and now grow even more.”

So I’m asking you, in your five to thrive, where are you seeing this? Where are you seeing this in your mind? Where are you seeing this in your body? What about your soul? Relationships? And of course your business? I’d love for you to share in the Author of Your Own Story community and as always go to, where you get the latest tips, tricks, and techniques delivered right to your inbox each and every day.

Of course, share this with somebody you love. You never know what sharing this with somebody you love is going to do for them. Also, the conversations you’re going to get out of this, are going to allow you to build your tribe and grow as an individual on a path to your own story.

That’s it for me today, go out and inspire someone else by simply being the Author of Your Own Story. I’ll see you tomorrow!

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