The first time I launched a book (back in March), I remember being excited and completely terrified at the same time.
Wow, my book is on Amazon! Crap, that means actual readers are going through my stories!
It wasn’t logical to feel both ecstatic and frantic.
I can’t tell you how nerve-wracking it was to watch my in-laws leaf through the first few pages. To say I wanted to die is such an understatement. I watched in absolute terror as they read some passages out loud and smiled at me with surprise.
Their reaction was positive, but my fear was so incredibly negative.
People read my blog every day (good morning!), but people reading my book was killing me inside!
After a few moments of UTTER FREAK OUT, I made a conscious decision to turn both emotions off.
The Power of Purpose
What I mean by that statement is that — instead of focusing on my own emotions — I turned myself over to the purpose behind my work.
I turned off the fear by making it bigger than myself — and by focusing much more on the customers, clients, and readers that needed me. For example, I turn around my fear by reminding myself of the following:
By focusing on the audiences I am serving and what value I am bringing them, any fear drops away. But zeroing in on the right audience is very tricky.
The Right Audience
It’s hard to calm fears when there isn’t a great and grateful audience to enjoy that purpose. It’s hard to turn off fears and anxieties about our projects when there isn’t a clear purpose behind our work. Likewise, it’s hard to shed those fe
To help you find the right audience, I’ve divided your customers in two groups.
There are two types of customers I have encountered: those that care about the What and those that care about the Why. I’ll explain in more detail what each type of customer entails and what they mean for your business.
The “What” Customers
There are some customers that care about what you do. Let’s call them the What Customers. They want information on products — like prices, colors, and delivery dates.
These customers will come back a few times, when the products you offer fit their needs. They may even send you a friend or two who also need what you have in stock.
The What Customer isn’t in it for your purpose or your mission. They’re in it for themselves.
Facts are facts. They won’t stick around too long.
If possible, serve them as a second round — and never abandon them — but I advise to be wary of these and to never count on them as if they will come back. The chances are low.
But all is not lost. There’s another type of customer — a much more valuable type of customer — that is definitely worth focusing on.
The “Why” Customers
These customers care about why you do what you do. These are our beloved Why Customers.
The Why Customer wants information on your mission — social projects, beneficiaries, your impact on the world, your metrics on happiness. Your personality (authentic, please) shines here, connecting people with people.
Don’t believe me? Ask yourself which type of customer you are? Which brands you purchase from and which ones you care deeply about?
Let’s be honest. There are very few brands that I care about. But when I care, I care a lot.
Narrowing Your Focus
If you take a moment now to analyze your customers, I bet you could separate the best from the worst. Try this:
- Separate the customers that bring you tons of energy from the ones that don’t.
- Separate the customers that pay you on time gladly from the ones that don’t.
- Separate the customers that appreciate you work from the ones that don’t.
- Separate the customers that teach you and inspire you from the ones that don’t.
Not every client is your ideal client. Every company would rather have customers focused on their purpose rather than just their products — because they will come back more often.
Learning to identify between the two types of customers is golden for your business. After identifying them, learning to turn away those that are not right for you is absolute gold.
In the end, watching my in-laws read a few pages out of my book was absolutely terrifying, but it prepared me to become comfortable with thousands of readers across the world reading it. It prepared me to receive my why customers with excitement and care. It prepared me to put myself aside and put my readers first.
You can also watch me (hopefully) overcome my fear tomorrow at my first TEDx event. I’ll be speaking at around 6:15PM EST. Check out the livestream tomorrow afternoon on www.tedxmanagua.com.