Part 3—Kieran Lenahan: How to Develop a Healthy Mindset
Kieran continues the conversation on mindset, with a focus on marketing and selling your Kingdom business. Mindsets help you achieve your goals and operate a better business. Best of all, they help you accomplish them in less time. In this episode, guest host Kieran Lenahan gives tools to build an effective Christian company through the lens of mindset building. He goes into both the ancient principles found in the Bible as well as the science required to be successful in this regard.
Kieran has a decorated career in non-profit, startup and corporate management. He is an iPEC certified business coach and owner of Lenahan Coaching; a firm which helps business owners win in the arena of time management. When he’s not coaching, he spends his time with family and fighting homelessness at Covenant House, where he is as an associate board member.
This episode covers the topics of selling, marketing, Kingdom business, mindsets, mind over matter, Bible, prayer, coaching, and healthy thinking habits.
Welcome to Lunch Break a special weekly series of the eternal entrepreneur that gives you bite pieces of wisdom on how to build a functional faith and business. Each episode unpacks, a short, actionable topic. You can put into practice this week. Let's get into it. Hey, Eternal Entrepreneurs, Pierce Brantley. Here we have a special lunch break episode for you, which comes from a new version of the show called the partnership series. In these limited edition series, we partner with great minds from our interviews to bring you business content. You won't find anywhere else this way, you can hear both their story and the strategies they use to run successful companies. Today's lunch break is from Kieran Lenahan. He runs Lenahan Coaching, which helps Christian entrepreneurs succeed in business without sacrificing their health, family, and faith. We loved having Kieran on the show before, and we know you enjoy them today. As they unpack the subject of mindsets, let's get into it.Keiran Lenahan:
Hey everybody. And welcome back to this four part series on mindset today. We're jumping into part three. Again, I'm Kieran Lenahan. I'm a Jesus follower, a foster dad and a business coach. So, if you have questions about any of those topics, feel free to reach out and connect with me. Last week, we talked about mindset, goal setting, and goal achieving. And we said the main takeaway was that setting a goal is easy, but maintaining a healthy relationship with that goal is more difficult mainly because nobody ever taught us how to do that. So if you didn't listen to it, I highly recommend you go back and check it out. Because most people, most of us are familiar with setting smart goals, setting goals. Isn't the problem. It's learning how to use your goal as a tool that helps you instead of a weapon that hurts you. That's the missing link for most people. So today we're going to get into selling and marketing. The two of these topics go hand in hand, especially for service-based entrepreneurs, people who are building a business around themselves. And their skillsets and their experiences. Now this could be an entire series on its own, but for now we're going to talk about some really key concepts. So today I'm actually going to share an embarrassing story about me and how it affected my ability to sell early on in my business. And then what we're going to do is run through. Some thoughts in the model, right? We've talked about this the past couple of weeks around marketing and selling, and we're going to identify some of the common exit thoughts that people have and the common highway thoughts that can really help people sell and market from a place of integrity and love. So here's the thesis for today's episode, selling and marketing stops being about you and instead becomes about the potential clients you can help. That's when it becomes service. That's when it becomes love, you can market and sell from a place of love and service business owners, sell products and what, services. The word "service" is built into it. And so selling feels like anything other than service by love. That's an indication that your mindset around selling likely needs an adjustment. And this episode is for you. Another reason I'm personally pumped about this episode is because changing my mindset and my relationship with marketing and selling is primarily the thing that led to the growth of my business from $2,000 a months early on to consistent five figure months. And this was the main driver of that change and that growth in the business. So as always let's jump in, but let's first ground ourselves in the Bible. And so from Philippians chapter two, verses three and four, do nothing out of selfish, selfish ambition, or vain conceit, rather in humility, value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests, but each of you to the interests of others as Christian entrepreneurs, God calls us to be different than any other entrepreneur. The world is full of manipulative, manipulative selling. Pressuring people into decisions using fear-based marketing. We are called to make the needs of others. The people we're trying to serve the top priority. Let me actually share an embarrassing story about an experience that I had with manipulative selling and the impact that it had on me and my business. So two months after I got married, my wife and I. One quote, unquote, a free trip. Notice the air quotes to the Dominican Republic. So to claim this prize, we had to attend a presentation. And at this presentation, somebody was selling what they claimed were the greatest pots and pans ever made. Not really, of course, but at this presentation, they were at a very steep discount. If we agreed to buy right then and there now the catch was buying the pots and pans was the only way to get that free trip to the Dominican Republic. So I'll spare the details, but young, naive, and still using the pots and pans that we had from college. I made the decision to impulse, buy them. And within 30 minutes of making that decision, I remember sitting in my car with my wife. Feeling this wave of buyer's remorse, like buyer's remorse on steroids. And I felt like a huge idiot. I had clearly been manipulated into buying a poor quality product that we didn't actually need because I made an emotional decision out of fear, fear of missing out. And so the result of this experience, whenever I felt like after that time, whenever I felt like somebody was selling to me, I immediately got angry. I shut down the conversation. I instantly felt uncomfortable and I would think things like, I can't believe this person is really trying to sell me X or Z or Y how, how manipulative of them. And I assumed everybody else felt this way too. So. I never wanted anyone to feel the way that I felt after buying the pots and pans. So naturally I hated selling. You can imagine that probably had an impact. Later on years later, when I started my business, when I first started my business, I hid, I didn't create much content. I didn't tell many people what I did or who I work with or how I can help, because all of that felt like selling and it felt like I was trying to manipulate people to. To hire me. I assume that my one experience was representative of all selling and I wanted nothing to do with it. And for months, this constrained my business and held me back. So this along with kind of being taught about humility as a kid growing up. I conflated humility with thinking less of myself and what value I brought to the table and downplaying it. I thought it meant minimizing how I could help people. And I share this story and that lesson, because this is a common thread that I see with a lot of my clients. They've had a negative experience being sold to, they never want to be like that person and they never want to make anybody else feel the way that they felt in that experience. Therefore they don't sell or they totally hold themselves back when it comes to marketing. I spend a lot of time with my clients in sessions. And assigning them some exercises to give them an opportunity to unpack and understand their history and their baggage with selling. It is such a worthwhile experience. And I suggest that you take some time to reflect on the most memorable experiences that you have around selling and what those experiences. Taught you and how those shaped your beliefs about what it even means to sell. Now, I'm not going to go too much further into this because this could literally be hours and hours of conversation, but I'll leave you with that reflect on your baggage and your experiences with selling in the past and how that might be impacting you now. Now I want to jump to and spend the rest of our time talking about, especially for new entrepreneurs, the biggest issues with marketing and selling the most common thing that I hear people struggling with is some flavor of, I don't want to be manipulative. I don't want to be salesy or sleazy or pushy. I just, I don't want to do that. And so I don't really know how I can market my services and sell my services. Let me, first of course you don't that's, that is a great desire. You should not want to be salesy or sleazy or manipulative. That's not what we're called to do, but the good news is you don't actually have to be to run a successful business and even better when you are not salesy or sleazy or manipulative, you'll actually. Be excited to market your business and sell your services. And at the end of the day, that's going to be a whole lot more effective in the long run. Sure. So how do you not be salesy, salesy and manipulative is all about your mindset and we know this, so let's, we're going to use a playful example here. You can say the exact same words as somebody else. But they can say it in a way that's manipulative. And so let's, let's use a personal example that maybe you all can relate to when you're out to eat at a restaurant and your wife, for me, this is something that my wife does, or maybe your husband asks, if they can have some of your fries. Now you can respond in one of two ways. You're going to say the same words, but the way that you say it's going to be different. So you can say, sure, yeah, you go ahead. You can have some. Or you can say, sure, yeah, go ahead. You can have some, I'm using the same words, but the intent and the heart and the mindset behind my response changes, how it comes across and changes the actual meaning of what I'm saying. And it is the same thing when it comes to selling and marketing, you can tell when people are being manipulative and salesy, by how they're saying what they're saying and how they're showing up, you can also tell when somebody authentically wants to help you. And the same way that you can tell that your audience, the people, the potential clients that you have and that you market to, they can pick up on that too. So how, how you feel when you're marketing or selling reflects what you're believing about yourself and about the services that you offer. So let's run through some exit thoughts around selling that lead to less than ideal results. And I'm going to walk through kind of what the thought sounds like. And then actually, what it tends to mean. So a very common thought that I hear is I don't want to make people feel uncomfortable when I sell to them, which really typically means we're projecting that, right. It means that I don't want to feel uncomfortable myself selling to somebody, or I don't want to be seen as salesy or pushy. Typically that means there's a small part of us that believes that we are being salesy or pushy. There's the classic fear of what if I'm rejected, which. Again, deep down means my fear of rejection is stronger or greater than my desire to serve my potential clients. And the last one, I'll share, I feel like I'm bothering people. When I talk about my business or market my business. This really means. I'm thinking when I'm thinking about marketing and selling the people that I have in mind, I'm thinking about people who aren't even my ideal client, right? That's what that means. And so if you run any of these thoughts through the model, remember thought feeling action, results, thought leads to a feeling which leads to an action, which creates the result. These thoughts lead to feelings of fear, doubt being timid, hiding, holding back. Which leads to actions again, like hiding, not communicating the value that you bring to the table. And you can guess what kind of results are likely to come from these kinds of thoughts and feelings, selling and marketing from this Headspace, from, from this mindset, these thoughts will make you feel like you are driving with the emergency brake on there's going to be resistance. You might make a little bit of progress, but there's going to be a resistance. It's going to come across as, as awkward as something that does not feel good at all. And people will pick up on that the way to step into selling and marketing from a place of love from a place of, of biblical service is by operating from highway thoughts. Again, remember getting. Off the exit and getting back onto the highway, those thoughts that are actually going to lead to the results that you want. And so here are a couple of examples of some highway thoughts and what they actually mean. The best thing my ideal client can do is hire me. I know exactly what my ideal client needs. That's what that means. Not making an offer to help people is a disservice, right? That means I know that I can help them solve their problem. I'm confident in that. And this last one I feel compelled to offer. To help from a place of love that comes from a place of knowing that I deeply serve my clients and I deliver more value than I charge. Again, running these through the model. These thoughts lead to feelings of excitement, motivation, feeling compelled to go out there and serve people which leads to actions like showing up really powerfully in your marketing and presentations and workshops and emails, and the copy that you create or videos that you create. You show up confident in your ability to help. And this is. Way more likely to create the results that you actually want. And so for me, before I write marketing copy, or jump onto a sales call with a potential client. I intentionally think about the impact that working with me has had on my current and past clients. What impact has it had on their families, their quality of life, their businesses. When I think about all of the results that they've created as a result of working with me, I think about the fact that I want that for this person that I'm about to talk to. And when I do that, I don't feel salesy. I do not feel manipulative or sleazy because I know that on the other side of working with me, if this person is truly an ideal client and I can help them solve their problem, I know that their, their life, their business is going to be better off. And so I'm, I'm caring about what is in their best interest. And again, this releases any feelings of being salesy or manipulative, or you can actually be genuine and authentic and loving when you show up to that call. And let me tell you that is when you experience that, that is the best feeling because you know, that deep down, the best thing for them to do is to work with you because you know, you can help them solve their problem. So tangibly, again, this is, I can go off on this and can have conversations for days. This is, these are things that I coach my clients on all the time. Tangibly. How do you get to the place where you're operating from highway thoughts? The ones that we just walked through set of those exit thoughts. You may not. You may not like this answer, but I'm going to tell you the truth. Anyway, this is a daily practice. This is not an overnight fix every single day for three months, every Workday for three months, I started my day by doing one of the worksheets that I have and used with my clients that forced me to write down and identify. The exit thoughts that were swirling around in my head, all the thoughts about, I feel like I'm bothering people. I feel like nobody, you know, people don't want to hear what I have to say. I had to bring awareness to those. And then I wrote down the highway thoughts that I wanted to intentionally operate from that day. I forced myself to handwrite answers to questions. Like why is marketing my services and offering to help people the most loving thing I can do? How do I deliver more value than I charge clients? What are examples, like come up with the examples, how do I over-deliver and why can I sell my services from a place of integrity and the process of reminding myself over and over and over, the more I did this, the more this became my default setting. These highway thoughts became. My default setting instead of the exit thoughts. And this is one of the things my clients do as well. And you can apply this related to your mindset around anything, because when you're trying to make changes to default patterns of thinking that you've had for decades, yeah. It's going to be something that takes being willing to do the work and being willing to put in that daily work that nobody's going to see you do, but that will make all the difference for you. So until you operate from the highway thoughts, You aren't going to feel good about selling and marketing. You're going to hold yourself back. And you're only going to see a fraction of the results that you are capable of creating for your clients and for your own business. So much of selling and marketing is about your mindset. But if you were to Google search, how do I market my business or bring clients in every single blog park podcast, article, everything you see out there. 99% of them will be talking about strategy. Here's what you need to do. Send this many emails, create a Facebook group, create a podcast, but underlying that strategy is something way more foundational, especially for service-based business owners, consultants, coaches, graphic designers, web designers, people who are building a business around their skillset and their knowledge, the world isn't talking about this. That's why I'm so passionate about it because so many people implement strategies without the right mindset. And they get really frustrated because implementing strategy alone is not actually going to create results. So let's review quickly. And then I want to close out with a quick thought exercise. So again, reflect on your history with selling. What memorable experiences do you have? What beliefs did you form about selling as a result of those experiences? And then second, identify your hesitations around selling, get really specific the thoughts that make you feel resistant to selling and marketing from a place of love. So. Let's close out with a thought exercise, just as a barometer to see where are you at in terms of selling, do you, do you really feel compelled from a place of love to serve your clients? So I want you to visualize a specific client that you would love to work with. So actually do this. Think of the, there's a guarantee. There's a person that you're like, man, I wish that person. Was a client of mine. I would love to work with them picture only them. And you are physically watching them and you see the problem that they have. They're experiencing the problem in real time. Now imagine, you know exactly how to solve it, exactly how to meet their unique need, but you watch them struggle and wrestle with the problem they're looking around for answers. They try some things that doesn't help. They try one thing after another, but nothing is working to actually solve their problem. And they're getting frustrated. They're losing hope and they just wasted a bunch of time in money, on non solutions. Now, as you picture yourself, watching them experience that, how does that make you feel? Like, do you feel like, and if you're a lifeguard, you'll, you'll recognize this feeling. Do you feel like you're a lifeguard on duty watching somebody struggle to swim? Do you feel compelled to just jump out of your seat and go help them solve their problem? From a place of deep concern and love for them because you actually want what's best for them. If so that is great. That is great news. These are the feelings you want to feel and channel whenever. You write, copy, create content or run workshops or talk to potential clients about your services. If not, if that's like, what I just described to you feels really foreign and really far away out of reach. Again, this is just an indicator that your mindset and your relationship with selling and marketing, it's just an indicator. It's a light blinking on the dash, letting you know, Hey, this is holding you back from serving your clients, serving more clients and growing your business. So. Next week. We're going to wrap up this series on mindset with an episode on investing in yourself. And I'm going to answer a bunch of questions that I get asked a lot. Like what are some transformational ways you can invest in yourself so that you personally, and your business can grow? What's the difference between mentorship, coaching, consulting, and therapy. Seems like they're all kind of the same, you know, what are the benefits of working with a coach and how do you find the right coach for you? There's so many out there, so we'll get into that. But in the meantime, you've got your couple of assignments go and think about those things and I will see you next week.Pierce Brantley:
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